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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help improving curb appeal

simikayeDecember 24, 2012
Hi All,

I love my home but the curb appeal need helps.

I would like to change the color scheme of the porch, windows, garage plus add some plants while sticking to a cost effective budget.

Any ideas on what combination colors, plant arrangement would work for this builder basic home.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Depending on where in the U.S. you are located, I would invest in some landscaping instead of changing the color of the house which looks good as it is.

Summertime blooms · More Info
4 Likes    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Yes, landscaping is needed. Plus I'd install some wide steps to span the space between the columns. Might paint the garage door windows to match so they fade away a bit. Need to devise some camo for the utility box in front. See what the city will allow.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:56PM
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The only painting I would do is to the garage and the darker shutters. They should be the same light grey as the house or the creamy trim color. Do not paint out the trim around the garage window, paint them the same as the garage door body.

I would not put any shrubs along the foundation, but plant a bed out in the lawn. Include plants of differnent heights and leaf color, perennials and annuals for color. A row of yews or boxwood would look good along the perimeter of the lawn.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
The only glaring discord I find in the paint on your lovely home is in the little windows in the garage door, which should be painted the same color as the garage door or slightly darker.

Otherwise, I suggest you find a landscape architect or designer in your area and listen to him/her regarding what to do with your yard. It could be fabulous, or pretty, or just nice. The outcome depends on what you choose to do to it. It's a bare canvas, just waiting to happen.

If your budget is limited, get a landscape designer to create a plan for you which you can slowly follow. That's what I did when I bought my first solo house and I enjoyed every moment (well almost) of digging holes and planting what the architect had specified. It was also good for my figure!
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Metro Interiors
Check with the contractor and see if its possible to add a stone driveway and walkway. This will change the entire feel
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:58PM
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Jayme H.
I would either incorporate more black somewhere, such as in the peaks (the thin boards in the peaks/not the whole peak) on the decorative trim. If I did that I would repaint the garage doors/shutters black. If no black, I would change the garage door color and garage window shutters to match whatever color you choose to repaint the rest of the now grey-colored areas with. I would go for leaving the white trim white or a light color, doing the grey area possibly a shade more warm in the browns, tans, beige's. For landscape I could see perennials along the front such as stella daylilies which continue to bloom and don't overgrow like some varieties, and/or some grasses that are controlled and interesting. Also I would throw a few boulders in of varying sizes and add in some ornamental shrubs and/or annuals for color and texture. Cover with mulch or rock...I like mulch. Other nice perennials include coneflowers, hostas (more shady areas).
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Thanks for all the great feedback. I will definitely be doing some landscaping including a stone walkway and some perennials. The suggestions of getting the help of a landscape architect and painting the garage door are also things that I need to consider. I can't wait to see the end results. Thanks again.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 7:10AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Please plant more and possibly add a mound to create more interest. I agree that the garage doors need to be in the lighter color as do the shutters.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:42AM
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I agree with suggestion to de-emphasize garage windows. I would also remove the shutters (I think it's shutters, anyway?) on the single window above the front door.
    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Agree on the landscaping.

I would like to see your trim all the same color. My eye sees way too many angles.
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    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 11:43AM
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I think u just need some visual texture. Boxwoods are easy to maintain and inexpensive. They can be planted so may ways.
4 Likes    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:24PM
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I like the style. I'd do a few things. 1. As others have said, paint the garage doors and the shutters a over the lighter beige color that is seen on other trim. 2. I can't see the front door, but paint it something different, maybe black, maroon, or even red. 3. To the left of the garage, something with height, maybe a tall grass. 4. On each side of the steps, taller ornamental type green, maybe spirals. 5. Under the big window, shorter boxwood close to the building with room in front for colorful perennials. 6. Simple sitting chairs and a short table on the porch. 7. Hanging fern on the porch if not too big
1 Like    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Wow, love the very thorough feedback.

I definitely have great info to work with.

Have a wonderful new year everyone!
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I would paint the garage doors to match the inset panels on your trim. Then the trim around the garage windows won't jump out so much. I would also do the starburst effect on the gables all one color--either light or dark. Let the shadows define the trim, not the paint.

To me the black shutters look totally off. Either paint the dark taupe or remove. Or paint the front door black to match. A color may be possible too, but with the brick and such, might be kind of hard to pick. Aqua perhaps?

This house is a real mix of styles so that makes colors and such hard to do. For a real change, switch to traditional deep trim colors and subtle color contrasts (lighter versions of below--I would make the trim a middle tone and the panels a dark if you do this to smooth the transition from the white sashes--sashes were nearly always dark prior to 1900). It will look like a different building.

Foundation planting and staining the foundation dark could help a lot too of course.

Here is an interesting post on redoing paint on a modern Victorian house. He is a style purist, so don't take offense, but he makes some good points.

This is a little hard to read, but check out this link on pp. 40-42, especially 42, to get an idea of proper color placement and tonality on moldings and doors.


And take a look at some old brick Victorians for color inspiration. Here's a few pics. Your pinkish brick will make the color harmony tricky though. French type colors (greys, creams, taupes, rose or ocher with turquoise, verdigris, moss green or periwinkle), which is typically a bit cooler than American Victorian colors, might work well.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, here is the results.
4 Likes    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:31PM
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'before' photo for comparison.

Looks great -- I especially like the curve you added to the walkway.
    Bookmark   Thanked by simikaye    September 20, 2013 at 5:41PM
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