On Sutton Place | The Front

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

One of the things I like most about the street where we live is that it’s quiet and peaceful. The houses aren’t big but the yards are, for the most part, well-tended. Our neighborhood was built in the 1960’s and is in great shape considering its age. Our house does have a few challenges. There are a lot of trees so there is constantly debris to be dealt with in the yard. We’ve made so many updates, but there are still things that are original to the house. The windows and asphalt driveway to name two…and there are many more. In The Story of Our House, I wrote about how we came to live on this street and our journey since we moved here. Today I’m sharing the front of our house with a few updates.

summer 2012 front of house

This is a picture of our house in the summer of 2012. It really hasn’t changed that much except for one thing. Last summer we installed a new garage door. We replaced the two wooden doors with one white carriage door.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

When the project was finished, we couldn’t get over how much it updated the look of our house…and that wasn’t even the goal! The wood doors were in awful shape and the openings were very narrow. We just wanted an easier time of getting in and out.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

It was quite a process to remove the wall between the two doors because it was load-bearing. We had to put in a new beam and all new surround. I never thought I could love a garage door but I actually do! I searched on Pinterest for days trying to decide what I wanted. In the end, this was the style that suited the house best.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

The other change is in the landscaping. Two winters ago I lost mature boxwood and knock out roses. Last summer I planted the 3 limelight hydrangeas directly in front of the railing. They look a bit wild but I was afraid to prune them and cut off the blooms. They have buds right now and I can hardly wait until they burst. In front of those are little boxwood…and also some little evergreens. My hope is that in a few years I will have greens to cut at Christmas.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

On the other side of the porch are huge, mature hosta. They are the most dependable plants ever and have never failed me once. No matter how harsh the winter, they always appear like clockwork in the spring.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

Like most homes of a certain age, our home tends to look worn out now and then. It’s been known to have peeling paint or dirty windows. Some things I do a good job of keeping up with and others not so much. At the end of the day, I am just grateful I have a safe place to call home. Do I sometimes long for something newer and better? Of course.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

When that happens I try to remember the times when this house has saved me. Like when I needed to work from home and was able to center this blog around this house. Or when I struggled with the empty nest issue and projects around here helped fill my days. So I will continue to take the best care of it that I can…and try to give back all that it has given to me.

On Sutton Place | The Front Exterior | Tour of the front yard, landscaping and porch. | Ideas for updating a 1960's traditional home.

Thank you for stopping by…for your kind comments and for your friendship. I’ll see you in a few days!

Click the links to read more about the house (and the family) On Sutton Place.

The Story of Our House
Summer At Home

ann signature with bird

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  1. Bettie Binford says:

    You have a lovely home and yard. I enjoy reading your different topics.

  2. Ann Henegar says:

    Ann, I also like your house. Newer homes aren’t always the best. The fact that you appreciate and take pride in your home speaks well!!!!!!!!!!! Love all that you share on your blog.

  3. I love the last paragraph. Giving back all that its given to me. What a lovely statement, and isnt it so true! Our homes are so much more than what people see when they drive by. I am going to adopt that into my heart. And, I too like your home amd all th goodness that you’ve shared with us. Blessings to you.


  4. I love your blog. I love it because I can identify with someone who lives in a home like the majority of us. I don’t even bother reading blogs where people have 5 bedrooms..6 bathrooms etc. Some people have entryways the size of my family room. For me…not real. So, thank you for allowing us to view your beautiful home. Love it!

  5. Terri Freeman says:

    Exactly! Loved what you said about the house being tired and sometimes wanting to move. I’ve got a disease called CDRS. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
    Chronic decor rearranging Syndrome! That’s what I do when I get tire of things. Lived here 32 years. Lots of CDRS.

  6. Lois@pineridgehills says:

    Hi Ann……

    Love your home and your new garage door! Isn’t it amazing how something so functional can change the entire appearance of our homes…….

    Happy Summer!

  7. Martha N. says:

    Thanks for this post! Love how the new garage door improved the front of your house. Most of all, your words about the empty nest were reassuring as I struggle through it. Living alone is not for sissies! So many of the home blogs I see are written by young mothers in the midst of a different kind of work. I don’t really want to go back to a house full of small children, but I trying to find a new way to live solo. Thanks for encouraging us and being real!

  8. Ann I never knew you changed out the garage door and I LOVE it, it sure did make a big difference in the appearance of the home. Your landscaping sure looks terrific too. I lost my hydrangeas and knockout roses last winter :( We have a few things to complete on our home before it goes on the market, I think keeping up a house never ends.

  9. Your house is beautiful, Ann. I love the Beaver Cleaver traditional look of it…like a big welcoming hug!

  10. Marcy Ray says:

    Ann your home is so welcoming because it is well tended with love and care. The garage door does accent your beautiful home and adds such charm. Thank you for sharing your creativity~!

  11. Ann,
    What an inspiration you are to so many …
    I was the proud owner of a brand new home and began to fill it with all the things that I loved, but someone in my former life decided to take that joy away from me. I am in the process of beginning my new life and waiting to close on a (new to me ) home. You inspire me so much and I just can’t wait to read your blog to see what you have done to your beautiful home/garden. Thanks so much !!

  12. I love your house- and it’s because you’ve made it a home! The garage door was absolutely perfect! The landscaping is darling, and how you decorate is beautiful!!! Every time I see the inside of your home, I think “timeless”. Something you’ll never get tired of! To me, that’s important because I don’t want to be changing major stuff all the time. I think your home is beautiful, comfortable, and classy:D

  13. Garage door looks wonderful! Really does update your beautiful home! Love the olive bucket (?) planters by your front door too!

  14. Francis C. Moore says:

    Love, love your home. Beautiful landscaping.

  15. Hi Ann, You may already know this but I have read that pruning your Limelight hydrangea heavily in the fall will help to make the shrub bushier in the spring. Since Limelight blooms on “old” stems pruning just after all your blooms are gone, for the season, is the best time. Pruning in the fall will eliminate risking cutting off next years flowers. Your house looks great and your new garage door is fabulous! Vikki in VA

  16. Michelle Mortensen says:

    Thank you, Ann, for sharing your personal thoughts and feelings about your home. Due to a variety of circumstances, my family and I had to move to a much smaller and older home three years ago. Then, my on-going health issues caused me to take a leave of absence from my job as a school teacher. I was sad – however, like you, my house saved me. I have enjoyed turning my little cottage into a home. I have received such joy from creating my blog and becoming familiar with the home decor blogging community. My home is where my heart is!
    Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com

  17. Marijean Jenson says:

    I absolutely love the look of your home. I don’t think your house looks dated. I much prefer a home like yours as opposed to some of the huge homes they build nowadays.

  18. Jeanette Duke says:

    Ann, I feel the same as you about my own house. It is 40 years old been remodeled, updated, landscaped and now paid for and to me now at 65 that is one good thing! It is a ranch and also a perfect size as our family is not too large anymore. I would have loved a larger home maybe some years ago but I have become very comfortable in my home. I think our daughter would have a fit if we moved! We aren’t very far from her and the grands! I think while our houses may not be so grand they are filled with such lovely memories I think we would have a hard time with a move. I am thankful, happy and as far as I know healthy so for now I will be content in my quiet little neighborhood and it appears you are too.

    1. Reading about your home and all you’ve done is like talking to my girlfriend about recent projects around our place. We recently did some updating with paint and of course that lead to new lamps, artwork, etc!
      Love your home and your blog and enjoy it very much.

  19. It is lovely to know our homes, though not always the showrooms we may want, are still our heaven on earth because of the love in it!!

  20. Your house is beautiful! And it feels like home, I love it. We aren’t in the house we long for either, but ours also fulfills so many needs and has served us so well.

  21. sandy neither says:

    Finding projects when faced with the empty nest
    thing we go through was a bit tough at first but I did
    as you and your front yard is just perfect. I just love
    the rockers on the porch.. I’ve been looking for two
    to put on mine this past few weeks… enjoyed your
    post.. Happy Summer!

  22. Your home is absolutely lovely. I love your style and you have great taste. Photography is always wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I especially love the color of your front door. I recently remarried and moved into my husband’s house. I am trying to convince him to change the exterior colors of our house. Love that blue for the door.

    1. Susan Gowen says:

      If your home is typical of others on your street, I am amazed you think they are not big. From my point of view, a house would have to be under about 1500 sq. ft. to qualify as not big — yours looks to be twice that — and under 800 sq. ft. to be considered small. But I have heard that the average American home is larger than the average Canadian home. No doubt my own experience affects my perspective.
      However you describe its size, your home looks very inviting. Your yard is something else again: enormous! And caring for it daunting.

  23. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I love your house and understand what you are saying but,i truly believe paint and bushes or flowers can help.

  24. I enjoyed your post about your front. Our home was built in 1962, so I understand how you feel. There is always something to do but how fulfilling that can be. It is such a great feeling when a home project comes together. Thank you for sharing your home with us. Tina

  25. Tracy Glass says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Ann. Thank you for sharing these sentiments about your lovely home.

  26. Hi Ann, I LOVE the new garage door. Your home is an exact copy of the home my parents built in Omaha in the 60’s! The only difference was your triple window in front, where our living room was, had a large bow window, but I prefer bay windows with window seats.

    I am in that last stage of life with grandchildren and grown kids. I am single in a large house so it gives me plenty of projects. For today, anyway, I have given up on losing weight and I do plan to exercise more. Harder to do, however, since I still work full time. I love your blog and love to see your great projects! Thanks!

  27. I like the way you care about your house. It is an emotion that has passed out of use for many young people, who are mostly looking for something bigger and better.

  28. Chloe Crabtree says:

    Your home is lovely. The new garage door is beautiful and what a project it must have been with that beam between the original doors being a supporting beam. It looks like it was worth it with the updated door you got. I would love it if you would stop by and share this over at my new link party at Celebrate and Decorate!

  29. Ella Hosea says:

    I love homes like yours. I live in Florida and we have so many “new” subdivisions with small yards and the homes all look the same. Don’t get me wrong, I was born and raised here but love homes that are not typical “Florida” homes just like yours. I love your blog too. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Judy Clark says:

    Ann – Your home is gorgeous! I always enjoy when you show photos of your beautiful home. It is good for us to appreciate what we have, isn’t it?


    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes Judy…we all need reminded to count our blessings. :)

  31. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    Wow, Ann. I can’t believe what a huge difference the new garage door makes to the curb appeal to your home. Your house is so pretty!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Ricki Jill!
      Thank you…it’s so nice to hear from you. Hope all is well!

  32. Ann, you have a beautiful home. Our home is a small ranch, but we bought this house when we were only 22 yrs. old (my husband and I are the same age) and our children grew up here and now are grandchildren are enjoying our home and beautiful wooded area. We have almost 2 acres. Over the years we have made countless updates and changes and I love this home because it is our style. Would I love a larger home? Yes, but I would have a hard time leaving what we have done to make this our home!

  33. Janelleholt1 says:

    thank you for sharing Ann love your posts and all your ideas

  34. Debbie Lorson says:

    Very beautiful and well maintained. Houses are and will be a lot of work, but we also gain
    a lot of pride from them. I totally enjoy your blog.

  35. Ann your home is timeless, classic, and beautiful. I’ve loved everything about it since I discovered your Blog. Reminds me so much of one of my lovely Illinois homes. Love your garage doors!! What an impact; charming but classy. Always look forward to your posts.

  36. Beth Beard says:

    Your home is beautiful Ann! I love everything about it.

  37. Your front porch is one of my favorites in blogland! What a tranquil setting. I love the older neighborhoods with bigger lawns with the older trees. the garage door is such a look changer! I would love to sit in your rockers and look out at your beautiful hostas and day lilies. What a beautiful story you share.

  38. Ann, your house is beautiful and you have done a great job of keeping it up. I look forward to reading your blog and looking at your nice home.


  39. Your home and gardens are lovely, Ann! I just love your use of blue and yellow and am slowly updating our decor with those colors. Your post with several pillows on the your couch is an inspirational photo on my living room Pinterest board.

    Thanks for sharing the links to the posts about the empty nest and weight loss/health issues. Our paths in this season have been very similar:

    Although my precious hubby of 37 years is still with me, I still sometimes miss my children and grandchildren so much my chest aches.

    I, too, have gained and lost the same 20 pounds several times, but this time I’m determined to make it stick. You’re right: don’t let the trigger foods into the house!

    Now I’m embarking on incorporating more movement and exercise into my lifestyle. I figure that if I add this one new habit, as I did the healthy eating last school year, by next summer I’ll be more toned and fit, mentally and physically. I want to be a loving, healthy, fun, gracious, and wise wife/mom/grandma.

    Come on, girlfriend! We’ve got this!

    Blessings, Karen from Oregon

    PS-Just a bit jealous of your cute walking partner. Hoping to get my dear husband out with me. :o)

    1. Karen,

      You write so many truths … I can very much relate to the heartache. No grandkids yet in my life – just a grand dog but with both kids out of state it’s tough.
      But I have an amazing husband and home I have fallen in love with all over again as we refresh things a bit.

      The weight thing – so frustrating. I don’t know about you but baking brings me comfort and so does sugar in general. Working on reducing and letting that go.
      I read a wonderful quote in a magazine, “tell your mind to get out of your body’s way”. I have this posted on my computer so I read it several times a day.

      I know I can gather up the willpower I just need a swift boot in the butt.

  40. Vanessa D. says:

    That garage door made a huge difference!

    I live in an old winterized cottage that was originally built to only serve as a place for summer vacations. It has it’s quirks and still needs a ton of work but like you I love my home.

  41. Your home and landscaping are beautiful and your garage door looks great with the house! I planted a hydrangna too and was so happy when I cleared the winter leaves away it was growin, no blooms yet but hopefully next year!

  42. Love this post. Love your home…so welcoming! We lost quite a few evergreens ourselves, two years ago…and have slowly replaced them. Wish I had thought about lime lights in the front yard, I’ll bet yours are going to look beautiful…need pics when they bloom please! We’ve lived in our 70’s home for 32 years…not perfect either…but it has provided us a wonderful home in which to raise our boys. Guess we just keep showering love on our homes…so that in the future, some other family can have a great house! ;)

  43. Nancie Kachenmeister says:

    Your home is just beautiful, Ann! It reminds me of one of the Ohio houses we lived in before moving to Florida twelve years ago! I still think of that house often. I cherish all the joy and memories we shared there with our children who are all grown now and on their own. I love to see photos of gardens for inspiration, and yours are amazing! I especially love things that flower. Can’t wait to see those limelight hydrangeas in bloom. Have a blessed weekend!

  44. Ann,

    I love the new garage door and the quaintness of your home. You will LOVE the hydrangeas. I have three plants in my yard. So true those dependable hostas are a joy to have. Our sometimes harsh Minnesota winters can’t do them in.

    We built our home 27 years and raised two amazing boys. You are so right about the projects keeping us busy during the transition to empty nest. Oh my. I’m actually sitting in my oldest son’s bedroom as I write this…he still uses it when home for a visit as he is out of state at grad school. I will share… for a long time it was difficult to sit in either of my boys rooms without a feeling of emptiness. A year from now a wedding for the oldest and the youngest will start grad school. This time however I have a feeling bedroom furniture, their desks and the like will be leaving the space. HMMM – just not going to think about it right now.

    Lately we have taken on refreshing the home and my best inspiration has come from blogs such as yours. I appreciate all your hard work and inspiration.

  45. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    What a difference those garage doors made! Take pictures when your hydrangeas bloom!

  46. Joleen Boeckel says:

    Your house is beautiful and well maintained for its age! And from what I have seen from the inside its beautiful as well! I live in a newer house in hot hot Arizona and I see pictures like yours and I am envious of the lush greenery and plants…it reminds me of the five years I lived in No Carolina…
    I think what I am trying to say is that we all have a tendency to want something we don’t have, but when it comes right down to it we realize that what we have is exactly right for us…and perfect!

  47. Your home is beautiful, it truly looks like a home filled with love and memories.
    Isn’t it amazing what a new garage door can do for a home. I remember when we replaced ours I really didn’t think it needed replacing, but my husband insisted it did, so I picked out one I liked. I could not believe how much better the house looked. Now we need to replace windows.
    When you own a home with any age on it you are always replacing, updating, painting, but it is your home and it is worth all the hard work.
    Love your landscaping, gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it next year.

  48. Dear Ann, I so enjoy your postings…you are so real and make such a
    connection with my own “making a home”.
    Love reading your conversation with us “friends”.

  49. Barbie Bertke says:

    Hi Ann,
    This avery touching story about your house. I feel the same way about mine. I think we all have tendency to want somthing better than what we have. In the end, it is my home that I have poured much love into. I would not want to live anywhere else, except maybe closer to my kids. have a great day.

  50. Thanks for pictures of your home. I think it’s lovely! I’ve bounced around the idea of a different house but always come back to where I am today and the work I’ve done to make this house my own. Continue to love and cherish it! I think it’s a beauty!

  51. Good morning Ann. Our houses are of similar age and style. My husband and I built this house when we were 24 years old. A leap of faith at the time because in the middle of the process he lost his job. But we kept going, financially strained, but onward. In our retirement years we question the reasons why we stay here with 7 acres of property to care for. When we are in the city He mostly hints that we need to sell and move into one of the sleek new hi rise condo’s. We have also done lots of updates in the last few years but there are more to come. I don’t think I can leave for many reasons but mostly because this is home. Your photo’s are lovely and remind me that the Winter damage needs to be addressed this Fall as well. You new landscaping is giving me ideas, thank you. Never ending process but again, we keep going.

  52. Ann,
    Your home is hands down my favorite in all of Blogland. I love how your color scheme flows seamlessly from room to room, how you always have just the perfect amount of accessories in each room, and most of all, how it looks like a well-loved HOME. Thanks for sharing your talents and your beautiful home with all of us each and every day!

  53. I loved reading your post as it made me think of my home in the same light. Thank you for making me smile with a little teary-eyed glint!

  54. I love your home. You can tell it’s well taken care of. It looks like a home that has been filled with love and good memories!

  55. So often I begin to wish for more in my house. How I “would have done things differently when we built our house”….BUT I step back and thank God for what I DO have and all it right with my home. The most important thing about the home we live in is the people who walk through the door. Your home is beautiful and I enjoy you sharing your crafts, talents and writings. Have a wonderful Sunday…

  56. Our home has had similar changes since we built in August of 1979. I am grateful for the many memories my husband and children still share of the celebrations held at this home. Thank you for sharing your home and decor style. I have used so many of your inspirations in my home.

  57. Irene johnson says:

    Good morning, Ann.
    Thank you for today’s visit with me. Don’t want to go into details, but you calmed my spirit this morning by helping me to see our home with new eyes and a more joyful heart.
    Blessings to you and yours —
    Irene J.

  58. i have not been following long enoUgh to know your story. Thank you for this most insightful post. Your home, your style, is a favorite of mine and one I would Love to emulate. I look forward to every post. I envy you for how well edited your home is which I find refreshing but know I will never have the discipline to accomplish in our home. Being a seamstress myself, you tutor Me to scale back and let the simplicity speak to reveal the beauty. How meaningful it is to read of the importance of your home’s role in the struggles and desires you’ve had.

  59. I think your home is just beautiful. I appreciate your willingness to share your home, your heart and projects with us through your blog; you have inspired me in many ways.

  60. Sherry Fram says:

    Love your front door color & the porch!

  61. luigia buonocore says:

    Hellow Ann, I’m a italian’s teacher…Wishes for your wonderful house…nice to you at soon, cordially Luigia Buonocore

  62. Lovely and warm – thanks for sharing your thoughts! Jan

  63. Kathleen G says:

    Reading your story and comments, it is reminder to be grateful of what we have. Your updated garage door is very nice. We need to replace our windows too. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll clean them:). Ann, I love your blog, reading it for a long time. Hope you had a nice Independence Day. Love your home and hugs to Kelly. Kathleen in Az

  64. Hi Ann, Your home is wonderful and so are the plantings. I love hostas since they always return in the spring and don’t need to be divided. My house was built in the 60s and I have lived here for 12 years. I also changed my garage doors a year ago and they are white carriage doors. I felt they changed the front of my house dramatically, too. Always enjoy your front door wreaths.

  65. Hi Ann! Oh, your home is so lovely and I can imagine how much easier it is to get into your garage with the new door. It looks so nice. Love your landscaping. Just a very pretty home. Hope you had a wonderful 4th.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;O

  66. Your home is lovely Ann. It reminds me of ours as it was built around the same time in a lovely neighborhood. We are truely blessed!!

  67. Mary Choi says:

    I love your house and that you cherish it. We don’t always need bigger or newer…we just need to appreciate our blessings.

  68. Heather B. says:

    Ann, your post today is beautiful! Your honesty and emotion is evident of your love for your home that has “reinvented” you as you have reinvented it! A nice analogy.
    My home was built in the 1980s and was “vintage” (untouched) when we bought it 5 years ago. Slowly (like you) we are transforming it to reflect us. Your blog has inspired me in so many ways – both personally and decorating/baking.
    Hugs, Heather

  69. Ann
    You have a beautiful home and yard!
    We just got a new garage door also and I opted for just a plain Jane door, oh how I really wish I would have gotten more of the garage style door that is more decorative! But at the time the price was what I was concerned over as this is a huge door with all the new trimmings! But I’m very thankful for the “simple” door I have, just wish maybe it could be “cuter”?
    My boxwood’s also died a couple winters ago, I’m in Iowa. I too had to replace, I choose the Fineline Buckthorn.
    Love your blue door!

    1. Ella Hosea says:

      You can buy a kit at Lowes or Home Depot which has black handles and hinges for the carriage door look. It really adds a lot more character for less than $20.

  70. Dorene @ Seasonal Chapters says:

    Hi Ann,
    I love your blog and this post. I fully believe that “Home is where your story begins”, and although it may not always be perfect, and there are always projects to be done, it is a place to build memories and that provides comfort. Your yard is beautiful and the new garage door looks great. Thank you for the inspiration you provide!

  71. Mary Alice Kenley says:

    I LOVE this post, Ann! I remember you also said you have some health issues. There is nothing more gratifying than letting your house enfold you when you are feeling less than max. I haven’t gone back yet to read the story of your house, but I do remember my initial tour, and I love it. Our house, like yours, isn’t new, and there of lots of things that make me sigh, but it is home. I don’t do a blog, and I’m certainly not the decorator you are, but it is home to us and we love it. You are right; we are two blessed girls to have a place to call home.