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Need curb appeal. Painting the railing and shutters.
January 7, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This is our new house - LOVE it!! It's sort of blah from the outside though. They painted the rails the same as the house color I guess to make them disappear but with the shutters so similar it's all so boring. I'm so petrified of big changes. I know it's just paint but still it's time and money.

SHould we paint the railings black? and also the shutters a bit darker? or what color? We've updated the old brass coach lights and that actually made a nice difference (and they are black). We can't afford a whole house paint job right now but I've looked at some "New Orleans" style houses and liked the grey house w/ black rails looked really nice.

Thanks for any opinions.
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Start with one paint job and see how you feel. I would paint the shutters a dark color first.
Hold off on the scrolls. I think painting them dark might be too much. If you do one small chunk at a time, it won't cost a lot of money or time, and you can make a judgement call on what you want to do next.
January 7, 2013 at 4:13PM   
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Nice house . Congratulations. I think you could darker on the shutters and railings but not sure about color. What about a project doing some planting in the front garden?Maybe something to frame the path up to your house?
January 7, 2013 at 4:16PM     
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I'd remove the clumpy shrubs and plant something softer, more open and colorful. Also soften the straight walkway with loose and softer plants.
Mediterranean Garden in San Anselmo, CA
Highland Park Residence 5
January 7, 2013 at 4:18PM     
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Interiors International, Inc.
Very nice house congrats and I hope you have a good happy life there. Now onto the question you could leave the iron work the color they are now. But pick a nice dark color for the shutters. The iron could go dark to match the windows on the main floor. And then use a brighter color on the shutters Greens are always nice in either dark or light. There are many other ones that would look good if you don't like greens. Look at picks of New Orleans and Savanna. you will see some great color combinations.
January 7, 2013 at 4:24PM   
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I agree with the first post. Don't do anything to the railings until you have addressed some other things. I would definitely go darker on the shutters and would remove the shutters from the bay windows. They are pretty enough without them. If the trim on the windows and the center door is paintable, I would paint it to match the white. I would put two very large pots with flowers on either side of the front door and sculpt a flower bed around the curve in the sidewalk. The curve is really pointless unless it is avoiding a tree or shrub. I'm not sure why you door looks like two colors??
January 7, 2013 at 4:29PM   
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I agree about the little shrubs. They seem to hold the house back and a big boxy house needs to be allowed to dominate the space around it.

What colour are the dark window frames around those bay windows? You could do the shutters and railings in this colour without the risk of introducing another colour.

My bet is that they tried (and succeeded) in making the top ironwork disappear because it was too ornate and clashed with the more modern lines of the lower part of the house. I suggest that you leave the swirly bits of iron the old colour and only paint the straight bits. You might even be able to remove the swirly bits at the head of the columns. You know, with the railings disappearing you might be better off just leaving it as it is. If you paint the railings or the shutters, you will draw attention to the swirly bits. Is the paint on the railings new? I wonder if they painted them to help with the sale. You could ask the agent who sold you the house. That would be Barbara Barnette, judging by the photo!
January 7, 2013 at 4:36PM   
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All the exterior wrought iron I see is painted black or a very dark color. For example, this is one of my favorite houses: Ridgewood. Isn't this a pretty balcony? Dripping Springs courtyard This is a grand house: Bufflehead. Like the color of this trim: Cow Lane, Long Island.

I like the color of the trim in the Austin (2) and Long Island (4) homes. Caribbean Teal from Benjamin Moore is a very close match and would look great on your house. One color that is recommended to go with it is Gemstone (see attached), which is a muted yellow. I think your front door would look good painted Gemstone, although the red works as well.

I think that you should paint the black trim of the windows to the surrounding white. The bay windows look too hard in black.
January 7, 2013 at 4:41PM   
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Thanks for all the comments! To address a few things.

1. The front door being 2 colors? There is a reflection of a white car in the bottom third of the storm door or do you mean the cream panels on the side? Are those supposed to match your door?

2. The shutters are not on the outside of the bay windows they are on the inside. I keep them open during the day to minimize them and let light in - this was the sellers photo.

3. The dark color on the bay window trim is metal storm window trim. I assume it can be painted but yes I agree they are very dark and heavy. It's dark brown.

4. Landscaping: I admit both me and my husband will kill or not maintain a lush yard well. We need something that just needs to be trimmed back like this ground cover. Maybe one day when we have either more time to do it or more money to have someone else do it :) I did add big pots and plants/flowers that i replace as they die (yes I know but I'm trying) on the sides of the door and that helps soften things and add color. There's only a small step at the door. One day I'd like to extend the front entry landing.

5. Eventually we plan to paint the brick on the bottom half of the house. I know some people are against painting brick but I think houses like this w/ half brinck and half siding looking so divided. One color makes it so much more unified.

I like a colored door but I don;t want a different color on the shutters (I like that Caribbean teal color from "houssaon") but I heard you should not paint them the same exact color either. Not sure what the 'rule' is on that. My thought was to paint the rails black or dark brown to soften it slightly and the shutters a richer brown/mocha to blend w/ the brown trim on all the storm windows and then keep my door a pop of color - maybe with the green.

Anyhoo - keep any ideas coming!

PIc below is sample of painting the brick portion on the bottom - looks so much better. IMO
January 7, 2013 at 7:24PM   
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I do like the idea of mocha for the shutters and I now see that the bay windows are actually framed out. I also think keeping the door a different color - green or whatever will draw your eye in. Some people do paint the storm door the same as the front door, but it looks like the owners kept the dark brown color that's on the windows on the door. I guess it's just a matter of taste. Also, maybe when you get to painting the brick, you may (may) want to consider painting the framing. I agree (had a similar house) that the brick and along with a different siding color divides the house.
January 7, 2013 at 7:51PM   
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Here's a similar house I found in our town pretty much our house. I think the primary paint color is too dark but theyhave the dark rails. I'll start w/ the shutters for sure then get a feeling for the railing.
January 7, 2013 at 8:26PM   
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The focal point to any house should be the front door - this is what should stand out. Maybe the rails could be the same colour as the shutters. Looks good!
January 7, 2013 at 8:34PM   
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found a color scheme w/ the more mocha shutters that would go w/ our existing paint. They have the black railing just on the walk but it gives a feeling of the look.
January 7, 2013 at 9:01PM   
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I like your idea of painting brick, although other people do not.
January 7, 2013 at 9:38PM   
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Stacey Rushing
I am from Savannah and we have a lot of homes with this look.I would paint the scroll work black, and the shutters, front. Then add ferns on the front porch with great Cracker Barrel rocking chairs. Large potted plants with a bunch of the same flowers for effect. Plant knock out roses along the front.
January 7, 2013 at 9:48PM   
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