Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Transformation of the house exterior is complete!

It is hard to believe this day has finally come!  The exterior transformation of our home is complete, and we are ecstatic with the results.  The painters just finished and I immediately got to work sweeping and putting the outside back together tickety-boo.  Besides losing one rosemary plant the garden has survived!!!!  Re-roofing is not easy on plants and believe me, at one point, I just had to look the other way and breathe deeply.  When we purchased our home we had a lot of comments from family and friends, but you know, despite the many negative ones my husband and I always had a vision for our home.  It is hard to explain but we looked at our home through different eyes and we saw it finished, not how it really was.  This got us through the years of the reality that our house was truly hideous.  But the potential!  We were determined to restore this mid-century beauty!

Lets see a little bit of the journey…

This is our home when we purchased it and did practically nothing outside.  Need I even write that as it is pretty clear from the picture that we did nothing outside.  HA!  Note the curvy gingerbread house posts, the scalloped curvy upper window fascia, and the curves between the posts – not our style.  First order of business in our modern transformation was to straighten all of those lines.  We wanted everything straight and linear.Much improved as the front garden is slowly evolving…isn’t it amazing what landscaping can do!?  Blows my mind.  We changed the front posts to natural cedar ones and straightened out the curves in the trim between them (thanks dad!).  We had new straight fascia installed to get rid of the last of the curves. When I began my front garden and made decisions regarding plants and such, I always held our ultimate vision in my mind.  I knew we were going to eventually need a new roof and silver galvalume was the only roof for this house’s roofline in our opinion.  When I looked at my home, a silver roof was simply what I saw, I barely saw the current roof.  Plant selections were made based on the color of the future roof (many silver plants) and paint colors, green and tans.

And here she is after her make-over.  She stands proudly now and fits in with the other pretty houses on the cul-de-sac.  Before we stood out like a sore thumb.

I am going to include a few pictures to demonstrate how we chose our color palette.  First and foremost for us was to choose colors that blended our home into nature and the surrounding landscape.  We wanted to blend not stick out.  You can see several tones of tans and greens in the many native grasses in my garden.

Here you see more tans, greens and silvers.  I can hardly wait to take this ugly hedge out in short order.

More blondes and greens in the Mexican feather grass…which of course change colors with the seasons.  That is a BIG plus in Texas where there is not much seasonal color.  Well, I should not say that, there really can be seasonal color.  Lets just say compared to the trees I am used to in Canada, it is different.  I try to incorporate seasonal interest in my garden so it looks different and pleasing with the changing seasons.

The static feature of our windows being silver also influenced the silver roof, silver plants, and modern fixtures.

It was A LOT of fun putting on her jewelry to complete her transformation.  This modern light fixture and these modern floating house numbers really complete her look.  They restore her into the mid-century beauty she was built to be back in 1961.I love these lights we chose so much, they deserve a close-up of their own!  My husband is so insightful when it comes to lighting, he bought a really neat vintage lantern bulb that looks so pretty at night!
And of course to give credit where credit is due, we could have NEVER done this without Robert Yuras from Yuras Roofing, and Hector Garcia from Toy’s Painting.  These guys are the ultimate dream team.  If you need any roofing done, or any exterior or interior painting or remodeling, these two companies operate with such integrity and professionalism we simply could never thank them enough.  They are so respectful and so are their teams.  A contractor is only as good as the crews they bring in and let me tell you, we have learned the hard way on this.  Not only are these contractors great, their teams they bring in are great.   I always felt comfortable being around them, and with them around our property and our children.  That is always a huge concern for folks, and we are so pleased with this experience.  If you are in the San Antonio area, look no further than these guys.  BELIEVE you me, with such a fixer-upper house, we have had a lot of bad contractors and these companies are worth their weight in gold.  Thank you Robert and Hector, you are our heros!

Stay tuned for the filling in of the front garden beds – yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was patient …and now, I can dig again!


  1. That looks great Heather! Everything in the garden looks better instantly with your updated house treatment.

    Good contractors really are worth their weight in gold and you are so right to give them a plug here.

    Congratulations on getting this done and moving on to the next phase of your update.

    • Thank you Shirley, that means a lot coming from you. :) Isn’t it amazing how even when you are “done” something you are never done. It is on to the next! Can’t wait! – xericstyle

  2. Salma Quraishi

    YAAAY!!! looks incredible! Really, truly… I can’t believe how cool it is. Those are the numbers I’ve been spying for my wall! I may have to steal the lantern vibe too… We have to talk! The masonry looks so clean, you really did it! We miss you guys– I may have to do a drive by to see it in person! Congratulations, it’s spectacular, and the landscaping anchors it all beautifully.

    • Hey you! Thanks so much! The masonry is our existing masonry primed and painted – it was the most cost effective option for us rather than replacing the brick with new brick or stone like we were considering. We are really happy with the look, and it fits in with the area. Let’s get together this week and I can show you everything, or with the families this weekend. Miss y’all too! – xericstyle

  3. Thank you so much for the nice words Heather. It was a real pleasure bringing your ideas to a reality. The house turned out so nice, certainly the best on the street!

    ~Robert Yuras,
    Yuras Roofing Company

    • Thank you for the best roof and contracting experience ever Robert! Y’all rock! And how cool is it that your business is a family business?!?! – xericstyle

      • Sweet! What a difference. How embarrassing…this sweet neighbor up the road caught me outside in the garden and she said, “did you just buy this house…wow you have done a great job!” I said, “No, we bought this house a few years ago.” She said, “oh wow, you kept it vacant for 3 years?” I said, “No we have lived here the whole time.” HAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaa she drove away confused. It was pretty funny! Thanks Robert, we really could never have ended up with this result without y’all. I was able to view the pictures but I am not on facebook…yet! Cheers to the Yuras’! Hip hip hooray for Yuras Roofing!

  4. hector garcia

    Thank you Heather for your comments. The house really looks great. You did good on choosing the colors and now you have nice looking house.

    Hector Garcia

    • Hector you are the best painter, an honest person, and we are so thankful to know you. As always, thank YOU for your suggestions! – xericstyle

  5. I LOVE IT! the new roof and those lights are absolutely stunning! That is one amazing transformation! And I can’t wait to see the garden all filled in!!!

    • Hey thanks so much Louis! I can’t wait to fill up my garden beds now – come on fall!!!!!!!!!!!! – xericstyle

  6. What great documentation! You went from Ward/June Cleaver circa 1962 to 2012…yet classic for times beyond that 50 year range. Looks like your Feather Grass is awaiting cool weather to awake from dormancy.

    Changing home exterior – I knew I had the wrong client, when he asked why I suggested changing some door colors, awnings, etc. on each of his rental homes, along with the outdoor spaces. What he did, once my concept was finished, was atrocious, not working together at all. Your addressing that thoroughly is proof of how to do something.

    • Ha! Ha! It sure was June Cleaver, David. But the potential was there, for sure. I hope that my feather grass is dormant – some of them are greener than others. I suppose I will see soon enough. I bet you were horrified that your clients’ choices were…well sounds like they were tacky! The outside can make or break the look of the house, just as the house can drag down the landscape. Too bad they never saw that and worked WITH your magic! – xericstyle

  7. WOW. That is an amazing makeover! I love what you guys have done with it. And I think we have the same house numbers….and I almost bought that porch light! Spectacular!

    • Thank you very much for your compliments – it has been a long road and our family and friends all thought we were nuts when we bought this house. If anything, it just gave us more motivation! It is really nice to feel like things are finally coming together and some positive feedback – I really appreciate you posting. LOVE those house numbers, eh? If you are still in the market for that light, it was an awesome deal! Got it here… You buy 3 components – we never got the “strain relief connector”… Just the base/grill guard/lens. Cheers! – xericstyle

  8. Katya

    Hello, I love the house numbers. Can you tell me where you got them? Thank you. Katya

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