My “Crack House” Makeover & New Paint Color Reveal!

“We bought a crack house,” my hubby cried! The house had been seriously neglected and we definitely had our work cut out for us when we renovated. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we moved into our former “crack house” and I thought it would be fun take a walk down memory lane and share the horrifying befores of the house as well as the different exterior looks it has gone through over the years (from white to green to blue) including the never before seen reveal of my Hale Navy house!

Before old home renovation - wait until you see the stunning after kellyelko.com #oldhome #oldhouse #homereno #housereno #renovation #farmhouse #houseexterior #housebefore #fixerupper

Our move was the stuff of nightmares. We left our fully furnished house in Ohio, where we lived for four years, to move back to New Jersey. We rented a two bedroom furnished apartment in the upstairs of an old home. Our house finally sold seven long months later, so we put the entire contents of our house into storage. We soon moved into another rental home and used the basement to store our stuff which eliminated the storage cost.

The year was 2008 and house prices were skyrocketing! Every time we tried to place an offer, we were outbid! So we waited impatiently in our rental house for almost a year when the market crashed! Housing prices plummeted and the “crack house” went on the market! Because the house needed so much work and it was so hard to get a loan at the time, we were the only bidders (if this had been on the market the year before, there would have been a bidding war)!

Renovating a house is like childbirth, you forget the pain once it’s finished! Nine months later, we moved into our home and my hubby now says, “you’ll have to carry me out feet first.”

Before old home renovation - wait until you see the stunning after kellyelko.com #oldhome #oldhouse #homereno #housereno #renovation #farmhouse #houseexterior #housebefore #fixerupper

This is our house right after we bought it. If you look closely, you might be able spot the demon with flaming red eyes peering down from the left dormer window.

Before old home renovation - wait until you see the stunning after kellyelko.com #oldhome #oldhouse #homereno #housereno #renovation #farmhouse #houseexterior #housebefore #fixerupper

Can you spot the exterior changes?

We added the middle dormer and changed the second floor window from square to oval. The steps and porch were rebuilt with brick and slate and the mint green door and sidelights were replaced with new a gorgeous custom wood door with a large window to let in light.

Every single window in the house was replaced to mimic the classic 6 over 1 windows original to the home and we ditched the shutters.

Old house curb appeal with green paint and a welcoming front porch kellyelko.com #oldhome #oldhouse #housepaint #greenhouse #frontporch #curbappeal #landscaping #gardening #gardens

The house got a fresh coat of light green paint and I loved it for years but when it was time to repaint, I was ready for a big change.

Love this bold Hale navy house kellyelko.com #blue #bluepaint #bluehouse #halenavy #housepaint #housecolors #curbappeal #oldhouse #oldhome #oldhouses #fixerupper #frontporch #landscaping #gardening #gardens #dormers #farmhouse #farmhousedecor

Enter Hale Navy! The power of paint never ceases to amaze me and my house is a prime example! My house went from drab green to fab navy blue and now the house really pops against all the greenery.

I’m a Jersey girl but I took a page out of southern porches and painted the porch ceiling light blue. It’s supposed to keep bees away (have you read this story about the Carpenter Bee invasion of my antique church pew).

Love this bold blue house and charming small front porch kellyelko.com #blue #bluepaint #bluehouse #halenavy #housepaint #housecolors #curbappeal #oldhouse #oldhome #oldhouses #fixerupper #frontporch #landscaping #gardening #gardens #dormers #farmhouse #farmhousedecor #flag #americanflag #hydrangeas #porchdecor

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Normally, I have huge ferns hanging from my porch ceiling and the urns are overflowing with coleus but a global pandemic had other ideas for my porch this summer. At least my Summer Crush Hydrangeas are blooming like crazy this year! I love these dwarf hydrangeas that grow to about three feet high and the colors range from this vibrant magenta to neon purple depending on the acidity level of your soil.

I’m also a fan of a flag on the front porch and this American flag is super durable and long lasting.

Love an American flag hung on a house kellyelko.com #blue #bluepaint #bluehouse #halenavy #housepaint #housecolors #curbappeal #oldhouse #oldhome #oldhouses #fixerupper #frontporch #landscaping #gardening #gardens #dormers #farmhouse #farmhousedecor

Fresh paint equals instant curb appeal.

Love this bold Hale navy house kellyelko.com #blue #bluepaint #bluehouse #halenavy #housepaint #housecolors #curbappeal #oldhouse #oldhome #oldhouses #fixerupper #frontporch #landscaping #gardening #gardens #dormers #farmhouse #farmhousedecor

No, Santa doesn’t live here! I love the way my house looks in a bed of freshly fallen snow. It’s almost worth the snow crushing my boxwoods!

This blue house color really pops against the freshly fallen snow kellyelko.com #bluehouse #bluepaint #oldhouse #oldhome #curbappeal #snow #farmhouse #winterwonderland

Looking back, everything happened for a reason. I’m happy that we waited until the perfect house found us. And I’m happy to report, we relocated the demon to a nice condo in Boca!

The power of paint makeover - it's amazing what a new color can do to add curb appeal to a home #curbappeal #bluehouse #bluepaint #farmhouse #farmhousedecor #porch #frontporch #paintcolors #halenavy #fixerupper #beforeandafter

Here’s to the power of paint.

Tour the Inside of My Home Here

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28 Comments

  1. Wow Kelly! I love that you shared this with us. You truly made it your own and it is so beautiful! I love your home! All you and your husbands hard work really shines through!

  2. I love the blue… and in the snow…. WOW!!! Also enjoyed reading the story of how the house became yours. It is a great house that you have made into a beautiful home. Loved seeing the girls when they were little in some of the photos. 🙂

  3. Love it! I have Hale Navy in my house in multiple rooms (it is an addictive color). I love it, love it! Okay so how do I hang ferns on my porch? how large of a hook do I need? S hook? Clueless and not sure they will last in the hot Colorado sunshine, but I love a porch. I need to repaint our brown house! laura in Colorado

    1. Wow! Gorgeous Kelly! I’ll bet your neighbors were SO glad when you bought that house and made it such an asset to the neighborhood. We just repainted our house and we painted it the same blah color (a boring cream with pine green trim) now I wish I had seen this post first! It’ll be another ten years before we think about painting again. And I love the hydrangeas, I’ll have to see if they’ll work in my climate in California. I always enjoy your posts.

  4. Love the new paint color. We had an UGLY brick home in Ohio and I was on the verge of painting it…. but moved to SC instead!

  5. You have a beautiful house that you should be very proud of all the sweat and tears you’ve lost. I loved the inside and now i see the outside is just as gorgeous. I can see now why Sushi smiles and struts her stuff, she knows how lucky she is!

  6. Just love your house…I miss NJ..live in TX now.Your newsletters bring me back… Janice Kasten

  7. Hi Kelly, your house is amazing. I love the style and the neighborhood, it’s almost like going back to the “Driving Miss Daisy” era. It’s nice that you kept that charm.

  8. Hi Kelly,
    The Hale Navy is definitely the more vibrant of the two colors but the renovation choices you made are phenomenal! What a gift you have!
    I can’t believe how young your daughters were when you started this undertaking.
    Loved your tip of turning trash cans into planters. I actually thought at first you purchased plain white cans & painted on the stripes.
    I haven’t had an American flag on display for a few years now. It’s time to try again. Bad storms have destroyed previous attempts (2) so perhaps I need to be diligent about taking it down during bad weather. We shall see since it’s not in an easily accessible spot!
    Love your neighbor…such characters!

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