From vanilla to faux villa!

From vanilla to faux villa!
Guess who accidentally deleted her entire inbox today?  And then, before she realized it, deleted her entire ‘deleted’ folder? This gal. Whoopsie-doodles.  So please feel free to email me again if you’ve emailed me recently.
And please feel free to gape and gawk at this awesome project from Better After reader Sheri. Sheri had this enormous retaining wall in her tiny backyard. One day, she saw a picture of an Italian villa with bricks similar to her wall, and inspiration knocked!  So she answered by creating this awesome faux villa. It comes complete with a framed door (a $3.95 reject from Lowe’s that she painted to look like wood), windows made from scrap lumber and two layers screen, plus solar lights underneath so they look lit up at night, new landscaping, and even a door-knocker and a little flagstone path leading up to it!
She reports its now the best feature of her backyard instead of being an eyesore. I’ll say!

Here’s a look at the door before.  Seriously, $3.95?! I never find these deals.  Not that I’m going around buying random doors that often, but still.  The door isn’t actually attached to the wall, it’s mounted to the frame and anchored to the ground with post stakes.

One more look, just because I think it’s so darn clever!  Great job Sheri!

The Ugly Lamp Contest is coming soon!  Submit your ugly lamp to me at by August 10th!

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  1. Anonymous
    July 31, 2012 / 10:18 PM

    that is so darling!

  2. July 31, 2012 / 10:25 PM

    That is amazing!

  3. July 31, 2012 / 11:02 PM

    so so so cute and something I’d never think of trying myself!

  4. July 31, 2012 / 11:06 PM

    Ok that is absolutely spectacular. What a wonderful job she did. How cute to sit out there now. 🙂

  5. July 31, 2012 / 11:06 PM

    Now that’s a creative person! Excellent idea for sure.

  6. July 31, 2012 / 11:20 PM

    This is amazing! I thought the after photo was actually a house until I really looked at it. Awesome job!

  7. stephbo93
    July 31, 2012 / 11:46 PM

    What a clever idea!

  8. July 31, 2012 / 11:52 PM

    I love it!!

  9. August 1, 2012 / 12:29 AM

    I think this is my favorite After ever….ever After? Whatever…it’s spectacular! I think she needs a blog!

  10. Anonymous
    August 1, 2012 / 12:34 AM

    Ok I was totally expecting a cheesy painted mural. This is so enchanting!

  11. Anonymous
    August 1, 2012 / 3:08 AM

    Love it!

  12. August 1, 2012 / 3:19 AM

    This is such a neat project!!! Would love to see what other great ideas she comes up with! Does Sheri have a blog?

  13. August 1, 2012 / 3:29 AM

    Oh, this is very, very cool!

  14. August 1, 2012 / 3:57 AM

    OK, that is the best and cutest oh, and creative project I have seen in a long time!!


  15. August 1, 2012 / 4:02 AM

    That is brilliant!!!! She should win a prize for best yard makeover ever!!

  16. Tracy
    August 1, 2012 / 5:57 AM

    That is the most awesome thing I have ever seen. I was also expecting a mural. Fantastic! Bravo!

  17. August 1, 2012 / 1:36 PM

    Wow! I was not expecting that at all. It looks amazing. This After is def one of my faves.

  18. August 1, 2012 / 1:51 PM

    This is actually one of the coolest things I’ve seen!

  19. August 1, 2012 / 2:31 PM

    The transformation looks better now. We don’t need to be expensive in one thing if there’s an alternative and cheapest solution.

  20. Anonymous
    August 1, 2012 / 3:35 PM

    That door looks awesome! Did she mention how she made the door look like real wood? I would LOVE to do this to my front door, inside and out!!

  21. August 1, 2012 / 3:50 PM

    i swear this is cuter than the front of my actual house. the shame!

  22. August 1, 2012 / 4:19 PM

    I’d have the door open and paint something shockingly silly behind it.

  23. August 1, 2012 / 4:19 PM

    I’d have the door open and paint something shockingly silly behind it.

  24. August 1, 2012 / 4:44 PM

    Now I wish that my backyard retaining wall was MORE imposing! Maybe if I put up a miniature version of what Sheri did, it would look as though Snow White’s dwarves live in my backyard? Nah! This is an awesome example of making a punchbowl of lemonade out of a bucket of lemons! I, too, wish that Sheri had a blog!

  25. Karen G
    August 1, 2012 / 6:14 PM

    I cannot believe this actually got some hmms. This is so, so cool! What a fantastic idea, and lovely execution.

  26. August 3, 2012 / 6:45 PM

    Oh wow! That is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen for a backyard. Don’t think many would be brave enough to tackle something like this – but obviously well worth taking the plunge!

  27. August 4, 2012 / 7:57 PM

    That is awesome, but now I want to go IN it! Lol!

  28. August 5, 2012 / 2:15 AM

    Wow, that’s amazing! I’d always imagine what could be on the other side of that door!

  29. August 25, 2012 / 6:38 AM

    Wow! I love this. I wonder how many of their friends try to open the door? Ha!

  30. December 29, 2012 / 10:02 PM

    Seriously, I am amazed. Does this person have a blog or any info she would be willing to pass along? Even my hubs was impressed and that’s sayn something! Thanks, Jenny ><>..

  31. Melissa
    April 20, 2016 / 10:59 AM

    Can you PLEASE tell me where you got the faux windows from, I MUST do this on the side of my long ugly brick garage. Thank you so much

  32. April 20, 2016 / 1:46 PM

    I think she just used old windowpanes, if I remember correctly …

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