Homeowners are continuing to invest in updating their front porches. These exterior facelifts can offer a peek at the design and personality of the home behind the front door.
Back when Hannah Jansma was attending college, her parents gave her the option of renting campus housing on her own dime or moving into a foreclosed home they’d purchased and planned on flipping. The catch? Hannah had to pitch in and help tackle the renovation—demolition, painting, removing carpet, you name it. That’s when Hannah fell in love with renovating and home design. “It changed the whole trajectory of my career,” she says.
After flipping two houses alongside her parents, Hannah began documenting the process on a blog. She started gaining a lot of people’s attention, including her eventual husband. “One of my girlfriends shared [my blog] on her Facebook and this guy saw it and actually messaged me online—and we went out on a date. I’m always grateful that I started that blog because it brought me Ty and my family.”
Fast forward a few years later. Combining their passion for design (Hannah) and real estate (Ty), the couple built and flipped multiple homes—and never in one place. They moved all over–South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas–before getting married and moving back home to Michigan. Once Hannah finally got settled into their sixth home, she started getting the itch for some property to build on. It took some convincing, but Ty agreed.
In the search for the perfect build location, Hannah would routinely drive along the Michigan lakeshore. “I would just drive multiple times a week until I saw new signs or new listings,” she says. “Our requirements were being near the lakeshore, having lots of mature trees, and finding a spot that was easily buildable.” Hannah and Ty eventually found the perfect plot of land—right where the forest meets the sand dunes, which turned into the water. “It’s a really unique topography,” she says. “You’ve got the deep rich woods, but then you’ve also got the light sand and the light blue water.” There were a lot of mosquitoes the day they looked around,
but the good must’ve outweighed the bad, because the project was underway.
This is the point where most people would hire an architect, but not Hannah. “I actually drew the house plan completely myself,” she says. “It was an adventure, but living in so many different types of homes gave us a good idea of what we wanted.” Hannah was particularly inspired by architecture that divides homes into very separate living spaces. “So, if you look at our home, it’s got four different quadrants—the garage, living space, the workspace, and the living quarters,” she says. “And then, aesthetically, the number one thing I wanted was lots of windows. I really love to be able to look at a home and see all the way through it from front to back, especially on a beautiful parcel of land like this one.”
With a baby on the way, Hannah and Ty also decided they wanted something that required less work. “Really, the whole reason why we built in the first place instead of renovating is we wanted low maintenance,” she says. “We have a very busy lifestyle, and we wanted low maintenance on something simple, that would not require a lot of upkeep.” This went for everything from the surface of the countertops to the siding outside. And this is where Quality Edge entered the picture.
We really wanted the nature surrounding the house to be the focal point, almost as if the house sat back and blended in.Hannah Jansma
“When Quality Edge asked what color we were planning for the home, we said something dark, ideally black,” Hannah wrote on an August 2022 blog post. “They sent us a swatch of their color “Spruce,” having no idea that my heart had already been flirting with the concept of a green house!” she added. Having a dark and dramatic exterior was exactly what Hannah wanted. When the sample arrived in the mail, they immediately jumped in the car and drove out to the lakeshore to hold it up against the house. “With an emphatic “YES!” we placed our order,” she says. “We really wanted the nature surrounding the house to be the focal point, almost as if the house sat back and blended in. Dark green was the perfect choice considering the foliage surrounding the property.”
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It was an adventure, but living in so many different types of homes gave us a good idea of what we wanted.Hannah Jansma
Today, Hannah isn’t the only one who loves her home’s exterior. Now fully moved in, people always stop and take pictures—possibly for their own home inspiration. Recently someone even knocked on the door, just to comment on the color. “It’s the single best design decision of the whole project, if you ask me,” Hannah says.
Just like home trends, Hannah’s life and style are ever-changing, perhaps the biggest change coming when Hannah and Ty’s son entered their lives. “Our family and friends would say our previous homes were more like museums, and this house feels lived in,” she says. “I think there’s even a movement online of people breaking perfection and living in our homes and enjoying them as the spaces that they’re intended to
be. I find a lot of joy seeing our house being used.”