Modern Exterior Design for Chelsea’s Mid-Century Home

In this episode, we’re focusing on improving the exterior design of Chelsea’s ranch-style home. 

Several months ago, Chelsea and her husband Brandon bought a mid-century house. They have already done some minor updates before moving in with their three children, Gus, Mary Helen and Lucy. 

Now that they have been living in the home for a while, Chelsea and Brandon are ready for some bigger projects that will really make a difference. 

We’re giving the exterior of Chelsea’s home a facelift from the 1950s and bringing it into this century!

“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf install wood shakes over a gable.
Installing wood shakes over this eyesore of a gable is one of the first things on our to-do list.

Refreshing the Gable

The gable on Chelsea’s home is big, pink and, well, an eyesore. So we’re going to do something about it! 

Nailing cedar shades directly into the stucco isn’t an option, so we install 1-by-4’s on the stucco and nail the shakes into the 1-by-4’s. 

We use Titebond Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive to provide most of the support for the shakes, and follow up with the nails. 

These shakes are going nowhere, and they look so stylish! 

Chelsea's new windows
Chelsea’s new JELD-WEN windows add a huge difference to her home’s exterior appearance.

Replacing the Windows

Chelsea and Brandon’s home was built in 1956, so replacing the windows — originals to the place— is a must. The old windows were rusty and leaky — keeping them was out of the question.

After we take measurements, Low-E, energy-efficient JELD-WEN windows are installed around the perimeter of the house and sealed.

The windows are sealed with Duramaster, a super-flexible new caulk, to keep them air and watertight.

Chelsea's new garage doors
Chelsea’s new garage doors she built with Danny give her garage some modern flare.

New Garage Doors

Just like the windows, the garage door was old, rusting and leaking. 

Chelsea and I built the new garage doors using wood planks in a diagonal pattern for that modern look. As soon as we install the new doors, Chelsea gets busy sanding and staining them. 

She chose a natural stain to bring out the grain in the wood as well as protect them from the elements.

Chelsea painting the new shutters for her home
Chelsea paints her new shutters to complement the windows of her home.

Painting the Shutters

By replacing the windows, we also needed some new shutters to complement them. Chelsea chooses to paint the shutters a warm brownish-gray color by Behr. 

Once Chelsea paints the shutters, we start installing the mounting hardware and begin to hang the shutters around the perimeter.

Laying Sod

The grass was worse for the wear, so Chelsea and Brandon decided to pull it all up and start from scratch. Like we always say, “Do it right, sleep at night!” 

Laying sod is pretty easy. First, you till the land. Then, you water it, and then you lay the sod and you flatten it. 

Of course, it’s much easier with a team helping you. 

“Today’s Homeowner” co-host Chelsea Lipford Wolf’s home was drab before the renovation.

Production Thoughts

Chelsea’s house was built in 1956 and it didn’t look like much had changed since then.

The color was kind of “Blah,” the windows were rusty and leaky, as was the garage door, and the lawn and landscaping were a little out-of-control.

There was really nothing to draw your eyes or make you take notice of the place.

But NOW, the whole corner seems to be alive and begging for attention. The new color on the walls is cheerful and bright and the new windows have the clean, modern look that Chelsea wanted, plus a lot more efficiency.

New shutters continue that crisp look, and the new front door adds warmth and character to the house, along with the cedar shakes on the front gable and the new garage doors around the back.

The exterior updates of Chelsea’s house really took her curb appeal to the next level. It now has a welcoming feel to the home and has brought this mid-century home back to life. 

Other Tips from This Episode

Joe measuring jig

Simple Solutions

DIY Center Finder for Woodworking Projects

Google Nest Thermostat

Best New Products

Google Nest Smart Thermostat


Further Reading


  1. I watch every show you guys have on. If I’m not home it gets recorded. I love the two of you together.
    It reminds me of helping my father every chance I got. I learned a lot about repairs, no so much on remodeling!
    But I am picking up some good ideas and pointers from your show. You are so good at explaining things, makes you want to just jump right in. Love the show@

    • Glad you enjoyed the show, Rosa. Chelsea’s home exterior was painted with a 50-50 mix of Benjamin Moore’s Misted Green and Greyhound.

  2. I absolutely love the show. It shows simple remodeling that some of us can take on ourselves and what we should hire out that we should not take on. I love the dynamic of Dan and his daughter Chelsea. Thank you so much for bringing this to us!

  3. Can you share a step by step plan for the new garage doors you built? The garage door we have is one solid door, you push it out at the bottom to slide up on the tracks. I can’t open it and twice it has closed on it’s own. Thankfully no one has been hurt.

    • Hi, Candace,
      Plans for this project are not available for distribution, but we’re glad that this project inspired you! That’s always our mission. 🙂 We recommend searching YouTube and Pinterest for similar projects with step-by-step directions.
      In the meantime, we’re always looking for homeowners to call into our radio show and ask questions directly to Danny and Joe. We’ve reviewed your question and shared it with our radio producer. Your garage door’s problem may be a simple fix.
      Take care!

  4. How would I be chosen for a segment on your show? I live in Marietta, Georgia outside Atlanta. I own a townhome that needs updating. Especially the master bath. Thank you kindly.

  5. They aren’t carrying Today’s Homeowner on our Macon, GA Station anymore. It says Today’s Homeowner, but is some sort of news show! So we’re streaming is on Amazon Prime! Watching it from the beginning. So interesting to see how things have changed! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here