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:


  1. CassieOct 23, 20091:51 am

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


  2. BrismodOct 23, 20091:51 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.


  3. JudithOct 23, 20094:16 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!).


  4. HilaryOct 23, 20094:36 am

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


  5. Dagny @ Beautiful LiOct 23, 20095:11 am

    Wow, looks fabulous!!


  6. read me...Oct 23, 20095:55 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.


  7. MelissaOct 23, 20097:28 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.


  8. ElissaOct 23, 20097:30 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.


  9. the domestic fringeOct 23, 20098:01 am

    Love it! Very classy.


  10. Sophie@Century FindsOct 23, 20099:46 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.


  11. MKHOct 23, 20099:54 am

    Beautiful! You’ve done a great job.


  12. SFDCOct 23, 20099:59 am

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


  13. LaDonnaOct 23, 200910:09 am

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


  14. lsaspaceyOct 23, 200910:34 am

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


  15. SaraOct 23, 200910:37 am

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


  16. megOct 23, 200910:48 am

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


  17. danOct 23, 200910:52 am

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


  18. LindseyOct 23, 200910:55 am

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


  19. JulieOct 23, 200911:10 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!


  20. MichelleOct 23, 200911:37 am

    wow, the black trim is gorgeous!


  21. jessicaOct 23, 200911:37 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.


  22. heatherOct 23, 200911:42 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.


  23. marthaOct 23, 200911:56 am



  24. deeOct 23, 200911:57 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.


  25. michelleOct 23, 200912:04 pm

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


  26. MagchunkOct 23, 200912:09 pm

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


  27. KenOct 23, 200912:10 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!


  28. KaraOct 23, 200912:35 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?


  29. leniOct 23, 200912:56 pm

    i looks amazing! great job.


  30. AnnaOct 23, 20091:54 pm

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

    the black is perfect.


  31. RachelOct 23, 20091:59 pm

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


  32. Vanilla PressOct 23, 20092:44 pm

    Your house looks stunning!


  33. MaryOct 23, 20092:47 pm

    Wow – beautiful!!


  34. Amanda NicoleOct 23, 20093:08 pm

    Love loving the black trim! Good call.


  35. sweet fine day/JennaOct 23, 20093:56 pm

    the house is looking really spiffy!


  36. AverillOct 23, 20094:15 pm

    Wow. SO much better in black than forest green.

    And the new stairs look great, too!


  37. frannieOct 23, 20096:46 pm

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


  38. sarahOct 23, 200910:34 pm

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


  39. ElissaOct 24, 20099:19 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?


  40. AdamOct 24, 20093:40 pm

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


  41. Ottawa_EmptorOct 24, 20094:57 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


  42. SharonOct 24, 20095:54 pm

    The black trim is beautiful


  43. josieOct 24, 20097:54 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.


  44. DiannaOct 24, 200910:21 pm

    Your house is looking amazing.

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


  45. MondayOct 25, 200911:30 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.


  46. mondayOct 25, 200911:35 am

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


  47. Anna at D16Oct 25, 200912:57 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. :)


  48. Anna at D16Oct 25, 20091:16 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!


  49. Anna at D16Oct 25, 20091:24 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!


  50. mondayOct 25, 20093:59 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!


  51. Anna at D16Oct 25, 20099:13 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.


  52. CarolineOct 26, 20093:37 pm

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


  53. verhextOct 28, 20097:22 pm

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


  54. Down PillowOct 29, 20091:22 am

    Looks really really good! I love that little snail, too :)


  55. AprilOct 29, 20097:01 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.


  56. Michelle...Oct 30, 20092:53 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!


  57. Holyoke HomeNov 2, 200911:06 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…..


  58. belindaNov 4, 20096:35 am

    it looks amazing!


  59. moseyDec 11, 20097:20 pm

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


  60. daphneJan 6, 20105:27 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?


  61. Anna at D16Jan 6, 20106:29 pm

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


Your comment


Door Sixteen is a hate-free, drama-free, spam-free zone.
Wanna be startin' somethin'? Beat it.

Want a little picture to show up next to your comments? Go get a Gravatar!