Southern Living Magazine cover house (March issue)

jewelisfabulousFebruary 21, 2014

Does anyone else feel like I do that the "before" house has a whole lot more curb appeal than the "after"? To me, the "before" color scheme, the front door surround and pediment, and the landscaping (those azaleas!!) are beautiful.

The "after" is sooo BLAH and that gigantic pineapple finial above the front door is just silly.

The only improvements I feel that the "after" house offers over the "before" house is wood shake shingles instead of asphalt shingles and more size appropriate window shutters.

Other than that, I want to scream "WHY? WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO YOUR HOUSE!!" :)

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Remember that "those azaleas" only look great a few weeks out of the year.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Not necessarily, ML. There are Encore Azaleas that bloom 4-5 times in a season from early spring through late fall.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:03PM
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jewel, agree especially about that pineapple above the front door. Many ways to incorporate pineapple in your home decor without plunking one on the roof.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:20PM
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I received my issue of S/L (March) yesterday and had not looked at it until this was posted. It was still in the bin by my computer, so picked it up and looked. I liked the before and Iiked the after. Will ask son opinion. The architecture firm is a competitor, but he loves NOLA and Charleston, so he might agree with the after.

As an aside, don't care for Encore azaleas. They will produce 5-6 blooms 3-4 times per year. Not much for show-and-tell, especially in Birmingham. In place of the scrimpy azaleas, use Knockout roses.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:29PM
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I'm sure that architects and purists will prefer the "after"; I just don't like it. The house went from a head turner to something I could walk/drive by without feeling compelled to look.

I'm close to Birmingham and my Encore Azaleas are covered in blooms for 4 weeks at a time at least 4 times a season. The last blooming lasts even longer -- they start flowering in early September and last well into October (I think the cooling temps extends the blooming).. They look so great against the green of my Boxwoods and junipers.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Sorry to disagree but i much prefer the after, it's cleaner and more streamlined, i even like the pineapple , it makes a statement.
I looked closely at all the details, it's well done.

Thanks for posting this, the march issue was free on my ipad and they have a few nice chicken recipes, i might get the digital subscription.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Oh, now I want to see it!! I think my subscription expired...and southern living .com still has just the Feb issue!! I might have to go to the store!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:08PM
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I didn't see anything wrong with the before picture but I did like the after landscaping better. Not that there was anything wrong with the azaleas, just thought the other was more appealing--personal preference.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:48PM
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How funny you should bring this up. I was looking at the before and after last night and thinking that the "improvements" weren't that great. There was something wrong about the color of the the trim before, which was corrected, but the pineapple took the house in the wrong direction (IMO).

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:57AM
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I saw my Dad's second wife's magazine on his desk in the mail pile and picked it up. I thought the pineapple was kind of odd as well, and the shutters on the dormer windows, while hinged and actually working, looked way too big. I might be a little biased, though, because I'm so mad at Southern Living these days. It's anything but southern. I miss the old way they used to publish. I dropped my subscription several years ago.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Not a great pick but....

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:58PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Thanks for posting the picture, forboystoo. Even though I can't really see it well, I am pretty sure the 'before' is my preferred house. I have NEVER seen shutters on dormers before and now I know why! What in the world were they thinking?I am not a fan of the pineapple. I think it is completely put of proportion to the house and also does not fit style-wise. I am also not a fan of shrubs shorn into round shapes unless they are in a parterre. Despite the fact that they only bloom for about three weeks, I am a huge fan of azaleas.Obviously, this is all JMHO.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:18PM
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For a lazy gardner, but one who likes to garden, there's no way I'd be ok with those uber-clipped shrubs. Much prefer the undulation and character of azaleas, but constant blossoms aren't a big deal for me. Of course, I'm not taking into account a service to keep them clippedâ¦still not a fan.

Agree that shutters on the dormers looks heavy and not taken with the pineapple as used. I like playing around with scale, but those elements don't come across well.

I would have been in agreement with removing/moving the evergreen in front of that window and at the entrance to the stairs. I keep looking for a tree for the front. Something medium sized and spring bloomsâ¦oh, it's because I'm obsessed with dogwoods right now as I look for a place to plant my little guy. An airy dogwood, there, would be lovely.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:02PM
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Oh my. I haven't seen the magazine, but judging from the photos, the pineapple looks ridiculous. Sheared shrubs are screaming to find their natural shape; the swath of shrubs in the "before" are much more pleasing to my eye. It's not the blooms that make the difference for me, but the form.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Elraes Miller

What an odd transformation for a perfectly darling cottage. I wonder if they mixed up the before and after. Considering what we are seeing, the before was the wonderful. There were some things I would still have changed, but how did they go brick on the fire place, front entry, etc. after once being painted? And those bushes look to have been there forever for "hair cuts". I think an editing mistake was made.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:03AM
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Thank you Forboystoo! I agree that the landscaping in the before pic, from what I can tell, was very attractive. It does look like they took the before pic in the height of Spring, which makes everything look lovely. Usually before pics are taken in the dead of winter! I do like the white paint, and I even like the dormer shutters as I feel they give some balance to the facade. To me, though, the biggest improvement in the after pic is the removal of the arch over the front door. I think that gabled overhang (not sure correct term for it) looks more appropriate. And I adore the new front door and door shutters...I am a big fan of door shutters. The pineapple doesn't bother me, looks like it was added for interest. I could go either way with it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:11AM
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Hard to get a good view of the before picture but as for the after - the shutters on the dormers and that pineapple finial topping the pediment all look ridiculous. And I hope they have a gardener to trim and shape all those puff ball shrubs. I'd say it's not 'good to great' but 'good to goofy'.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:01PM
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While the before/ after seem totally a** backwards(I can't help but think that someone screwed up!)I do like both styles. The landscape is another issue, but 'personal is, as personal does'. ;)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:44PM
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The best things to me are the nicer entry, the taller front door, and the roof.

The shutters on the dormers don't bother me; they are functional, at least.

The landscaping is nice, but I prefer the before.

The pineapple* is sort of whimsical, and I like the idea of a pineapple somewhere, but I wouldn't want one on top of my house.

*From the article:
"...sea captains would place the eye-catching fruit on a fence post to mark the return home from a long voyage...(pineapples) became synonymous with hospitality."

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:51PM
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The pineapple over the front door is merely a distraction. Did no one else notice that the "after" house has the roof raised? Now the dormers look like they are part of the house, not two pimples stuck on the top of the house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Maybe they live in Rhode Island where the pineapple is a sign of hospitality. Many have them on their houses.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:52PM
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With all the tornadic weather in the Birmingham area in spring, I predict the pineapple is sliced and diced before July.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:34AM
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I think the before is far prettier than the after!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:50AM
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I don't mind the new, additional dormer, since, as someone has already pointed out, the roof was raised. The pineapple doesn't add a thing, IMO. I also agree about the landscaping. I don't care for the new 'meatball' shrubs at all. Would have much preferred at least some of the existing azaleas remained, maybe pruned. They did ok by taking out the overgrown evergreens, and it looks like they extended one of the beds by the front walk (not shown in the above photo). Don't like the shutters in the upstairs dormer windows as I think it makes the house look top heavy, but the downstairs looks ok along with the new front door.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:56AM
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