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HAVE to change the look of this house
December 21, 2012
We just bought this house. It needs a lot of TLC, the garden is non existent. We are planning to build a double garage at the bottom lower right.
The house is in Somerset West SA, we have a lot of sun in summer and rain in winter.
Thanks for your suggestions.
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I think it looks like a great house, good strong shapes and bold architecture! What is it about it that you are unhappy about? I think even just adding a gravel/paved drive area would give it a much snappier look.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Hi thanks for your comment. The house appears very "flat" and we also cannot decide on what colour paint to use to make it looking friendly and inviting.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:34AM
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Are there any similar-styled houses in your neighbourhood that you like? I personally quite like the white (and it is always much easier to paint match for maintenance in the future). Have you thought about adding natural weatherboarding to part of the front elevation? Something like cedar that faded to a silver colour could be nice and would add depth.

You could then combine this with a bolder front door colour.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:51AM
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I like the white contemporary shape, but it honestly looks like a duplex with the symmetrical roof shape. Perhaps adding some more earthy textures such as cedar and stone cladding would warm up the exterior.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:08AM
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I would look to color block this house and the retaining walls, using terracotta, yellow orche, tan, green and a pop of color. For inspiration: Parrot Tree Plantation 1, Parrot Tree Plantation 2.

Love the detail: Baughman Avenue Residence.

I would put a decorative trellis over the large window to the left so that the top is in line with the windows to the right of the door
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:33AM
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I like your house, too. I like the white. I found two pictures to share with you. What appeals to me is how the windows are painted in a darker color; the different rooflines are accentuated with trim; a wood siding has been applied to an area.
Contemporary Exterior
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Dar Eckert
Hill Street Residence
What a great house and a lot of potential. I would add natural wood horizontal wood siding to the flat roof part of the house. Then add a wide facia band or overhang of contrasting color to emphasize the angles and roof line. You may choose to paint the stucco portions of the house medium gray. I've included a couple of photos as an example of what I was thinking.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Dar, I was typing and you were posting. I guess you and I have the same vision :>) Makes me feel good, as your ideas are always spot on.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Dar Eckert
What a nice thing to say, thanks.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Granite Grannies
Yeah, needs some TLC, but what a cool structure! It will look amazing with a little update.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Aesthetic Tile Imaging
Perhaps you might like to consider using some exterior art for unique curb appeal. For instance, that wall just inside the front gate might look really stunning with a custom porcelain tile art mural. I can reproduce most any painting or photograph at virtually any scale using rectangular or custom shaped tiles.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:06AM
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All excellent suggestions above. Just wanted to add that I would think about landscaping as well. Will help with the flat look of the structure and really add to the overall look of your residence.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Lakes Garage Doors
Yes, definitely go for some horizontal cedar boards on the house. You could also replace the steel railings and entrance gate with cedar boards too, to give continuity and break up the white.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Dar Eckert
Just was thinking that if you add a double garage with a flat roof that you could use for a deck would be lovely. Just make sure that the roof is level with the top step so you can walk out the front door onto the deck.
Deep Eddy Residence - Austin
Beach House
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Design Freedom, inc.
if you are adding a 2 car garage where the car in the photo is parked, consider some kind of nice entry gateway to walk under at the bottom landing of the stairs, too! otherwise you will just have a staircase disappearing up the wall of a large garage.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Fenstermann LLC
I would suggest painting the iron fence black and planting ivy to grow on it, adding privacy from the street. Update the lighting on the columns and pour a driveway. I think adding a few stainless steel fixtures with the black railings would help a lot.. You need some nice landscaping in the front as well.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:40AM
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I agree with Fenstermann. I don't think that the house being white is the issue, rather there is nothing around setting off the house. Painting the iron fences black or some other offsetting color, would have an immediate impact and be the most cost effective until you decide on some of the larger scale items. And may help you decide if you want to paint the house at all. Landscaping will help as well but I personally am not great at visualizing this aspect, but know it is a great element and can do a ton to help bring the front of the house to life. I think this is a beautiful house with great structure, so many things can be done just depends on what direction you want to go in.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Before I did anything like "update the light fixtures," I would want to be sure I understood the original design. Preserve it as a mid-century modern house if that's what it is.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:07PM
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most of the wash out look s not the white as others have pointed out, but rather the lack of contrast. What material is the railing? if it is aluminum do not paint it, as they usually have a lifetime coating, but then consider painting the stucco retaining wall. also judyg suggested painting the trim and window trim in a contrasting color. for some reason I keep thinking olive green. Also the semi dead grass looks bandnned and it will be much easier to put gravel. I would suggest softening up with grasses and roses. I would also paint the steps.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Thanks guys! You have amazing ideas. I know landscaping will do a lot for the house but will have to get in professional help on that one ;-) I love the idea of having different colours and will look into that as well. Wll post a pic once we are done. Maresa
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:07AM
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If you like strong color and architecture that has considerable presence, look at the images that result from a google image search on "casa luis barragán". Your house has strong separate planes for various parts of the house, so it could easily take three different color planes. If you love the idea, a color consultant can help. There are some who consult over the internet from photos (see houzz professionals listings).

For the garage, you will need an architect anyway. The windows need to match each other in trim style and color. A good time to change them would be when you build the garage.

What would make the house more welcoming is good landscaping and a clear well lit pathway leading up the front staircase. With a gigantic fence like this one has, you'll have to downplay the fortress aspect. Black, very dark green or very dark brown would work for the metal parts of the fence to make them nearly disappear, but then you'll need an unobtrusive color for the large fence posts which will appear as sculptural elements sticking up here and there.

If security is really an issue, you can keep the landscaping clean, simple and well-lit.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:09AM
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The landscaping should be as strong in geometric design as the structures are. Cruise the neighborhood (and wider bioregion) in search of shapes. Park across the street and sketch them - the mounds and spires, sprawls and tapers.Look at the shapes of plants against walls, whether created by clipped espaliered plants or billowing grasses. Yes, and do look at the minimalist (both visually and maintenance) dry landscapes if that's what make sense in your area and lifestyle. The same principles apply. Don't be distracted by color or texture, except to notice how they affect the impact of a form in the overall design. Doing this will really strengthen your grasp and vision of the property as a whole, and the house within it. Look at different angles, but of course the straight on view of the entrance is most important!
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:27AM
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re. "casa luis barragán": great search, apple_pie_order!
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:34AM
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