When midcentury weekend warrior Aletha Vandermaas and her husband first found their Grand Haven, Michigan, home, it didn’t look like much. From the grimy brick façade to the stone planters overflowing with debris, the house had clearly been neglected for years. But the bones were there, and for Aletha, that was all she needed.
First things first, the house needed to get clean: “The entire exterior, including the stone patio that wraps around the house, was power washed to get rid of years of mildew buildup and grime on the stone and brick,” she explains. “I couldn’t believe how dirty things were! The stone looks brand new now.” After that, Aletha went to work freshening up the paint, lightening up the shade to emphasize the beautiful beams and roofline.
Of course, all that beautiful work means nothing if it’s shrouded behind bad landscaping, so all of the dead shrubs, mulch and debris were next to go. “We took out all of the random plants in the yard and replaced everything with grass to really put a focus on the architecture of the home,” she says. “All of the hostas were relocated to the built-in planters that run down each side of the house.”
To finish off their freshened-up midcentury home, the Vandermaases focused on small details. From cleaning up the classic “lollipop” yard light by the curb and adding classic house numbers to swapping out the old generic door for a period-style replacement, no aspect was left untouched. “A mailbox seems like such a small detail, but it really completes the look,” Aletha says. “We inherited a plastic mailbox, which we replaced with a new-issue orange Modbox.”