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margaret
December 26, 2012 in Design Dilemma
we built this house 7 yrs. ago. Trying to decide on how to "finish" the front. Thinking of: adding a large scale exterior lantern over arched opening. Iron work over lower portion of front windows. are the shutters wrong?
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margaret
this is the front view. (the parapet wall with the arch opening)
December 26, 2012 at 2:52pm   
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decoenthusiaste
Lantern idea is good. Columns on the porch don't look right. I think maybe you should repeat the stone of the arch there. Would guess that what is messing with the look is the clumpy hedges instead of good landscaping, but with the snow I can't tell what else is there. Shutters are ok, but you might change the color. They look black to me and probably match the stair railings. Not the best picture to make decisions with as there is so little natural light. Can you post with sun shining?
December 26, 2012 at 2:58pm     
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collettec
I would consider painting the porch, columns, etc the same color as the shutters.
December 26, 2012 at 3:09pm     
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Michelle R.
Have you considered iron railing for upper roof/porch? I like the idea of the large lantern over the arch.
This time of year, candles in every window and big wreaths up by the big blank areas of stone. You have a lovely home.
December 26, 2012 at 3:10pm     
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Michael Eric Dale
the vents seem randomly placed and do not have any relationship (probably should have been at normal window height as if the attic was a living space) or proportion (multiply the width of the vent x 1.618 for the proper height of the vent itself ) I agree that the columns also do not seem right. They are spaced too far apart- add another one.
December 26, 2012 at 3:17pm   
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Karen Emmons
I wouldn't change anything that you have done. Its an absolutely beautiful home. A substantial lantern will do the trick. How about some large wrought iron flower boxes under the lower windows?
December 26, 2012 at 3:19pm     
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Cathi Isza
I have a friend that has a huge house too and it too is brick with black shutters. She painted the door a aqua color, a rich deep aqua. It looks gorgeous and I think it makes the door stand out. Your front door gets lost in the shadows. Like the idea of the iron work and the lantern. Otherwise I think your house is beautiful. I too hope you decorated it well for the holiday.
December 26, 2012 at 3:26pm     
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Architectural Elements
I like the idea of rails over the porch. The gables need something as well. Maybe three substantial ornamental iron corbels, one below each flat step on the gable ends. The corbels could have lighting hung from them....
ArchEle.com
December 26, 2012 at 3:26pm     
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Linda Anthony
would recommend a professional landscaper (if they did all the little fat shrubs, then you should get a refund! ) Some ornamental trees at the corners to soften their hard look and to add height. I suggest a few really taller trees trees in the middle of the yard too. Perhaps an 'oasis' of a large tree and smaller plantings around it with some accents like a bench (stone style to coordinate with home's style) in the front AND at the side or one really larger island with a nice couple of trees - a grouping of sorts. I am not a landscaper but can sure tell this beautiful home needs some attention. Why it it open under the porch? Something should be done to hide it as well. The 'ceiling' fan on the porch looks completely out of place! An outside pole light with some class, and of substantial size, would help. Perhaps a tall tree/shrub between each of those tall windows would soften it as well. It is beautiful but the lack of professional landscaping makes it appear like a 'house' instead of a warm 'home'. Have read in order to compliment your home, you should allow 10% of the building cost for landscaping. The bigger and nicer the home, the more landscaping it requires. I'll ck back and hopefully you can get some ideas, but my most important thought is to get a professional. Get a couple to do a layout for you and then choose which one you like. If you can't afford it all at once, do it in sections, getting the larger items in first.
December 26, 2012 at 3:27pm   
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margaret
thanks so much for the comments! I am going to take more updated photos in the light tomorrow. I didn't realize I would actually get feedback on this site and I am so excited! We have planted more trees...these 2 photos are the only ones I have. The house looks a lot different without the snow on the roof and railings!
December 26, 2012 at 3:41pm     
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freetocreate
I would never have guessed that you built this 7 years ago! Looks like an English manor house. Delightful! Where do the steps lead (hidden by the snow)? I wouldn't do too much to take away from the look of the house--maybe some English garden landscaping along the walks or between the walks leading from the stairs. Your home is lovely!!
December 26, 2012 at 3:42pm     
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Home Preppers
Your house is beautiful and I love your ideas. The lantern would be perfect. Landscaping could be more elaborate. I don't see anything wrong with the columns. The shutters look fine too, but it's difficult to see what color they are in the picture. You're doing great! Good luck!
December 26, 2012 at 3:45pm   
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kgolo
The problem with the columns is the small scale of them compared to the rest of the house. I would just make them thicker and keep them white. They match the windows. Anything darker would be morbid! Which is how I feel about adding any wrought iron. Love the idea of a red door....Very inviting! And ultimately, landscaping will make all the difference in the world. Worth the investment for proper landscaping which will soften all the edges.
December 26, 2012 at 3:46pm   
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margaret
thank you freetocreate! We worked hard to build a home that would look as if it had been here a long time. We live in an old established neighborhood "in town" and we were fortunate to be able to actually build.
December 26, 2012 at 3:56pm     
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margaret
The shutter color is Charleston green. I agree with kgolo- I would not consider painting the columns any other color. They are the color of the trim. I will upload a picture of the front door also! I have a lot more questions for all of you when i upload these pictures tomorrow !!!!! thanks!
December 26, 2012 at 4:02pm   
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Home Maintenance Solution, Inc.
Lots of good comments (and some not so good)! I would like to suggest something that I didn't see anyone mention. If the photo of the parapet wall and the arch is really the front of the house, then I would try to balance out the steps with something heavy on the left of the house. Maybe a covered walkway leading around the left side or something... Beautiful home!
December 26, 2012 at 4:13pm     
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Ashleigh Weatherill Interior Design
I look forward to more photos (better light, landscaping, and more angles)...would love to hear a little more about your design/architectural inspiration. I like the shutters, would definitely keep them. The two staircases make the entry confusing...since you just built, I'm sure you're not interested in too many structural changes, but I do think it needs some balance and something to make the entry as grand as the home.
December 26, 2012 at 4:36pm     
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salalitten
Here is an idea for the columns, the style of house is not exactly the same but I thought you might like the porch over the porch idea :)
December 26, 2012 at 4:41pm   
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collettec
Yes, I agree with Ashleigh Weatherill Interior Design - the front design does look a little confusing. The stone arch works well with the rest of the house. The columns, porch and two side iron railings all seem consistent with each other but not as much with the stone arch and rest of house - perhaps some way to make the styles more cohesive and as was noted make the entrance grander - perhaps stone or brick instead of the iron for the stairs as one option.
December 26, 2012 at 4:42pm     
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decoenthusiaste
Looks like shutters may not be advised, but lanterns are a "go!" If you ever tire of the exterior brick, stucco seems acceptable too. Perhaps part of the landscape plan could include a marvelous car park and drive.
Buildings
Architecture Walk: Exterior Styles and Palettes
Multiple Family Suites
English Country
Private Residence - English / Tudor
December 26, 2012 at 4:43pm   
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judianna20
It looks like a Manor. Keep it as is. Nice choices.
December 26, 2012 at 4:45pm     
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salalitten
And one more question: what color/type of roof?
December 26, 2012 at 4:51pm   
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houssaon
When I first saw you post, I thought Charleston or Savana. It is a classic style of that region. Quite lovely. What it needs is a good landscape plan of native plants that you can implement on your own schedule.

You could paint the ceiling of the porch a light blue. If you want to change the color of the shutters, how about a mid-tone blue:
. Notice the hanging light fixture.
December 26, 2012 at 4:51pm   
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Honeybee Meadow
hi!!

i'm a new-to-the-field landscape designer, so this is such a fun "dilemma" for me to ponder!!

first, i'd love to see more pictures of what is already going on just below the porch, on either side of each set of stairs, as well as a brief description of the traffic/flow for each area and what rooms adjoin the noted windows ... for example, is this the point of formal entry? ..or is it a more private portion of your home? what direction does this face ... are you looking to be drawn out onto what is created, or are you looking to simply add interest??

the answers would help me a lot and i'm sure give me thousands & thousands of ideas ...

in the meantime, i think that an iron trellis rising up along the corner of the porch & up & across the facade of the portal wall would be charming ...'branching' it up & out across the porch roofline, and 'feathered' around the windows that are on the end of the home.

i'd also envision a narrow, winding pathway connecting the two sets of stairs, with a planted sitting area about midway. again, this would be influenced by the foot-traffic patterns/function of this area in general.

i look forward to more information ....

:)
December 26, 2012 at 4:56pm   
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margaret
The roof is architectural shingles-black, but not solid black.
December 26, 2012 at 4:57pm     
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margaret
houssaon-you are right! our inspiration was Charleston due to the narrow and long shape of the lot. The columns look small scale in the picture for some reason. In reality they are quite large.
December 26, 2012 at 5:03pm   
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Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC
The vents are too low and look wrong. I would have made the vents ovals or something else to make them special. The shutters are correct. Black is fine, but a really dark green would be even better. Both are historically correct. The columns are also correct. This style of house usually had a balcony on the second floor also and I think that would help your sense of something missing. The railing should match the railing below. If there is room, you could put long narrow gas lanterns on either side of the arch. The lower porch should have two ceiling fans. You also need some serious landscaping rather than occasional bushes shaped like lollipops. Te landscaping will tie the side of the house the the front. Another idea is to build a wall to the right of the arch to form a courtyard for the side porch. The wall would be a 6' tall extension of the front of your house. It would broaden your view of the house and a landscaped courtyard would be a wonderful focus from the inside looking out.
December 26, 2012 at 5:04pm   
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elemental architecture + design
It is a very handsome home. I agree that the lantern over the arch would be a nice touch. I also agree with comments that an accent color other than black or charleston green might add interest. I also agree that a more developed landscape will help greatly and I also think a very low nicely detailed brick wall framing a forecourt (large rectangle engaged to the house near the gable corners and encompassing both stairs) could be a nice future addition. As a small note, the gable vents could be painted the accent rather than the window white. I like the "wood" columns/porch as they provide a bit of relief and contrast to the brick masonry.
December 26, 2012 at 5:04pm     
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margotkoerner
I don't like the stairs on the side. The house is gorgeous and I love that it looks old.
December 26, 2012 at 5:05pm   
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Leigh Hendry
I would possibly add something ceremonial/ornamental above the arch.....maybe a neat, old piece of ironwork. Put two large, flickering gas lanterns on the walls on either side of the stairs. Paint the front door an interesting color and go totally "southern" and paint the porch ceiling a very subtle, dulled down, soft blue greenish color. Add lovely ornamental trees and landscape around the rest of the house with shrubs which stand up to the "weight" of the house. I would definitely skip the flower box idea and "join" the two staircases with a planted area with flowering shrubs/trees, and add a pathway to the stairs---couldn't tell where your guests park.....
December 26, 2012 at 5:16pm     
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margaret
too late to change shape of the vents but I have considered painting them the charleston green like the shutters. The shutters are really dark green and look black in the picture. There are ceiling fans on the side lower porch and on both upper and lower porches on the back. Definitely need to make the front of house more defined as such. and I NEED A GOOD LANDSCAPER!!! Maybe i can plant a money tree for my landscaping project. Landscaping is my weakest area...Obviously! Loving the comments! Very helpful!!
December 26, 2012 at 5:25pm     
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margaret
i added a photo of the back of the house but i couldnt figure out how to tie it into this thread.
December 26, 2012 at 5:26pm   
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freetocreate
Here's the link to the pic of the back--and OMG it's gorgeous! http://www.houzz.com/discussions/280392
December 26, 2012 at 5:33pm   
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Wow Great Place
If you comment here, as soon as you start typing your comment, you should see the words "Attach Images" under the box. Click on that, and it should guide you through the process. I copied your photo to my desktop, then attached it from there, so it should work....
December 26, 2012 at 5:35pm   
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margaret
thank you so much!
December 26, 2012 at 5:37pm     
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margaret
back of the house, but still from snow pictures
December 26, 2012 at 5:39pm   
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Leigh Hendry
Margaret....couple of other ideas....add flagstone at the bottom of the stairs to create your pathway from the guest parking and tie that to the planted flower/shrubs area that you create between the two staircases. If you wanted to soften the porch area a little, you could do some muted curtain panels in outdoor fabric to hang inside the porch corners---just to warm up the edges. They would be more for looks than for function. Just a thought. I'd be careful though about incorporating too many of our ideas. A light touch is always best.
December 26, 2012 at 5:49pm     
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elklaker
Personally, I find your home absolutely stunning and I would not change a thing. Color me jealous!
December 26, 2012 at 5:51pm     
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Linda Anthony
gosh, the back of the house is beautiful! Love the second story porch and the row of pines does not show in your original pic. I still believe softening the corners with trees and an 'island' or 'oasis' with big tree(s) in front would soften the view. Right now all we see is the hard (but beautiful) and square lines. I like another persons idea about putting railing on the roof which would then coordinate with the back. Would also like to see 'something' cover the dead space under the front porch. Shrubs would probably be better than more more railing... Installing landscape lighting on the trees etc would REALLY make the home stand out. Again, would remove ceiling fan on front porch although work fine on back porches. Would be an excuse to hang another gorgeous light, perhaps matching the one suggested in the archway. With a house this size it would not be too many lights. If you install landscape lighting, I would put in an outside pole light, matching the two (suggested) lights on the porch. I like things in odd numbers and it would make it #3 light addition...
December 26, 2012 at 5:51pm     
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jlblum
If your up for a project, how about removing the brick arch wall and continuing the porch columns, beams etc... around the front side of the porch too. Otherwise, I'd soften the brick arch with ivy and some vertical landscaping. a good landscape architect that could also help with some accent lighting might be the first step.
December 26, 2012 at 5:51pm   
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Linda Anthony
you could add some taller 'trees' between the current short shrubs under the windows and that would soften the side(s) of the house as well.
December 26, 2012 at 5:53pm   
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Linda Anthony
ouch, removing the brick arch and continuing the porch columns at this point in time would be expensive. A professional landscaper would be less expensive and don't think there should be a major architectural change - just landscaping!
December 26, 2012 at 6:00pm   
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Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC
I wouldn't remove arch at all, but extend it. You could even extend the wall there by installing a wrought iron fence across the front. Your house looks similar to a Charleston single house. Of you google that, you can see some examples of similar houses.
December 26, 2012 at 6:10pm   
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LEYA Matalas
I thnk some lighting to cast texture down the stone at the front would be welcoming.. and a suspended pendant light to emphasise the entrance, which right now is like an opening to the porch on the side.
I think it needs to move in for a focal statement. I added some grills- window boxes.. just to give you options. Good luck. L.
December 26, 2012 at 6:25pm     
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LUMINHOME OPTOELECTRONIC CO.,LTD
Do our products will help you? we are manufacture in China , looking for distributor of solar garden light, web:www.oksolarled.com Email: kinglingelectric@gmail.com
December 26, 2012 at 11:27pm   
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The Porch Company
I think the "Cathedral Scroll" railing from www.porch-store.com would be perfect for a railing above the roof
December 27, 2012 at 6:03am   
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apennameandthata
Just rotate your house 180 degrees so that the front is the back and the back is the front. If money permits, you could just make the front look like the back. I suppose it's one of those labour v materials cost questions...

FANTASTIC house too, BTW.
December 27, 2012 at 6:17am   
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apennameandthata
Actually, about the back of your house looking like the front... APPARENTLY, back in the day, people used to sit in front of their house so that they could talk to people walking by. With the advent of the car, that design no longer had any utility but the front porches still looked good. So, the deck/verandah/porches really are best so that you can look out at the people playing on your nicely flat back yard. For your style of house, flat ground looks better than sloping (unless your are on top of a hill). You have not decided to show off to the street but have the best aspects and areas where you and yours can enjoy them. Well done.
December 27, 2012 at 6:20am   
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smasko
Wow...your house is very unique and so interesting to look at, at all angles. However, when I look at it at all angles I CAN'T TELL WHERE THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE IS. The lantern over the arch is a great START along with professional landscaping. Adding a courtyard, small fountain, flower boxes to the front of the house to accentuate what the front entrance is is what is needed. When I looked at your house it was hard for me to distinguish what the front of your house was without you stating it. My advice is quite simple landscape and make your front entrance more welcoming and pronounced. To try and extend things and redo things is costly and quite honestly your house is unique, stately and charming as it is. DO NOT remove the shutters, add wrought iron rails to the windows, the columns could be bulkier but it's not affecting the look of the house that much. Get quotes from professional landscaping companies that will give you ideas and allow you to get the best possible price. Good luck...want to see pictures when you are done!
December 27, 2012 at 7:08am   
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margaret
daylight pictures
December 27, 2012 at 11:10am     
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margaret
a few more
December 27, 2012 at 11:14am     
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Cathi Isza
Now that I've seen the other photos and read your shutters are green I absolutely love your house. I do like the light and window boxes that Leyla added but it really is a beautiful house.
December 27, 2012 at 12:17pm     
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Interiors International, Inc.
Your home is amazing! If you did those choices on your own you know what your doing and don't need us. ;-)
December 27, 2012 at 12:27pm     
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JMittman Designs
I think you've done a great job. Can I come make your window treatments?? :) I like the window box idea, love the wrought iron too, and your lantern idea. You really just need some good landscaping.
December 27, 2012 at 12:43pm   
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Ashleigh Weatherill Interior Design
Where do guests enter your home?
December 27, 2012 at 1:17pm   
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smasko
I can see better now...your house is so pretty!! The only thing I don't like is how the basement windows at the base of the house are exposed. Other than that just landscape professionally and dress up your main entrance with a lantern and some sort of path with landscaping...beautiful house!!
December 27, 2012 at 2:49pm   
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apennameandthata
Oh, now I see where the front of the house is. Just turn it 90 degrees clockwise.
December 27, 2012 at 5:28pm   
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K.O.H. Construction Corporation
Very nice home with oversize brick, white mortar, parapet walls, jack arches ( very expensive brick made at an angle) over openings, shutter dogs and hinges to match. House is elevated, grand columns and wrought iron railing. It also looks like you going with period landscaping.. Again, very nice but, I like the color of the shutters for the door only. I think you need to separate the shutter and door color. The shutters really stand out and my opinion, too much. Try another shade in the brick color and have them blend in a little. You have a keen eye therefore that should not be a problem. The period landscaping is appropriate but doesn't do justice to the home. Good luck to you and let us know your decision.
December 27, 2012 at 6:15pm     
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MAlps
Would ad a bit of country style. Consider hanging nice black light fixtures from the ceiling- lantern style, and a rocking chair or two
December 28, 2012 at 3:59am   
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apennameandthata
That is a LOVELY house. Do you really have no garage though?
December 28, 2012 at 6:23am   
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