Fort Benton Cottage — Part 1

Last spring I was given the opportunity to work on a very fun project. Some friends of ours had purchased a darling little cottage in our home town in hopes of eventually retiring there and slowing renovating it. Unfortunately for them, circumstances changed and so did their plans. They no longer needed the house. Rather than re-list immediately and probably lose money on their investment, they decided to make some of the improvements they wanted to make anyway, in hopes of later reselling for a higher price. 

The market in Fort Benton has been in a bit of a slump this winter, so the house is still on the market and waiting patiently for the right match to snatch it up. It is a small house, but it is perfect for the cute retired couple, smart single, or small family looking for an updated home with character. The listing is here, in case you are interested! :)

Because the homeowners lived several states away, they hired a local contractor and then hired me to oversee the renovation and make all the design decisions. I must say they were the dream clients. The budget was small but I had complete freedom within those restraints. 

The exterior of the house was already cute. Its redeeming features included a front porch, rock chimney, solid metal roof (albeit in a distracting blue), original wood windows and clapboard siding, large front yard, and cheery landscaping. The property also included a very nice detached garage with an attached bonus space that could be finished as a guest space. Less appealing was the chipped paint on the concrete stairs and metal pipe railing and those odd porch roof posts that seemed to call too much attention to themselves.  

I wish my after photos stilled featured the pretty hollyhocks and foliage shown in the before photo, but it was late fall when these photos were taken, and the poor plants had been a bit trampled on by the house painters. :) Nevertheless, the changes are subtle but nice.

  • Simplified the post structure on the porch
  • Repainted the house to a slightly less pink color with crisp white trim
  • Removed the screen door so the wooden door could shine
  • Moved the house numbers off the door frame
  • Removed the ugly satellite dish!
  • Painted the flower boxes and front door in a dusky blue-green to tie in both the stone and the roof color. 
  • Added new iron railings and painted the cement steps
  • Added a new lockset on the front door and replaced the brass porch light with a black one to tie in with the other black accents.

When these photos were taken in late fall the leaves were falling obviously. But imagine it all styled up with flowers in the window boxes, plants growing in front, and a few comfy porch chairs!

Next post I will take you inside!