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Holiday Exterior Lights with Before and After Grays

By 12/26/2013February 24th, 201722 Comments

When Betsy found my blog and read this post, she realized her white house was just a little too white paired with the more earthy brick columns and railing.

A few days ago she emailed me her exterior holiday lights and I asked her to send all of the images if she had them.

Here’s what she sent, thanks Betsy!

Before & After Exterior Lights


Hello Maria, I have been meaning to send you a photo of my paint job once it was finished. My boyfriend and I did the work and with 27 windows it took forever.

Thanks to your inspirational blog and recommendation to use BM Thunder on the upper siding(to match brick mortar on lower half) and dormers it all came together beautifully!

The porch is BM Edgecomb gray (brick painted by previous owner) with BM Thunder on casings. The window sashes and mullions are BM Hale Navy (like eyeliner! Love the darker windows).

White columns, upper cornice and soffits are Soft Chamois. Front Door is BM Currant Red. Dark gray blue accent on front dormer and top of gabled detached garage is SW Granite Peak. Craftsman house so a few different colors called for. I just love pulling into my driveway now.

Thanks so much and Merry Christmas. Sincerely, Betsy O.

After Exterior


Love the way she highlighted the gable on the top by leaving one length of siding in white.

exterior lights 2013

Exterior Lights 2014

Creative Outdoor Lights

Exterior Lights 2010

I posted this one last because I’ve never seen this before! Betsy said her boyfriend constructed the frame and then they filled it in with the Norway Spruce that grows in her yard.

Thanks for sharing your house with us!


PS. Here’s a glimpse of ours. Not too many lights yet, as you know, I was way more focused on the interior holiday decor this year, we’ll add more next year. Have you seen my exterior landscaping transformation yet? See all the before’s and after’s on my Landscape Architects blog here.

Exterior Lights

Have you driven around to enjoy the exterior lights in your neighbourhood this season?

Related posts:

The Best Exterior Trim Colours with Brick NOT Cloud White

White to Green Exterior: Before & After

Your Christmas Tree is YOU (maybe)

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk up to the front door, become a client. On-line or In-person.

Download my eBookHow to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want and to make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

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  • Kathy says:

    Yes, not too sure I am enjoying the changeover to LED lights. Purple in the multi-colored strands doesn’t seem Christmasy. My husband wants to go to LED, but I am holding onto the traditional lights for now.

    Beautiful change on the house above….

    • Kathy says:

      Just realized what I don’t like about the LED lights the most: traditional lights illuminate the house and make it look cozy, spreading light beyond their bulbs. LED’s only add color, but no light illuminates onto the house….

  • Deborah says:

    Betsy’s house color changes gave it such a personal charm. I would never thought about painting the window frames darker on this house. It so works, as does the color on the dormer.
    Betsy all your hard work was worth it. Your home is lovely.

  • Annie says:

    Gorgeous transformation, I actually gasped when I saw the after picture. Ahhh, the power of color.

  • Annie says:

    I should add, I meant the *right* color. 🙂

  • megeranski says:

    Fabulous post, MK!

    I had a bungalow and they are a challenge. Betsy, your update is terrific. the windows really pop and the touch of color on the top dormer is terrific!

    Kathy — Agree, GREATLY dislike the new LED lights.

    Betsy – consider updating the columns to a more Craftsman look?. 🙂
    a modified version of this, perhaps:

    Consider some molding (not especially large) around the front door, to paint black as you did the windows trim, to make the front door pop?

    Oh, and, love LOVE the front door color!! and the topiaries.

    The transformation is exciting to see. Congrats!

  • megeranski says:

    Maria, your house is SO PRETTY!!!

    Everything, from the paver sidewalk to the plantings to the column, on and on.

    So nice to know how hard you have worked on it and see the before and current!


  • sandyc says:

    Love Betsy’s house because I love the style. But her redo is super. The house seems to be saying “come on in; I’m just as exciting and inviting on the inside” (even though Becky might not have gotten to it yet?) Maybe we’ll get a tour someday later. Your own house is so lovely, Maria. Understandable about the exterior lights – I had none. But next year, given what you accomplished on the inside, we’ll have an enormous treat in store.

    I’m growing to love LED lighting because, though still more expensive, there are more and more choices, they burn cooler and they last forever. I did read recently that there really are “not so good” and “way great” LED lights out there. Not surprising as they’re a newish technology that keeps improving. I have a couple of LED candles that burn very bright white which I don’t like and a bunch that burn a very soft warm yellow which I do like. I understand your questioning the purple, Kathy, but hang in there. I’m sure there will be more choices that are comfortable to you as time moves on.

  • Mary says:

    What a beautiful transformation! Shows what working with a professional can do! Would never have thought of adding the chamois color for some of the trim, but it makes such a difference. Thank you for sharing your home, Becky and thank you to Maria for posting her wonderful work. About LED lights: I have found that you need to read the box labels carefully as they specify bright white or warm white (at least on Christmas string lights), and they also specify the wire color, which makes a difference on whether they are going on a (green) tree or hanging in a white window space. And I believe that lamp LED bulbs are available in even more variations – was there a post about using pink bulbs for lighting that is flattering to skin tones?

  • Netty says:

    Omgosh!! My jaw dropped…
    Looking at the before I was like, “super cute house” and then when I saw the after, I was like “that house is gorgeous!!”

    Love, love, love the red door and black window frames!

  • Oooh, I can’t tell you how many times I scrolled down and then back up! It’s like a completely different house. Absolutely beautiful beautiful transformation.

  • Amy says:

    I love, love, love this house! It’s an adorable house from the start, and the new paint colors takes it to another level. You can tell that this home is loved.

  • Barbara says:

    Betsy, Your house is beautiful! And such a nice photograph in the afternoon Autumn light.

    I am a big fan of red doors, such a welcoming touch. When I painted our front door red, after only a couple of weeks in our new home, everyone walking in the neighbourhood commented on it; it was a good way to meet people.

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Thanks to all for the compliments. It was Maria who pointed out that white white doesnt work w brick. The windows are actually picked out in Navy blue although i guess the read black. The dark window color on a lighter field works great. Its different since most homeowners just do trims in white.

  • Jane says:

    I love the transformation! Especially the dormers and dark window mullions.


  • karen says:

    I love this transformation. The house is so adorable to begin with and I agree this transformation took this adorable house to the another level. It’s very inviting. I love the windows (yes they do look black on the pictures to me) mine are black and I love them. Great job and Great post Maria. Always so exciting to see before and afters. Certainly helps inspire me to get things done, lol.

  • karen says:

    Not sure if I am seeing right, but is the porch ceiling blue? (If I missed something my apologizes) as it was after my post I took another look at the after picture.

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Yes Karen, the new porch ceiling is a grayed blue…BM Santorini Blue 1/2 formula. It was a rather dreary dark wood stain. BTW, i got the idea of using navy blue w reddish brick from a terriffic book on Exterior home palettes called Exterior Colors exterior Colors by Style of Architecture by Hershman. Its a great book for homeowners and exterior color consultants

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Sorry, its House Colors, Exterior color…..

  • franki says:

    Paint…what a miracle! Looks fantastic, girl! Now..LED…not so much. franki

  • Mary says:

    Betsy, your house is adorable. I especially love the dark window sashes.

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