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Home Tour Series: Exterior

As a Designer, there are probably 5 different architectural styles of homes that I LOVE. Traditional, European, Farmhouse, Cape Cod … the list could go on! But when we bought this house, it was a mid-century modern home … which just so happens to be one of the styles I’m not so fond of!!  LOL! However, what I did love about this home was the property, the location, and the fact that I had a vision for it!!

Even though I knew what I really wanted to do on the inside … I always struggled with what to do on the OUTSIDE. I knew I wanted the exterior of our house to be white … I know … surprising, right?! LOL. But our last house had a darker exterior and was stone so I knew I wanted a change this time around.

Below are some photos I had saved on my Pinterest board for exterior inspo …

Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior

photo credit 1 | 2 | 3

I wanted this home to be a modern farmhouse and have a traditional feel. I wanted a big porch with lots of outdoor space … and to be honest, I thought we were just going to have to replace the siding and some brick and do a few minor things but it turns out we ended up basically taking this house right back to the bones. We ended up replacing the roof, removing the siding … adding a front porch and so much more.

Our original home had sort of an alcove in the front of the house which we ended up filling in and adding the porch here … you can see the difference in the before and after photos below!

Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior

While it was a lot of work to fill this in and build our porch (sometimes I wish we would have just demolished our home and started fresh!!), our front porch is one of my favourite parts of our house. It’s so cozy and inviting and I just love the way it turned out aesthetically. I absolutely LOVE our Trex decking and furniture, we have the Yacht Club Rocking Chairs in charcoal black on our front porch along with the Yacht Club Porch Swing. Everything we have from Trex is so durable and I love the fact that it looks like wood but it doesn’t splinter, fade, or crack!!!

We get a lot of questions about our front door, it’s a wood door which we had custom made by Westwood Custom Windows and Doors, we then painted it a fun light blue called Athabasca by Benjamin Moore and added hardware, the Hamden entry set in satin nickel from Emtek! Ps. The pineapple pendant light and the sconces (AND the doormat) are from Wayfair and people ALWAYS as about these items as well!

Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior

I really love the siding we went with on our home. Not only do I love the look of it but it’s also super durable. It’s Allura Fibre Cement by Plygem and we painted it Oxford White from Benjamin Moore!

Then there’s the roof … Justin had his heart set on a metal roof … which is not-so-traditional, yes farmhouse-y but wouldn’t have normally been my first pick. But hey, there are two people in this relationship and I decided that this was one thing I could compromise on. So we ended up going with a light warm grey metal roof and after having it for a little while it has certainly grown on me, and everyone else LOVES it!

When it comes to our windows (we also got these from Plygem!), I’m really happy with them (and love the size) but a part of me almost wishes I would have done black frames around them for some contrast, I really struggled with this decision!! I remember wanting these windows to look like something you would see on a vintage Italian grandma’s home which is why I decided to go with the black and white striped awnings on the front of our home. I debated between shutters and awnings for the longest time but I’m happy with my decision and I think they turned out really well!!

Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior

Then there’s the YARD!! As I mentioned earlier in this post, the yard is what made us fall in love with this property. It had 3 original fruit trees that are over 40 years old!! However, with all of the construction that went on about 75% of the yard was torn up so we had to do some major work to get the yard back to looking tip top and we’re ALMOST there!! We planted 7 more fruit trees, so we now have a total of 10!! 3 cherry trees, 3 peach trees, 2 pear, and 2 apple!  We also planted a veggie garden out back, so by next year there won’t be many trips to the grocery store! ?

We’ve been lucky to have the help of the Bylands team this summer to help us get our yard looking really beautiful, we must have over 300 plants to take care of and it’s still not done but it’s a work in progress that we love!!

Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior
Jillian Harris Home Tour Series Exterior

Of course, in the backyard, we also have our pool which the team at Latham helped us customize (you can find all of our pool details here!!). This is the place where we love to hang out and make memories … especially in this hot Okanagan weather!! If we’re in need of some shade or need a break from the pool we like to kick back in our downstairs patio!! The club chairssofa, and coffee table are from Trex, ours are the colours Sand Castle and Bird’s Eye! The gorgeous ceiling is by Woodtone and all of the potlights are from Sylvania.

Alright, now that I’ve shared everything I LOVE about the exterior of our home, I do have one thing that I would change about it if I could go back in time (other than totally starting our home from scratch!!). One of my biggest regrets with this space is the fact that we went with a concrete deck, driveway and pool surround. I didn’t really want this in the first place but I was talked into it by the male influences in my life. LOL.

I find that concrete cracks and stains really easily and to me, it always looks dirty. If I could go back and redo it, I would have decided to go with an exposed aggregate, paving stone, or stamped concrete but the problem with these is that it’s harder to remove snow off of these textured surfaces but these textured surfaces also HIDE a lot of stuff … so there are definitely pros and cons to each.

I would love some feedback as to what driveway and solid surface YOU went with if you did a new build or reno … I really want to be educated and PREPARED for the “next” house lol …

That is the one thing I learned with the exterior … do your research when it comes to deciding on whether or not you want to go with concrete vs paving stone, etc. because once it’s poured there is no going back … unless, of course, you want them to go ahead and jack it all up which is … well, not the most convenient or cost effective! LOL! You’re going to want this done and you’re going to want it done right so make sure to take your time with this, go to houses and look at examples. I feel like we rushed this part of the process and now I wish we didn’t!

There you have it, ladies and gentleman!! I think all we have left to show you now is the rumpus room downstairs … the garage … and baby girls nursery and then our home tour will be COMPLETE!!!



Source List

Photographed: Mackenzie Dempsey

Electrical: Bridge Energy

Front Door: Westwood Custom Windows and Doors

Decking: Trex

Rocking Chair: Trex

Porch Swing: Trex

Pot Lights: Sylvania

Outdoor Area Rug: Wayfair

Table Lamps: Wayfair

Mirror: Anthropologie

Topiaries: Bylands Garden Centre

Planters: Bylands Garden Centre

Clock: Wayfair

Patio Table & Chairs: Canadian Tire

Umbrella: Wayfair

Loungers: Trex

Club Chair: Trex

Club Sofa: Trex

Club Coffee Table: Trex

Windows: Plygem

Siding: Plygem

Paint: Benjamin Moore Kelowna

Ceiling: Woodtone

Pool Customization: Latham

Justin and I are so excited to work with all of the above-mentioned companies throughout our renovation and we’re so grateful for partnering with some of them on this huge project of ours!!! Stay tuned for more updates!!

Leave a Reply

  1. Exterior is gorgeous! What colour Trex decking did you go with if I may ask? I am just completing my front veranda and I used pebble grey from Trex. Love it. I’m also using cement board siding by James Hardie. I’m excited for outcome. Your home is exquisite Jill. All the best with new baby girl to come….soon.

    1. Thanks for sharing your design inspiration and for your house! It turned out beautifully and I loved seeing the before and after pictures. We are building a modern farmhouse styled home in Kelowna and I’m so sad that the building guidelines don’t allow us to have white exteriors in our neighborhood: ( The white exterior looks soo amazing!!

    2. what company did you use for your white colonial posts? I am looking and cant find anything other than plain vinyl wraps.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Your home is beautiful. How far apart did you space your boxwoods along the driveway and flowerbed? We’re about to edge with boxwoods as well and I’ve read mixed opinions on spacing.

  3. When we had our concrete driveway redone we put a colored stamp concrete border around it in a darker rust tone and it looked fabulous. It does need to be sealed every other year but so worth the effort!

  4. We just got the reef liner installed in our pool and next spring we will be doing paving stones around it. So ready for it to be done, though!!!

  5. Your home is amazing Jill, is there not a paint you can put on the cement or does your cement have to be wet? I can’t remember now. I absolutely love you videos you do on Instagram and I look forward to seeing them. On one of your Instagram story’s you talked about a box you get with full-size products and the box comes from I think it was the Vancouver area, it’s like a boxe charm box. I hope your delivery is fast and everything goes smoothly for you, take care.

  6. It’s lovely Jill. I know you have a lot of experience in the design area, but when it comes to doing your own it is really hard, you did a bang up job! Love it!

  7. We used stamped concrete for our back patio. LOVE the look especially after it gets sealed with a wet look sealer every year and the texture! Big complaint is that if you get any road salt on it (like we did) it will eat through the colour and the top section of the cement and it isn’t repairable (unless you want to rip it all up and start again! No thank you!) The other down fall is it needs to be sealed every year to keep it looking good. It always looks great when sealed it’s just an added step that needs to be done. One thing we found with the sealer is it makes the surface slippery. I believe there is an additive you can add to it to provide a bit of grit so it isn’t slippery, just not sure if it will take away that “wet look”. When we were and “adult” only house we didn’t find it slippery but now with an 18 month running around on it she is slipping all the time (shoes or bare feet slip). Now that the rains have set in here in Vancouver we will have to work on he word “slowly” with her!!!(hahaha that should be interesting, she doesn’t have that speed!) Hope that gives some insight on stamped concrete. I would do it again but not in an area where road salt would come in contact with it. Love your yard and house!

  8. some people use this rubber for their pool decks! My fiances dad just got it and it’s awesome. You can pick any colour you want, and it just goes right over top of concrete, and if your little ones fall on it, it doesn’t hurt so bad! Search rubber pool deck surfacing online…

  9. Hi Jillian:
    Like you, I was undecided when it came to putting an extra large driveway in our front yard as to which material to use. I’m now wishing I had gone with stamped concrete, however I went with aggregate, and it really is a pain to keep it looking “clean!” Yes, snow removal can be testy here in southern Alberta, but it’s the dirt that arises from the winds that get me frustrated. Sticks in between the stones and I’m forever washing it down with the hose in the spring/summer. Then there’s fall…??‍♀️..all the pieces from the flowerbeds and trees…yikes! Long story, exactly like you say… your research! Congrats on the new addition to your family. ??

  10. Hi Jillian!
    I would love to know what drainage system you used between you top deck and covered patio below? We have a giant back deck that we wanted to make a weatherproof covered lower deck once we save back up some funds! I haven’t found as many options in Canada through my searching…
    Thank you for sharing your home with us!

  11. Hi Jillian, considering you’re so busy, I think you did a wonderful job and like you said there are always outside opinions…but in the future stick to your gut…if you’re questioning something it just means that you’re not sure so you might want to look at other alternatives. My husband and I have had 9 homes and my dream is to build a black and white house…black frames outside and inside and black metal roof. If I was to do my driveway the next time it would definetly be ” exposed aggregate”, love the look has texture, not slippery like stamped and always looks clean and hides imperfections and all you have to do is get it sealed every couple of years. BTW now that we have seen you on the commercial promoting Kelowna my husband and I have made it our goal to move there….if we can afford it! LOL!

  12. Your house is gorgeous! I am currently building a house on Vancouver Island and I LOVE the pineapple pendant light so much! The link you provided doesn’t work – does anyone know the exact light used so I can purchase it? Thanks!!

  13. Oh Jillian, your house is beautiful! ? I am from Brazil, and I am very happy to be able to kill my curiosity to know your house. I and my family love their work at Love It or Leave It Vancouver.Thank you for sharing, you are incredible.??

  14. I am in love with the paint color on the second photo posted here; the creamy white. Do you have any idea what paint color they used?? Thank you for any information someone may have!

  15. Hi Jill!! It’s so beautiful. Did you paint your trim the same colour white as the shakes (Oxford white?). Thank you
    Jill (my name is Jill too!)

  16. Your home is gorgeous! For your front tropiarys are they artificial? Do you know where you got them or what type of plant they are? I love the design! Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. Now that some time (and Canadian winters) have passed since you created this post, how does the white exterior hold up? It is so beautiful! I’m wondering if it is hard to maintain or keep clean? Thanks!!

  18. Hey There!!

    I’ve been using your house as my inspo for my home renovation!! I love your shaker style siding by your front door. Would you be able to tell me where it is from and the colour it is in?

    Thanks so much! xoxo

  19. What color trex decking did you use for the front porch? And did you put it in the back deck too? I am trying to convince my husband that is the color I want with pictures and would like to verify.

  20. Love love love your front door. What hight is it? I’m doing my front door but only can go 80” high. Trying to get a visual. Thank you in advance

  21. So beautiful, just reading the end about the concrete. We just finished our pool and did pavers around from permacon and I absolutely love them and the look. Our retaining walls are also made of a “lego” like system from permacon. I believe our colours are Scandina grey for surround and one shade darker for coping.

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