Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you find interesting ideas and inspiring images. Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated! Check out my facebook page.

About Me

My photo
My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Home Improvement Project - Portico and Door

Last fall, my husband and I made the decision to improve the appearance of the front of our home.  It had been built in 1989 and we had purchased in 2000.  Our only exterior improvement to the front had been to paint the stucco - a color choice we are still enjoying.  In 2004, we had added a two-story addition to the back - a "sunroom" - much evident in all of my website and eBay listings and a "poolroom" on the terrace level.  New decks were also added on both sides.  So, the back of the house looked much more impressive than the front.  We knew that someday we would be selling this house and we needed more seductive curb appeal to bring in potential buyers.  This is the story of that renovation which is now 99% complete.

We started with an interest in changing out the front door to an oversized one incorporating the two-panel door structure and the curved transom above.  I had seen a FABULOUS iron door recently on a craigslist run - it provided a major focal point to the front of this home and was the inspiration to get us moving.  The owner had used JD Glassworks link to website.  

We also knew that our front stoop had been shifting for years and needed replacement as well as at least part of the front walkway which had been buckling because of large roots.  As often happens, the project grew from that point onward!
Before Photo - Front of Home 
We contacted the general contractor we had used on our two-story project in back, Lee House, who had before and since completed other projects in our neighborhood - a well regarded contractor!  We met to discuss the project and quickly added additional elements:

a)  A cover for this great new door to prevent excess weathering - particularly since we were leaning toward using a wood/iron door combination.  This idea evolved quickly to a more extensive portico with stacked stone accents and a curved roofline mimicking the curve of the doorway.

b)  A new stone walkway to complement the stonework on the portico.

c)  A new driveway with stonework inset to (again) complement the other components of the project.

Those were the major add-ons and, of course, ramped this small project to a much more substantial one - with resultant increase in costs!!!

Our first job was to choose the stonework and we joined Lee at a Woodstock stone yard to select both the larger stones for the walk and driveway and the smaller ones for the stacked stone on the portico.

Because we were leaving for a two-week vacation, Lee reversed the usual order of work and decided to do the driveway and walkway before the portico so that our cars could be parked in the driveway and garage upon our return.  The weather (lots of rain) did not help but the work was completed to our full satisfaction!

After the walkway and driveway were completed and before the portico design could be finalized, my husband and I needed to select a front door.  We had several catalogues provided by our builder but didn't see anything that had that WOW factor I had observed earlier.  We drove around and looked at homes with larger doors and portico/porches to get a better sense of what we liked and didn't like as well as what types of combinations were most attractive on homes like ours.

After visiting various areas of the city, we drove around our own neighborhood and found exactly the style of portico we liked (literally around the corner) - so we had our overall design.  Lee worked with a architect to tweak it for our home.  We also traveled to the JD Glassworks storefront in Woodstock and found exactly the door we were looking for - a lovely combination of wood and glass and ironworks!  So, most of our decisions were made and the work proceeded.

Door Selected at JD Glassworks
Work on the portico proceeded with beautiful stonework and a graceful arch overhead.  Then we went into hibernation to wait for our door to be completed - these doors are all custom made and they said six weeks and it took at least six weeks.  (Had we known, we would have chosen the door much earlier so that the project would not need to be delayed this long.)

Other work was completed including first coat painting and installation of a metal roof.  The compliments were already coming in!!

I started changing out the interior foyer decor.  Our JD Glassworks salesman (Wes) told us that we needed to think of our new front door as a piece of fabulous furniture - and that helped a lot.  I decided to improve the quality of our foyer pieces getting rid of older antiques I had bought that were no longer attractive to me and too bulky.  I also wanted to clear as much space as possible around the door so that it could be the star!!

Work Proceeds on Front

Painted and Roof Installed - Waiting for Door 
Inside Decor
So that is the end of the story - the only items left are small touch-ups.  We do need to restore some landscaping in front as well as the planters!  We are so thrilled with the outcome, we area actually talking to Lee about a mini-renovation of our terrrace/basement level - I guess once you start, you are never truly done!!  This project is featured on this link party - Savvy Southern Style and  French Country Cottage


  1. Absolutely GORGEOUS Gerrie inside and out!! Love those doors!

  2. That is really gorgeous and I love your doors.

  3. Very stunning. It looks like it was always there.

  4. Ummmm, how did I not see this blog before? I'm your newest stalker, er, follower...

  5. Your front door is vital for creating a great first impression on your guest. So, it is only important to choose the right door that will add to your home’s curb appeal. Hmm, you can actually add door décors to make it more welcoming. And you can change out the flair every season. How about that?

    Katie Nicoll

  6. I dream of having a window and door like that! This sure is a good example of how rather different design can work well together, and create a calm exterior. Gulf Coast Windows

  7. Hey, that was really very helpful. Please share more such updates.