The Stone is Done on our Exterior!

September 29, 2020

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Our exterior is this close to being done. It’s been a long PROCESS getting to this point, but we have loved taking you along for the ride in real time on Instagram. Some of the siding (more about our siding here) and trim is still going up and everything needs a second coat of paint–but we’ve heard that should all be done by Thursday. (Fingers crossed it’s true). The stone though–THE STONE IS done!!! And we couldn’t be more happy with it.

I learned a lot about exteriors through this process and especially in our talks with Shea and the Studio McGee design team. Before, our stone was placed all over the place on our house–in upper regions, lower regions and disconnected regions. Now it is grouped and makes so much more sense and I am over-the-moon with how it’s shaping up.

After the exterior materials were removed to remediate the mold. Much of the wood ALSO had to be replaced–you can see some of the rot still in place below:

When we moved in:


Isn’t it funny how the stone switched places on the front? Now the stone wraps around the larger gable to the garage and onto the side entrance of the house — which makes a lot of sense!

I can’t wait for our new garage doors!!!

The stone we used was from Creative Mines (who generously offered the product in exchange for sharing about it here) and we worked with our local stone yard (Rocky Mountain Supply!) to get the Craft Orchard Limestone in Timberwolf. We used white mortar in between each stone to soften the whole look.

We also added stone around the arch window and onto the chimney. I love the stone sill that they laid under each window that coordinates with the stone. Like, I love it.



The stone masons, a local crew, who did the work were so incredibly good and clean and FAST. I can’t believe the stone is done before the siding, but here we are. We’re excited to share more on the siding, the roofing, the trim! The windows! But the stone…the stone was such a necessary element of our Modern Cottage exterior and I couldn’t go another day without sharing photos.

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What do you think?

  1. Im obsessed with this look. So beautiful.
    What is the paint color on the siding?

  2. Stephanie says:

    So stunning! Your house is goals. I didn’t receive my love letter last night though and was dying to hear about the drama around the exterior.

  3. Sheila Kaminski says:

    I did not get my letter….BOOOOOOO. Please send?

  4. dina says:

    i just read the love letter and to be honest, I find it kind of snarky for the president to come along and present you with *expired* rules. What is that about? You 2 are truly class acts to get the signatures especially because it wasn’t required. Your house looks great! I hope for halloween you deck it our with those giant spiders crawling along the roof Just to stick it to him a little more! (I know petty!) LOL

  5. Julia says:

    Just read your love letter. Wow! We are in a similar situation as we just found out there was a covenant on the land which requires all exterior changes to be approved. This wasn’t disclosed to us at the sale. How did you find out yours was expired?

  6. Liz says:

    I just read your “love letter” about the covenant/HOA rules about the materials that had to cover the house. In my city, there were a lot of HOAs that required wood shake shingles. While they initially looked great, in the Oklahoma heat, they soon became a fire hazard. Enough people complained about the limitations that these rules were overruled due to safety reasons. A lawsuit may have been involved after some neighborhoods had significant fires and everyone wanted safer roofing materials.

    We also noticed that some of the HOA Board people were very strict in enforcing some rules while being lax over others. So, some of us decided that we would fight any unreasonable rules based on the lack of consistent enforcement.

    Another point is that you would think that these covenants should be part of the closing documents that you are given to read and sign. Or, at least the real estate agent should disclose the existence of a legal document restricting what you can do with your property. So, if you never given or made aware of restrictions, I would get after the agents. One hint is if there are some HOA dues which are allocated between seller and buyer. Stop signing things and ask for the rules! When I closed a long time ago, the seller left the documents in a kitchen drawer.

    But, I am glad you got your neighbors to agree to the changes as well as finding our that the covenants had expired before you bought the place.

  7. Diana says:


  8. Diana says:

    just in awe wow!!!!

  9. Julie S says:

    I would love to see an overhead rendering of your whole house that color codes which areas/bump-outs are stone, siding, and paneling. I’m assuming you have gone for an “implied layers of time” scenario where we imagine, as if it were hundreds of years old, the main rectangle was stone masonry, with later additions tacked on in other materials. It’s just hard to put together mentally and a visual would be such fun!

  10. Lara says:

    You can imagine my excitement when I got home from picking out my home exterior stone to find on the Creative Mine’s IG account that I had picked out the EXACT same stone I as you!! I love all the colors in the Timberwolf sample and it was exciting to see it on a large exterior space! The pictures of your home totally validate my decision! Thanks for all your inspiration Chris and Julia!

      • Erin says:

        I’ve been watching my inbox for the “love letter” about the HOA issues – did I miss it? Will you be posting it on here? If not please send it again, I would love to read how you were able to accomplish what you wanted when dealing with strict neighborhood rules!

        It looks lovely BTW!

      • Julia says:

        We actually don’t have an HOA, but there are neighborhood covenants that we weren’t aware of that required our entire exterior to be stone or masonry. Eek! So we had to go get 5 signatures from neighbors to get a variance.

  11. Grace says:

    The stone sills!!!! They are like…a perfect eyebrow. They just punctuate and frame the windows so beautifully! Love the little rainbow in the corner of the last photo as well :)

  12. Jess says:

    It looks so much more timeless and elegant than the old exterior! It’s definitely coming together, inside and out… so glad it’s almost done!

  13. Cici Haus says:

    SWOON! I used to hate, hate, hate stone (because of all the terrible McMansions) but seeing examples like you of doing it right, I’m crushing on it hard.

  14. Christina says:

    It is stunning. And I wouldn’t wish mold on anyone, but I greatly disliked your stacked stone look before…so 80s. But this is timeless…and uber European looking. It makes my heart sing. The color of the stone with the grout and the siding colors is going to become a top pinned inspiration for so many. Well done!

  15. Sarah says:

    Glow up!!!! Gorgeous

  16. Molly says:

    I’m absolutely gobsmacked at how gorgeous this is! Even from the renderings I wouldn’t have guessed that it would look so utterly amazing! The old house exterior was sad dated mcmasion, The new one is large English estate/cottage. Absolutely stunning!

  17. Catherine says:

    There it is – the total game changer. Absolutely beautiful. The siding color and that wonderful soft stone is just a match made in heaven. Enjoy!

  18. This is unbelievable!!!! I felt like I was walking around the most gorgeous hotel when you gave the IG stories tour… It’s unreal how the renderings came to life but this looks even 1000 times better than what I even pictured. I absolutely love following along with your makeovers.

  19. Kim B says:

    It is unbelievably beautiful. Wow.

  20. Anne says:

    Very elegant – it looks perfect! Did it make you consider changing out the stone in your bedroom which looks a lot darker?

  21. Aminah says:

    Soooo beautiful and stunning and moody and balanced and timeless. Really great job!

  22. Hannah says:

    I’m obsessed with the dark exterior. Is there a rule of thumb on how dark you can go based on your roof? Ours roof is a medium brown and I feel like we can’t go any darker than the roof … but maybe that’s not true?

  23. Lauren says:

    Please hold while I pick my jaw up off the floor!! Dark and moody homes hold a special place in my heart and I’m seriously in love with your exterior already ????

  24. Mary says:

    SO stunning!!!

  25. The stone is beautiful. I’ve loved following the process on IG. I’d love for you to talk more about grouping the stone and how that intentionality helps the house look cohesive and beautiful. I like the idea of it looking a bit like hey, this part was original and made of stone. This part was an addition and they used siding here. (Thinking of a more antique cottage that grew over time.) I realize that’s not the case for your modern cottage, but it’s one of the ways I like to think about using different materials on the exterior.

  26. Danna F says:

    Chris & Julia….it’s BEAUTIFUL! Love the details, colors, texture. ALL of it! I especially love the stone.

  27. Peggy says:

    The before looks 80’s; the after looks timeless. Like it’s always been that way.

  28. Blu says:

    I thought the house would look very dark but it balances out so well with the stone! Could we get a drone 360 shot of the exterior, please?

  29. Amber says:

    Couldn’t love this more! The stone just brings things to the next level! Any idea what rocky mountain supply sells the stone for per sq ft?

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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