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White Farmhouse Exterior Transformation – Before & After

By 12/20/2018May 18th, 202326 Comments

Looking to turn your dated exterior into a modern white farmhouse? Here’s a fantastic before and after farmhouse makeover from my own neigbourhood. It often takes more than paint colour to achieve this look. Keep reading to find out why.

Photography by Maria Killam

When Adrienne (above) and her family moved into this rusty red and charcoal house (below) in our neighbourhood, we all happily watched the gradual transformation of the exterior.

One day, I knocked on the door and she gave me a tour of the inside.

I asked if I could post the exterior on the blog since it was such a radical transformation from the previous colour scheme.

So last weekend, I dropped by with my camera and here are the photos.

Here’s the before:

And here’s the after decorated for the holidays:

A modern white farmhouse exterior makeover.

Adrienne knew she wanted modern farmhouse. She has a background in interior design, so many sketches later, this is the final transformation.

It’s incredible how she pulled this off. I think she did a great job tackling all the right details to make this house look so fresh and current.

Modern Farmhouse Details

It’s common to see white paint slapped on an older house like this in an attempt to create the popular white farmhouse look, but in order to make it look right, it often needs more than just paint.

Paint only would have been an improvement because the old colour scheme was so bad, but it would still look like an older house with a new paint job without the tweaks Adrienne made.

The new black windows made a huge difference. She also added more windows on the right side of the second floor that define the dining area.

Black windows are a huge trend. They are more striking and custom looking than standard white and provide the necessary contrast for the white and light exteriors everyone is doing now. Find out what else I have to say about black windows here.

I think black windows can be a classic choice for exteriors (when they are chosen well and create crisp contrast with the body colour), but they are definitely more bossy and challenging in an interior (if you can, keep them white inside).

Related post: Are Black Windows the Best Choice for your New Build

Updating the Roof

The upper roof line was already good, but the porch running across most of the upper story really had no purpose and looked dated.

These were so popular a few decades ago, decks that ran the length or all the way around houses like this. But really, they are impossible to furnish well, and when they are furnished and used, they often just look messy and cluttered.

They removed it and added a black metal roof instead to define the two levels and create some interest. This allowed for a pretty new portico to frame the front entrance. In the before, the main door is barely distinguished from the rest of the windows and doors.

A proper portico is so inviting and really elevates the look of the house.

The stained wood columns repeated in the soffits add warmth to the black and white colour scheme.

Adrienne added simple greenery around the front entrance for the holidays.

And she radically transformed the back shed (kinda like I did with my studio) into a workshop for her flower business:



The Bouquet Farm

Here is her studio all set up for a flower arranging workshop during the holidays (above). Doesn’t this look like fun?

Here’s the before and after again:


After (update taken in August)

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here! It’s my favourite time of the year, hope you are having a lovely holiday season!

What do you like best about the new farmhouse exterior?

If you’d like your exterior colours to fill you with happiness when you get home, I can help in our eDesign department here.

If you would like to learn how to choose the right white for your exterior, my exterior webinar will teach you how. (and makes a great gift for the colour obsessed)

If you are building a new house, we can help with our new build package here.

Related posts:

Maria Killam’s White Garden Transformation; Before & After

4 Holiday Colour Trends You’ll Want to Keep all Year

Holiday Tour of Elizabeth (my sister) and Bill’s Home

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  • Cheryl/clrbham says:

    This is truly stunning!!! Wow!!! And her workshop is fabulous!!! Gosh, I would love to be her neighbor and friend…what fun!!!

  • Kim says:

    Holy moly, what a stunning transformation! Adrienne did a fabulous job. Now I’m left wondering about the inside as well! I think my favorite part of the reno has to be the removal of the old deck and addition of the black metal roof in its place.

  • Cindi says:

    Amazing how much removing the deck and adding the portico and metal roof changed the look of this house. Good lesson.

  • sandyc says:

    The white paint and new black windows were critical, but ditching that deck and adding the black metal roof and that portico (plus the new front door) was the perfect finishing touch to a very dramatic transformation. I too would love to see the interior.

  • Linda says:

    Striking! I love the new look. The old porch on the roof had to go. She did a great job!

  • Lynn says:

    Do you have a link to the flower business of your gracious neighbor?

  • Lucy says:

    They certainly did a fantastic reno! The house is now updated. The roofline was major by removing the old deck and putting in the portico! The entry now looks so inviting with the plants, chair and colored front door. Also like the windows in the garage door which repeats the shape of the other windows. Good job and I am sure she loves having you for a neighbor!

  • Gery S. says:

    Love the inviting new entry. Thank you for your uplifting blog. Peace to you, your family, and all of your talented staff this Holiday season.

  • Fran W. says:

    What a transformation. The metal roof and the stepping stones really made a huge difference.

  • Becky says:

    Wow, beautiful. Talk about doubling the value of your home… and your happiness every time you come home!

  • Brenda says:

    Ok quick fan-girl question here! When you rang the doorbell and she answered, did she know that you are THE Maria Killam? Or did she think you were just a curious neighbour? I think if you rang my doorbell I would probably go all silly and freak out! OMG Maria Killam is at my door! I love the transformation she made. It is just really nice and simple. Very clean and current. Awesome!

  • JJ Kouloumoundras says:

    This house has given me so much inspiration/hope for ugly houses! It’s gorgeous!! Thank you for this! Love all your blogs!! Merry Christmas to you!!

  • Arlene says:

    Your neighbours must be thrilled to have both of you in the neighbourhood who make your homes so striking. Good energy for the neighbours. This is stunningly beautiful. Thanks Maria

  • Vicki says:

    What kind of paint did they use over the brick for the best possible outcome?

  • Janet R says:

    Absolutely stunning transformation! Thank you for sharing these inspiration photos.

  • Vanessa says:

    Oh that is fantastic! I am always stumped when I see perfectly serviceable but unattractive houses from the 70’s, what can I do with that, I wonder? She did a great job.

  • Susan Telfer says:

    The new garage doors in a barn style are an important part of the transformation, too, I think. I love the wood soffits.

  • Claudia D. says:

    Love it. Before, the front door was indistinct and didn’t even seem like the main entry door – more like a side door. Now, it is clearly defined. And the new color(s) are so nice.

  • Marm says:

    Great transformation! Glad she allowed you to share it. Thanks to you both.

  • Connie says:

    I hope she will let you post the interior before and afters! Amazing transformation.

  • Gina says:

    Beautiful! I find it interesting that you say everyone is painting their houses white. Where I live, everyone is painting their homes dark grey!

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Maria,
    Has the white modern farmhouse trend already started to wane? Your recent post has me looking at your past posts. My reaction to this house in 2021 is already different from my reaction in 2018. I think the changes to the architectural features were definitely a good investment, but the the white and black seem too harsh now. Apologies if my opinion makes the homeowner sad; I really think she has a good eye. I’m considering painting my brick exterior cream (as your edesign suggested to me), but I hope I don’t fall into a passing trend. I guess cream with white windows isn’t part of the modern farmhouse trend, but I think light painted brick might all get lumped together as a trend (painted fireplaces, painted stone, painted brick, whitewash, shabby chic…).


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