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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help me set goals to pretty up my house' exterior

rhysandrewsDecember 9, 2012
I bought my first home a few months back. Ive spent a lot of time renovating the inside of my house on a very small budget and its looking fantastic :) (i might post a before and after sometime soon!)

But now its time to look at my front yard and house exterior.. And my vision is not as vivid here!

Im looking for ideas on...
- how i might paint or modify the exterior (weatherboard) walls to a more modern look and colour (increasing sound proofing here is a bonus) - keeping in mind the aqua front door is soon to be painted white

- framing the windows

- landscaping the front yard - with minimal maintenance

Any ideas are highly appreciated :)
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Anne Gibney
I like this taupe color by Benjamin Moore http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152315755190514.940312.751210513&type=1&l=c64093971f
I love the treed setting for your home. You might want to add frames and shutters to the windows. This would help beef up the exterior and you could trim in an antique white. For the landscaping try a ground cover under the trees, maybe a vinca vine. Hosta would do well as well. Plant annuals for color.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 4:54AM
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It's a small house without any particular style. With the dark windows, a white door might look strange. I'd add small dashes of color by painting the window frames and door a bright color. I'd be tempted to do a green or red.

For landscaping, think shrubs. You can get bushy flowering shrubs that require no maintenance. Pick a selection for long flowering. Rhodos and Mountain Laurel tend to do well with some shade and it looks like you have plenty.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:00AM
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Thank you sigrida - hypothetically if the door was white and i painted the window frames white too, could it look good if i painted the walls a blue-grey? Would the roof look out of place then?

I need to paint the door tomorrow and white will look good from the inside, for some reason im not keen on the idea of painting the front door a different colour on either side.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:14AM
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The exterior appears to have a pleasant, neutral color. If you paint the door white make sure to bring home many different colors of white exterior paint chips or better yet, sample pots to actually paint a bit of the door to see which color of "white" works with your exterior color. It will be least expensive to paint that front door a color that really works with the rest of the house. Try some contrasting paint chips as well, just in case you'd end up liking one better than the white.

Simple lines (well, at least at the back of this house), similar color:

Rear of House · More Info

I would ditch the plant boxes. Your house has simple lines, so I would stay away from anything fussy. That being said someone probably has figured out a beautiful use for plant boxes on just such a house using unexpected, interesting foliage. spray painting the boxes, building their own boxes, or what have you, so you never know.

The little, triangular planting bed is nice, as well as the "into the woods" feeling the trees give your house. Don't forget beautiful rocks that can be used to add color and interest.

I'd also get rid of the tall purple headed plants outside the window (allium I think). It's a nice plant, but I don't think it serves the house where it's planted. I notice my eye goes to that back picket fence, perhaps the allium would look good there?

Have fun!
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:54AM
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Landscaping suggestions depend on your climate. Does it get to freezing in winter?

The blue-purple flowers look like agapanthus, aka lily of the Nile. They do well with little water and a lot of sun. They are very popular low maintenance plants in California. My guess is that they were put along the edge of the house for staging when it was for sale. There are shorter varieties ("Peter Pan"). Colors vary, with the most popular being blue-purple, white and an intense dark blue.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:12AM
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The roof doesn't seem to be in good shape. Perhaps try painting the siding a darker color and some trim work around the windows to add some sophistication to the curb appeal.

Lafayette Residence · More Info
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
I agree with Dytecture. I would look into making the structure solid first, new roof and windows are a good investment and will improve the exterior look of the home. While working on the roof, perhaps you can extend the roof line and add a gable in the front for a nice front porch. I love the gray and white palette too for your home. Good luck with your project. Charmean Neithart
Modern Bungalow · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:29AM
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The mature trees are a strong point.

Can you post more photos of the yard and house from the street and driveway?

Is the front door your main entrance?

Is there a walkway from your car to the main entrance?

Here are some budget ideas for immediate fix-up while you plan for new landscaping in a few months.

$50 Buy an electric leaf blower to clean out gutters and blow leaves away from the house. Electric is much quieter and more convenient than gas. You'll have to blow leaves out of the gutter several times a year. Don't neglect this because overflowing gutters can ruin walls with water damage. http://www.ehow.com/how_5122201_clean-gutters-leaf-blower.html If the connection to the main electrical line is there, make sure you are safe around it.

$0 Take down the flower boxes and give them away, including the brackets.

$25 Rake leaves away from the small triangular bed and the two narrow planting areas next to the house. I spy edging on both narrow areas. Add four bags of shredded bark. It will look much, much nicer with shredded bark.

$15 Put large new house numbers at the front of the house. They should be readable from the street.

$15 Paint the security door white to match the main door. Black looks too prison-like, orangey-red rust color looks rusty, gray looks grim. Use white.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Thanks, everybody!
@househaunted - Good idea, but I already have the paint. Maybe I'll repaint in the future. Definitely agree with the simple lines theme. Hate the flower boxes and will get rid of them. Will get rid of the plants, aiming for something a bit more straight and square, some sort of hedge potentially.

@apple_pie_order - It doesn't snow in winter, but it can get very cold. And it can get up to 45 degrees celsius in summer.

@Dytecture - the roof certainly looks dirty, but it's quite a new and solid colorbond roof. I don't think it needs replacing, but I thought a glossy repaint could go down well.

@Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC - Great idea but could be way too expensive a venture! I'll consider changing the windows, though.. might prefer to just add timber framing to the exteriors for now.

@apple_pie_order (again) - I'll take some photos this afternoon and upload them.. the driveway and pathway is quite ugly and the driveway in particular is crumbling and too steep for me to use. The front fence is an old wire fence, replacing it with a picket fence alike at the car port might work. I have some good gutter mesh which will keep the gutters working but an electric leaf blower is a good idea.

Like the idea of putting new large numbers at the front :) and the security door I will probably remove entirely, or replace with a new one (where I will likely go white).
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Some more photos around the driveway as requested..
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Thanks for the photos. I think a picket fence or a horizontal rail fence would work, but do you really need a fence in the front yard?

I agree the driveway and front walk will need replacing sooner or later. How about building a garage out front instead of using the carport? It could alleviate the steepness problem. It depends on local setback codes, of course.

The agapanthus would look nice in the triangular bed next to the driveway. Then put the bark on. Bark requires no maintenance.

Two weekend mornings with mower, blower and pruning saw will do a nice job of cleaning up the front yard. The large dark tree behind the carport, if it belongs to you, could use a lift to the canopy. Sometimes it is good to live with large tree and shrubs for a full year before deciding what to trim and what to remove.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:15PM
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I dont need a front yard fence, no, it'd be purely for aesthetic.
I've had the idea of building a garage where the car port is now, level with the house floor, with side access from the laundry. However it does not really solve the steepness of the driveway. Building a garage closer to the street could look very strange.

I like the idea of bark, although I'm not keen on agapanthus' or other plants that have a single long stem, I prefer dense plants, but then I don't really know anything.

Rather than bark, I did have the idea of white stones, alike a japanese garden, with a little water feature or bird drinking pond in the centre. That's more my style but I would imagine it doesn't work with the setting very well.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:30PM
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