French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation

French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation

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Check out our French Country Cottage exterior renovation to discover easy and affordable ways to give the outside of your home a face lift.

Here is the before of our French Country Cottage.  Cute but very outdated!

french country cottage exterior renovation


French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation


Zach jokes that I hate bushes, but it is not true.  Well, partly not true. 

What I don’t like is when the front of a house is being buried in a landscape of shrubbery. 

Just as a well-chosen picture frame can serve to highlight a photo, bushes and trees, when placed correctly, can frame and accentuate the face of a home.

We wouldn’t buy a frame that covers the bottom third of our picture, and yet this is what often happens with bushes. 

They overgrow the bottom of the windows and visually begin to crowd the exterior of the home.  In my opinion, a house instantly receives a facelift when overgrown bushes are removed or severely trimmed back from the face of the house.  Put it this way. 

We will have removed over 20 bushes by the time we are done with landscaping at our French Country Cottage. I guess I do hate bushes. 

As I said, I do not truly hate shrubbery.  Several months ago when we first went under contract on the house I placed an order for my very favorite rose bushes. 

They are called Anna’s Promise Hybrid Tea Rose by Breck’s, and they yield a gorgeous coral and gold bloom.

French Country Cottage Exterior REnovations

I had planted Anne’s Promise at our Colonial fixer-upper to see what I thought of it, and I have fallen in love.   

I bought 4 bushes for the front of our French Country Cottage, and I definitely plan on incorporating these beauties at Our French Country Home!  These bushes do not get very high and can be trimmed regularly to keep them from overgrowing the windows. 

Once the bare-root plants arrive in the mail they need to be planted quickly so several weeks ago the big kids and I removed a whole bunch of bushes and planted our beautiful roses!

French country cottage exterior renovations


french country cottage exterior renovations

And after!


Now you can see that pretty white molding underneath the double windows!

french country cottage exterior renovations

These cuties were such great helpers.  They each have their own gardening sets, and they LOVE “helping” Mommy play in the dirt. 

It is such a great way to get them outside and involved.  I put a gardening set in each kid’s Easter basket several years ago, and they have had so much fun with them. 

Check out a similar girl’s gardening set here and a boy’s gardening set here!


Mommy’s helpers!!

french country cottage exterior renovations

I am pretty by the book when it comes to gardening mostly because I don’t have enough experience to take creative liberties.  I get out my measuring tape, dig the holes to the exact recommendations, and plant accordingly! 

I still plan on adding a white hydrangea bush to the end of this row (and a lot of other places), and I cannot wait to see the palette of colors come to life. 

We have a LOT more bushes to remove, a tree to cut down, a tree to trim, and several dozens of flowers and bushes yet to plant but at least my roses have gotten a head start!

French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation


I am convinced the majority of homeowners underestimate the difference shutters can make in the overall appearance of a house. 

The color, the style, and the very presence or absence of them can totally transform the first impression.

French country cottage exterior renovations

For example, here you can see here we have the louver styled shutters of the sixties painted fire engine red. 

I found these vinyl boards and batten-styled shutters on Amazon, painted them Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore, and voila!  

Instant exterior update for less than $300.

french country cottage exterior renovations

All of the white exterior trim has been painted in Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

french country cottage exterior renovations

It was about 30 degrees when I put these up, and I kept dropping the screws because my hands were freezing. 

But between wearing about 4 layers of clothing and climbing up and down a 20-foot ladder a dozen times we got the job done!


As I mentioned before, a tool belt is on my birthday list.  A cute, pink leather one 🙂  Carrying tools in your mouth while climbing two stories is not recommended . . .

French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation

Front Door

Ahhh our new front door.  I was SO excited when I found this door at an overstock warehouse on Facebook Marketplace.  For those of you who have not explored the Facebook Marketplace, I am telling you – life-changing. 

Zach would add “terrifying” to that descriptor as well, but hey, tom-A-to, tom-AH-to.  Again, wholesale and overstock building suppliers are absolutely the way to go whether you are flipping a home or living in one for the next 30 years. 

Unless you want something custom-made, overstock and wholesale prices are often 30-50% less than retail.  This front door was HALF of the price listed at our local “big box” hardware store.

french country cottage exterior renovations

The front door before.

french country cottage exterior renovations

And after!! 

This is a Knotty Alder hardwood pre-hung door.  You can find tons of discount hardwood doors online at  Find a knotty alder front door similar to ours here!

french country cottage exterior renovations

The handle set is from Nostalgic Hardware. I used this company for the handle sets at our Victorian fixer-upper, and I fell in love! 

These handle sets are HEAVY and look like they could be found throughout the historic homes of Europe.  I love them.

french country cottage exterior renovations

This French Country Cottage-styled handle set can be found here!


Oh, and yes, that grate covers an active speak-easy door, so we can creep out anyone who visits.   Lovely babe.

French Country Cottage Exterior Renovation


You may have noticed the super cute vintage-styled wall mailbox. 

I found this at a local antique/re-purposed store and was so excited to find one with the colors I was looking for!

french country cottage exterior renovations

You can find lots of vintage appearing wall mailboxes on Amazon.  Check out this one similar to ours here, and it is available in 10 colors!

We still have a lot of work to do, but I hope you have been inspired to take another look at the outside of your home and find some budget-friendly ways to give it a fresh makeover!

Source List:

Ahna Fulmer // Hammers N Hugs

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french country cottage exterior renovations
french country cottage exterior renovations

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