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jengstler
December 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We recently bought a split level home on an incredible wooded 5 acres. The home has not been touched since the early 1970's. The home feels closed off from its spectacular environment. Does anyone have any ideas on how to "reasonably" update the exterior to a more contemporary look, as well as ideas for making the indoor / outdoor spaces less closed off and defined?
Out dilemma is "where do we start"?
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PRO
Robin Hiken Interiors
You need to prioritize the projects at hand. You can change the color of the house to give it a contemporary vibe. Light fixtures at garage doors. Something in a brushed nickel/glass combo. Siding in a deep warm grey and shutters could be done in a white or black semi gloss. Add a contemporary looking front door as well. In an Espresso Wood Color with brushed nickel hardware. Maybe even a cool lamp post light at corner of walkway.
4 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 2:31PM
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decoenthusiaste
Change the upstairs windows to French doors that appear to exit onto a faux balcony. Replace the aluminum windows and wide siding with a more efficient and current styles. Remove the storm door and bushes. Build a deck/porch from the bump-out across the front and picture window, which can be replaced with French doors and fixed French windows. No shutters needed. Break out the concrete and put in a natural stone winding walkway. Maybe paint the concrete drive to look like the stone. New beefier lighting, new garage door. Lots of projects, but you can tackle them one at a time.
Presidio Heights Residence
William Hefner Architecture Interiors & Landscape
Tudor Exterior
French Country
2 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 2:33PM
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PRO
KM&M Designs
New larger windows, new color scheme, maybe tones of grey and a more substantial stoop and a walkway that is 4+ ft wide, perhaps a secon one that meanders out to the street with nice plantings.

Don't plant right in front of the windows unless you use a ground cover like pachysandra, place your plantings away from the house so that the windows of the basement are not blocked. You could develop your outdoor living space away from the house 8 to 10 feet off the entry and to the left side.

Buy larger lighting for the exterior to replace the too small lantern that I seek next to the garage. These are things that can make it more up to date.
1 Like   December 17, 2012 at 3:03PM
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judianna20

Paint would help and also removing the shutters and outline the windows with a darker paint.Change the outdoor lighting to something more mid century. and outline the windows with a darker paint. I think your front door has a mean old aluminum storm; replace with a beautiful solid door.
4 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 3:15PM
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houssaon
Even though your house is a split level, it already has a contemporary vibe. I like the suggestions given by Robin Hiken Interiors. Think about a new front door: Entry, regenerative nest 1, and New Home - Modern & Efficient.

I like this color scheme for your house:regenerative nest 2

One maintenance issue I notice from the picture is that the leader is leaking. That is why you see moss or mold growing on the siding.
3 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 3:17PM
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jengstler
I actually had that same "regenerative nest" saved to my ideabook. Thanks so much!
0 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 4:00PM
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diethood
Thank you so much for these discussions! So helpful!
0 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 4:11PM
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carolannr
what is it with white soffitts? Paint soffits to match siding, preferably something in dark grey or blue grey or dark red, replace aluminum windows with longer window with dark trim and no shutters. Also garage door should be fully painted, not trimmed out. The idea is to blend with its surroundings not stand out like a bright flower. That will make it feel more comfortable in its woodsy locale.
2 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 4:53PM
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groveraxle
I would reconfigure all the windows to give the house a more mid-mod vibe. This house could be spectacular!

1 Like   December 17, 2012 at 5:42PM
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bhelmore
Dump the shutters, paint the brick out, put in a curved walkway, better outdoor (larger) lighting, a new roof just over the (new) brightly colored front door. Some statement trees that look great in the winter for their branching and bloom in the summer would be wonderful in the front with some low azaleas surrounding them (Japanese varieties), just don't mirror the plantings. Get some curves going!
1 Like   December 17, 2012 at 6:02PM
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PRO
Dytecture
Here is another example with more funky colors for a side split similar to yours with a play of different window sizes.


0 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 7:06PM
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nevadan
First, get rid of the shutters, which do not harmonize with the house. Secondly, the bedroom windows on the upper right hand side need to be much larger, Third, the basement playroom windows are just awful looking and need to be changed in sone significant way. To save money, place an attractive fence in front of them and about 3 feet out. Then get rid of the straight path/sidewalk, and replace with a curving flagstone walkway. Then landscape the property.
0 Likes   December 17, 2012 at 8:31PM
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picky1
Start with side walks, tear out, make wider. Next remove shutters, add small trim on windows, paint house & brick to match, like go into a rich Reddish brown, or deep green. Accent trim on windows with a contrasting color like gray, or black. Landscape lastly when done with all demo / painting. Landscape keep simple, and low.
1 Like   December 17, 2012 at 8:55PM
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jengstler
Thank you everyone fore the great ideas......very helpful.
0 Likes   December 18, 2012 at 3:57AM
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Dar Eckert
I would consider replacing the living room windows with french doors. Add large patio so that you can walk right out. Even in winter it brings the outdoors in and makes living area seem larger.

If you are looking for a more modern look paint the exterior a medium gray and replace the lights. Remove the shutters.
0 Likes   December 18, 2012 at 4:05AM
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PRO
By Design EK
For a total redo i would definitely replace windows, They should be taller and not look like they are crammed against the roof soffit. I like painting the brick or recladding it with stone or even a verticle siding would give it a contemporary look. There are lots of great examples on houzz of this! Also I would replace the siding with wood to blend in with your wonderful wooded lot. Replace the garage door and front door, and definitely add some sort of porch or entry way!
1 Like   December 18, 2012 at 7:37AM
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ncdiy
have you looked at
www.lanternandscroll.com

I bought some small lights from them called the 'Columbia" series and they were the right size, and look great - didnt cost too much more than lowes either, but were made in the USA - they ship worldwide too!
0 Likes   December 18, 2012 at 10:18AM
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PRO
Prudential Verani Realty
Check out the Knight Construction Design split in Minn. A great design that sounds like it would fit great on your lot.
0 Likes   December 18, 2012 at 2:51PM
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jengstler
ncdiy, thanks for the lead to lantern and scroll. There is a barn on the property as well and they make a perfect lantern for that structure. Thanks!
0 Likes   December 19, 2012 at 6:18AM
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Dar Eckert
Your home looks well cared for and attractive. Go slow on the painted brick idea. Maybe you need a great covered entryway. I thing adding a gabled roof over the living room and entry with patio off living room would really look nice.
Exterior.Nantucket in So Cal
Sisters in Sync
1 Like   December 19, 2012 at 6:24AM
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PRO
Wendt Design Group
After reading all the ideas and looking at the house and the images submitted.... The idea of one color for the outside, and adding a colored front door like a mid- to dark orange or an burned orange with the gray exterior would look the most updated and cohesive. The french doors for windows is not the look of this house or the vintage. Do remove the shutters- they are small and outdated. The Arlington house exterior color with a painted door is what I vote for adding the new hardware and lights by the garage as suggested by other designers. Also, the changing of the size and look of some of the windows would be a good investment as noted by other designers. The windows would add value to the house, check with your realtor to confirm.
1 Like   December 19, 2012 at 8:44AM
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PRO
Los Angeles Remodeling and Construction
A welcoming walkway is a great place to start, such as this stamped cement we recently finished.
1 Like   December 19, 2012 at 10:23PM
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