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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

In need of curb appeal!

Melanie DeeganOctober 26, 2012
We have a 1980's ranch that needs curb appeal! We have been in this house for 7 years and have not been able to figure out what to do with the exterior. Any suggestions?
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Needs beefier posts, beefier exterior lights, new foundation landscaping, paint down spout on left same as house.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:17PM
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I see lots of potential! The very first thing I would do is have all the shrubs/trees removed. Then you will have a fresh pallet to work with.

Next paint the garage doors the same color as the body of the house so they 'disappear' instead of being a focal point.

Can you post pictures from the opposite side of the street looking toward your house? One facing your front door, one facing your garage door and one a little further down facing your garbage cans/fence?

If I can see it fom across the street I might have better ideas. :-)
    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:43PM
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You could make this a real modern type of house on the outside. Would that be your style? Since the garage doors are so prominent they should be something like this:
Edgewood · More Info

Then remove the shutters and get larger windows, if that makes sense for the interior. The front door should be modern, too:
Tree House · More Info
    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:56PM
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    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I like your house. I like the color of your house. I agree with cyn222 that beefing up the porch posts would look better, perhaps stacked stone look on those in beiges, creams and browns? If not possible due to cost, just beefing them up about twice that size would help. I'd then box them up in a rustic, natural wood to add visual interest and not paint them. I agree on painting the downspout the same color as your house. I think the lights next to the garage doors are fine...can't really tell the color but they look big enough to me. I like your shutters and flower box. I really think some good landscaping would do wonders.

I suggest a 3-4' white vinyl fence on each side of the driveway to provide separation of the driveway from the yards and add visual appeal. I would have the fence meet up with the first beefed up post to the left of your garage at the entrance of the walkway to your front door. If that's impractical in cost, you can order just corner accents for where the drive meets the street and those add a lot of charm. Another corner might work to the right of your garage. It doesn't appear necessary practically speaking to have a fence, but your entry lacks definition and I think it would help add visual interest from both your driveway and your view of the yard from the front door. I'm not suggesting painting the garage doors if you put up the fencing because they will go with the fencing. If you don't put up the fencing, then I'd probably paint them the same color as the house.

I like cyn222's landscaping design, but would add a bench or two, one with the house to your back and the other with the back to the middle post of your entry, to form a small welcoming area. Underneath each bench I would do a dry stone or brick base just large enough for the benches and your feet to walk on to sit on the benches meeting up at a comfortable spot on your front porch. I don't think it's necessary to use cement as this is informal. You could also use small crushed rock, probably like crushed granite in a natural color compatible with the color of your home, or a small river rock, which would contrast nicely with the soil and still blend in with your concrete ( assumed) porch. Don't use pea gravel or it will be all over and stick in the soles of shoes and boots. A small fountain with clean lines (maybe of Chinese design) near the benches to add freshness to the air and soothing water sounds. If your hose is hanging by the front door, get one of those clay hose pots to coil it in so it's not intrusive. Have a few fragrant things planted near the seating areas like rosemary, mint, lavender. They are easy. Hang a large herb or lavender wreath to the right of the window of the garage that is on the entryway wall.

Note that cyn222 also provided a taller shrub at the corner of the house by the downspout to soften the corner and add height to the planting. The little bit of stone edging is the hardscape that adds textural interest to your house. She shows a gray which actually I quite like. It adds another layer of visual interest. I wouldn't tear out that white bush to the left of the door because it looks healthy, and it appears your tree can probably stay where it's at.

The nice thing about cyn222's design is that she's following the contour of the yard and curving the beds.That's more natural and softens the starkness of your current plantings. If you don't have time, interest or money to garden, consult with a good plant store and ask for low maintenance plants to be recommended/planted. It's not that big of a project and hopefully will be affordable for you. You can do things in steps rather than all at once. I like your boulders and think they can be incorporated in the new garden.

Make sure the lighting on your porch is attractive and very functional. I can't see your front door, but your entry looks a bit dark tho I see it's overcast. You may need to paint the door to make it pop. I think you may have already addressed that because your home looks very nice and well maintained.
    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:02AM
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