HOUSE: Newburgh

Yay! Black trim!

First of all, thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes yesterday. They are much appreciated. I had a very nice, low-key birthday (just how I like it). Evan gave me the supercute J.A. snail box I’ve had my eye on, and we had mini-red velvet Bundt cakes from Junior’s. Yerrrmy!

I’m on a mini-vacation until Monday, but here are some photos of the exterior of my house, now with black trim (Benjamin Moore Black Beauty)! Keep in mind that the windows still need to be repaired and painted, and the stair treads still need to be stained to match the porch ceiling.




And a before picture, for comparison. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but we’ve also had the bricks cleaned and repointed. Oh! And that ironwork on top of the porch? We had it sandblasted (it was really rusty) and powdercoated (by the same guys that did our bathtub, sink, and radiators!) in black. It looks great.

Bye-bye peeling, discolored, forest green paint! ICK:


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  • Reply Cassie October 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

    You guys have been busy. The place looks sharp! It’s so great you were able to preserve the ironwork.

  • Reply Brismod October 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Fabulous. The black and the new steps treads are great. We have peeling heritage green trim on our place – it’s not a good look.

  • Reply Judith October 23, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Wow, it’s incredible what you’ve done to the exterior of your house! It looks so chique and sophisticated now, I’m totally impressed (especialle when I’m looking at my own loooooong list of house projects – yet to be started!).

  • Reply Hilary October 23, 2009 at 4:36 am

    It really looks fantastic, the black makes all the details so clear and smart, fab!

  • Reply Dagny @ Beautiful Li October 23, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Wow, looks fabulous!!

  • Reply read me... October 23, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Anna, looks fabulous already! I thought of you in Rob Ryan’s Ryantown last week… he’s gone all black & white for 6 weeks. The store looks wonderful…

    Belated birthday wishes.

  • Reply Melissa October 23, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Great Job. I love what you’re doing to your home.

    I’m struggling with figuring out to repair my front porch (the floor boards need to be replaced) with still being able to support the roof above the porch.

  • Reply Elissa October 23, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Wow, looks fantastic! The black looks so classy! The repointing really helps too. Have you figured out how you are going to deal with rain at the porch? It looks sooo much better without the white gutter and downspout.

  • Reply the domestic fringe October 23, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Love it! Very classy.

  • Reply Sophie@Century Finds October 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Wow. Subtle changes which make all the difference! The exterior really hints at the amazing interior now.

    I love the black on the steps. That really pops.

  • Reply MKH October 23, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Beautiful! You’ve done a great job.

  • Reply SFDC October 23, 2009 at 9:59 am

    You can definitely see the difference in the brick. Everything looks lovely. Well done!

  • Reply LaDonna October 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I like it, looks sort of gothic like that Victorian (Peacock hill?) from Budget Living magazine.

  • Reply lsaspacey October 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Is it really a true black or more of a dark or gunmetal gray? That’s what it looks like on my monitor.

  • Reply Sara October 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Stunning, kudos for keeping all the original structures. I think your choice of black is so perfect…your house is definitely happier now!

  • Reply meg October 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Fantastic! Love black trim on old edwardian homes – you have a fabulous sense of aesthetic I must say. Happy belated birthday!

  • Reply dan October 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

    It’s all so beautiful.
    I love your exterior door. Is it original to the house?

  • Reply Lindsey October 23, 2009 at 10:55 am

    The stairs look pretty spiffy too! I’m pretty jealous of the whole thing.

  • Reply Julie October 23, 2009 at 11:10 am

    The house looks great, Anna! It is definitely starting to look more on par with the interior.

    What color Jonathan Adler snail box did you get? I have the white one and I love it!

  • Reply Michelle October 23, 2009 at 11:37 am

    wow, the black trim is gorgeous!

  • Reply jessica October 23, 2009 at 11:37 am

    LOVE IT/// your house has so much presence! If it could talk it would be like “Yeah, here I am.” Sort of gangster in the best way.

  • Reply heather October 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    STUNNING. I really like “Black Beauty” – not too black and just perfect.
    That old forest green is funny – I think it’s on every old house! I have it around my window screens and my house was never even painted green.
    Your house looks so happy.

  • Reply martha October 23, 2009 at 11:56 am


  • Reply dee October 23, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Wowee. Your house looks beautiful- BOT (Beautiful Old Thing). I think she is happy she got a classy make-over.
    Have you seen the Architectural Digest issue featuring Michael Jackson’s home? I saw it on display at a magazine shop the other day and thought of you.

  • Reply michelle October 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    great job on this, it looks perfectly suited to the house

  • Reply Magchunk October 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I love it! It looks about a million times more loved and cohesive. Excellent job!

  • Reply Ken October 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    What a gorgeous job. Thank you for posting photos as the project has progressed. It’s been fun to follow. BTW – I took a tip from you and painted three rooms in Moonlight white and love it. It makes every color seem jewel like.

    Enjoy your beautiful home!

  • Reply Kara October 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I love the black. I’ve been considering going black on the exterior of my house too.

    That snail box is so cute! What are you going to put inside?

  • Reply leni October 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    i looks amazing! great job.

  • Reply Anna October 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    oooooh. I like. Those stairs look fabulous, and will look even more so once the staining is done.

    the black is perfect.

  • Reply Rachel October 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations Anna. That looks wonderfuly smart – what an improvement and such hard work. So lovely!

  • Reply Vanilla Press October 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Your house looks stunning!

  • Reply Mary October 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Wow – beautiful!!

  • Reply Amanda Nicole October 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Love loving the black trim! Good call.

  • Reply sweet fine day/Jenna October 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    the house is looking really spiffy!

  • Reply Averill October 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Wow. SO much better in black than forest green.

    And the new stairs look great, too!

  • Reply frannie October 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    ugh…i LOVE the black trim. it looks amazing.
    i was going to say- shades of “peacock hill”, too. and i adore that.

  • Reply sarah October 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    anna, it looks beautiful! you have done a wonderful job. xo

  • Reply Elissa October 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I just had to come back and look at it again it looks so fantastic! On an unrelated note, I found an old Mulhauser Plycraft chair on the side of the road that I am fixing up. The wood looks like it could use some oil to freshen it up. Where can I get Danish Oil? Do they sell it at a hardware store or do I have to go somewhere special?

  • Reply Adam October 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Anna it looks stunning! What a difference. I definitely think you made the right choice. What color snail box did you get?

  • Reply Ottawa_Emptor October 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Hey Anna!

    I don’t know if anyone pointed this out to you yet, but I suspect you’ll like all the black and white!

    — Janine

  • Reply Sharon October 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    The black trim is beautiful

  • Reply josie October 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Wow! Your house looks amazing! The black trim has made a huge difference and I like how the porch ceiling and house numbers are little highlights.

  • Reply Dianna October 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Your house is looking amazing.

    Sprucing with paint makes a huge difference. Major construction isn’t always needed.

  • Reply Monday October 25, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Conceptually i understand the desire to have black trim, but on your house it looks a bit Halloweenish. I like it best on houses form mid 20 century.
    You can fix the Adams family look by using one large ceramic planter that would give the space a pop of color on your stoop.

  • Reply monday October 25, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Paint the front door a color. or the steps orange.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Elissa: We’ve since had a gutter (painted the same black as the trim) discreetly installed along the porch roof line, and we’ll be hanging a copper rain chain instead of a downspout. The porch roof shingles are cement (Hardie), so water can safely run down the slope into the gutter. The gutters on the main (flat) roof are integrated into the cornice, so they’re invisible unless you’re on top of the house.

    LaDonna: I adore Peacock Hill! Here’s my post from a while back. 🙂

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    lsaspacey: Black Beauty looks different depending on the light. It’s not quite as gray as what I think of us gunmetal, but more like the color of wrought iron. Definitely not a true black, though.

    Dan: Yes, the door is original to the house.

    Julie/Adam: I got the black/gray snail box. I have a vase in the same finish. I love the white, too, but there’s so much white in my house already…nice to add some black stuff. 🙂

    dee: I have the Arch Digest issue, but it’s really poorly done. The text is a reprint of an article written for another mag several months ago, the house photos are from before MJ owned the property (pre-Neverland), and the Harry Benson photos have already been printed in so many other magazines. It’s obvious they just threw together whatever they could find and use cheaply just to make a quick buck like everyone else.

    Kara: I’m not sure…depends what room it winds up in. 🙂

    Elissa: You can get Danish oil (or teak oil) at most any hardware store or paint store. Before doing that, though, I recommend trying Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax. You may find that’s all you need!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 25, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Monday: This is a Victorian house, which is why you’re reacting to it as being “Halloween-ish” — not because it has black trim (which is totally appropriate on a Victorian house). And I think I’ll pass on orange stairs (talk about Halloween-ish…yikes)!

    IMO, looking like the house on the Addams family is something worth playing up, anyway. That house was amazing! Classic Victorian architecture!

  • Reply monday October 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’m glad you played with my comment. I love the Adams family black trim Victorian pic.
    My intention was playful, not insulting and I’m glad that it came across as such.

    I’m a real fan of your clean crisp aesthetic sensibilities. As well I’m the parent of Purchase alumni. 🙂
    And Art college alumni myself.

    A bit of chartreuse maybe? Maybe that is my fantasy stoop black trim and a color 🙂
    Your hard work is really showing on your home. Best to you!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Monday: No bright colors in this case, sorry — even if I wanted to introduce another color, it’s not a possibility. Everything has to be done within local historical guidelines, and we had to go through an approval process with a review board before we could do anything to the exterior of our house.

  • Reply Caroline October 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    your black trim looks AMAAAAYZING!
    your home is entirely you and lovely. 🙂

  • Reply verhext October 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    love it love it love it! you must do a little skip when you walk up to it now!!!

  • Reply Down Pillow October 29, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Looks really really good! I love that little snail, too 🙂

  • Reply April October 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    We are thinking of having our brick cleaned and repointed as well. I’d love to hear about your experience and any advice you have, esp. regarding cost and finding the right person for the job.

  • Reply Michelle... October 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to see it with the windows completed…you’re SOOO lucky that no one ever replaced them with nasty white vinyl ones (which happen to look particularly terrible on brick buildings)!

    Just cruised through the archives and all the lovely projects you’ve done on your great house (both bathrooms are to die for, by the way)…love your blog!

  • Reply Holyoke Home November 2, 2009 at 11:06 am

    The difference between before and after is nothing short of ass-TOUNDING. Oh my. And the honey porch ceiling? My eyes are burning with jealousy. Some day…..

  • Reply belinda November 4, 2009 at 6:35 am

    it looks amazing!

  • Reply mosey December 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    wow! what a gorgeous place you have! And the new black detailing is wonderful!! great blog too by the way 🙂

  • Reply daphne January 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Love the black but I’m equally as intrigued by your plants. I’ve been seeing that color combo a lot lately and I’m loving it. Can you tell me what kind of plants those are?

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    There are a lot of plants in these photos, Daphne! Can you tell me which ones you’re wondering about?

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