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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need some curb appeal help / suggestions

olgahicksJanuary 6, 2013
Need to soften the look of our house. Open to suggestions. At this poin we cannot replace the "artistic concrete" due to cost. Need to work with it and make the most of what we have today. Could replace door and door color.. Your help as always is appreciated. :)
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Your place is looking good and it is tropical, so you can grow lots of stuff. How about growing something edible? Also put in softer plants - the orange tongue plants are cool but not softening. Might replace the grass with an edible garden. Soften the house by taking the white trim to a softer color without so much contrast that makes the home look boxy. Try Sherwin Williams 7040 Smokehouse and give your door a pop with 6613 Lei Flower to tie in the walk.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:16AM
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How about a little bench under the window? A rug instead of a mat. A pot of something under the mailbox, and one between the two front windows. How about making all in a contrasting color such as turquoise, or dark brown?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Ps. I love your plantings...paint the birdbath the contrasting color as well. I like your door and windowboxes.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Would it be possible to restain the walkway? I was thinking of something in a mottled dark stone shade. Perhaps also change the color of your mulch. I know that would have to be a gradual project! I think the shades of red and orange you have are pretty....it's just that there's a LOT of it.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I LOVE YOUR WALKWAY!! Wow- this must be wonderful to come home too! What I noticed is that the colors seem to be in groups- the khaki (greenish/brownish) house has the palm trees (green and brown) and then you have all of yoru reds together (walkway, mulch, orange plants). To add some contrast, plant some other things in the middle planter... maybe pick up on the yellows and greens that are at the base of the orange plant, even some low green plants would break it up. When I look at the picture of the planter, the yellow really pops out at me so that might be a good color to work with. Paint the bird bath, the front door, and the flower box all the same color to add flow- depending on your personality, you could do a muted gold, or a brighter tropical yellow, or somewhere in between. To keep it understated but softer, I think I would paint those three items a flat black. When you are out and about, look for a front door mat/rug that makes a statement.... and add something under the mailbox- something visually interesting that picks up the oranges/reds from the planter. If you don't have it already, maybe some landscape lighting- path lights and spot lights up on some of the tall trees.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Melanie Hon
How about black mulch? They cost about $8/bag where I live, but I think there is just too much red. I love the walkway, much better than some cracked old sidewalk, but its not being shown off very well. Also add some greenery to the reddish/orangy plantings.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:02PM
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My goal would be to eliminate the grass and visible mulch (which I would prefer in dark brown, but if there were ever a place where red works it might be here!) I would fill every inch with a riot of dramatic texture and vibrant color - reds and pinks and oranges (no whites or pastels). Include flowering vines that twine up trellises and trunks. More is more here. I find the window box to be incongruous with tropical plants, but not if it's covered with plants. Have fun with lighting!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:03PM
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I should add that as the plants fill in, you may want to change the white trim to a darker color that will blend into the jungle you've created. Also, drape that bird bath in vegetation.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Wow..love all the idea o painting the bird bath. A bright "non toxic " paint color and maybe the bench in the same color. Love to be able to see the house through someone's else's eyes . Really helps. Interested are some mor pictures of the front. Maybe some orchids added to this palm?
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I love your home. It looks so neat, clean, well maintained, and welcoming. It would be my ideal retirement home. I have snow on my roof and in my yard right now.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Thanks claudiann, it is neat today after some yard work. I do like the tropical weather but also miss the seasons :)
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Dar Eckert
There are stains for concrete. I would try to stain the red concrete either gray or brown.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Kitasei, I love flowering vines. Maybe in a deep purple.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Onthefence, it is time to reseal and will be the time to change out the color. I am just not sure if it will be just concrete paint . Will need to research but you are right about the orange. A bit over powering! Melanie mentioned black mulch. I like that too.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:32PM
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I agree with changing the colour of the path and mulch - there is just too much red! You may want to go with a charcoal for the walkway so that it isn't so dominant. Black mulch makes plants look absolutely stunning - and your plants are simply gorgeous and should be the focus.

Once the red is toned down, you will be able to see the whole picture more clearly. You may decide the house looks good when it doesn't clash so much with the pathway.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:12PM
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I love the idea of black or dark brown mulch Olga. When you get ready to reseal, ask if there is a stain product available that would work. Painted concrete just doesn't seem to stay painted! Every painted walkway and set of steps I've seen seems to chip badly and quickly.

I can tell from the pics that there's a lot of love and attention given to that yard!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:22PM
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decoenthusiaste, Thank you for your suggestion on the edible garden but what types? I would like to attract butterflies , birds to my garden. Or do you mean herbs , rosemary, mint etc? Or grasses? Like the attached?
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:00AM
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Smarty88, definitely need some landscape lighting. It is on the list of updates! I like the idea of using the yellow from the pot. Might just try it this weekend by painting one of the clay pots a bright yellow. Now I am looking forward to this weekend and it is only Monday......work week yuk
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:06AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I am going to try the black mulch on a section of the garden to test the look, also will paint one f he clay pots a bright color. Like yellow or turquoise. Thinking of also adding some Mexican style tile to the door step. NOT orange!
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:11AM
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Landscape lighting is easy to install- we are SO not handy, but we managed to figure it out... the low voltage lights are best (solar lights just don't get bright enough, and we live in Florida with plenty of sunshine). You might have to do some digging under your walkway to plug them in to a receptacle on your house, but since you are going to remulch, adding the lights before you mulch would work out great. Adding black or dark mulch sounds like a better idea than changing the color of your walkway- I love the walkway- it's gorgeous!
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:30AM
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Hmmm, the pathway is beautiful and the clean look wiht the tropical plants is pretty but the orange plants don't help. It seems to me they would be easily replaced. Maybe transplant or interplant. You need more green to the left of the path. The house and the colors seems fine to me but I would want a lower window box and a bigger window. (or is that the bathroom?) Re what to plant for hummingbirds and butterflies, etc. do a google search for "habitat gardens" Buddleia aka Butterfly Bush, salvias, will bring wonderful sights. Bees like blues and yellows but what area are you in? A visit to the local nursery is all you need to get inspired. Plant so that water requirements are matched within each zone. You will need to consider the sunlight in order to help you choose the right plants too. btw, if you do take out the lawn, make the bird bath your center piece. Even if you don't take out the lawn, it could be your centerpiece. YOu could even do a circle of low growing flowers around it! (espec purples and blues) Best wishes!
    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:43PM
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