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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need Advice with Blah Curb Appeal

santropeJanuary 15, 2013
Just bought a foreclosure with great potential but it is lacking that crisp, clean, wow factor that several of its neighbors seem to have. --What is it needing/lacking most - so we can get the most dramatic improvement initially & what should we consider saving for in the future.
(Besides the obvious cleaning/moving that dish).
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New exterior lights that will "pop" against the stucco...maybe white or black? Also paint out the rest of the doors...the colours seems to bleed into each other, doors, walls and driveway/walkway. Flowering bushes could also bring some life. Beautiful house though regardless...I envy the Americans and all of the foreclosure opportunities in the US...not like that in Canada. Housing is still very strong here...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:38AM
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Scott's Creative Home
Consider large oversized exterior wall sconces in a darker finish. Add larger house numbers. If a HOA is involved and you have restrictions on the house numbers, add a larger back plate.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:39AM
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Which is the front door- Im taking it that it is the darker one to the right? I think those tree bushes.....whatever they are........are blocking the look of the entrance. Id take those out and put something potted on either side of the doors that are interesting.Put something complimentary in front of the windows, Add tall more tropical large leaf plants in front and something that blooms large with it. Need to show off the entrance more,,,maybe darker rock in the beds, different lighting and numbers. Shutter both sides of the doors or windows(?) straight in just like the from to the house to make them actually blend like a window. Will give a little terrace feel. Repaint the front doors. Too dark red.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:54AM
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Thanks guys
That helps. I agree with both of you. I think the trim was recently painted but it looks like old faded paint in that color combination. The colors do seem to bleed into each other and seems to diminish the contrast needed to give it a sharper, cleaner appearance. Perhaps going darker on the doors, garage, shutters & trim will help to achieve this look.
Now... if I could only figure out what color or how dark of a trim would look right with the pinkish/tan exterior paint.
Clever idea to use a larger number back plate to enhance the small/plain numbers. I didn't think about that until you pointed it out. Looks like you found a way to beat the system....
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Architect Andrew Morrall
The garage doors seem to be a very prominent feature. If it's in your budget, yoou might consider more custom garage doors.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Legends Direct
COLOR! Add some color to your home and it will really stand out! Your home has a lot of depth and interesting lines, try a different colored shutter, something that will contrast with the neutral color of your home. Window boxes will also add some detail and character to your home, as well as a new mailbox and possibly gas lamps! Legends Lifestyle is prepared to help you with all your outdoor living needs! Check out your website, www.legendslifestyle.com! Good Luck!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Thanks Yslund

Great Ideas!
I plan to get on that door like a bottle of visine - to get the red out.
The french doors on the office right next to the single front door is a bit confusing trying to figure something out for that.

I am not sure what those bushes are either, but we can call them gone. I love tropical plants & think it would be a good match for the look of the house... perhaps some like giant bird of paradise? or something that is easy to keep clean & green. Any suggestion in particular for something that blooms large?

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying to do with the shutters but I would be interested to know more details.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:39AM
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If you like your neighbors' houses, try walking around to see what color combinations appeal to you. You may find some extra paint in the garage; if it is marked with a color name, you can search for complementary colors on the manufacturer's website. If not, try Sherwin Williams "chip it" application on a photo. A gray paint a bit darker than the roof might look nice. See if there's an extra roof tile around, too.

It looks like you are in S. California or the southwest. Most of the landscaping looks good and mature. You can use some annuals in quart pots to add color in the ground around the front door; plants in 6-packs are too small to make an impact, and they won't grow much this late in the winter season. In March or April you can put in summer annuals. Once you see how they grow, you can add drought resistant perennials.

Wait and see what blossoms the spring brings to those two large pruned standard bushes, or clip a few leaves to take to the nursery and ask them what they are. If you don't care for them in that the location, you can move them. Plants that size can run upwards of $100. As soon as it warms up in spring, put some fertilizer on the lawn out front and water it regularly to make it look lush (it's a small lawn, water cost will not be exorbitant).
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:08AM
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I find that the stucco is too "pink". I would paint it all a medium grey, or, if you are daring, an apple green! If you can't do that, I'd consider painting all the shutters and the front door a dark, charcoal gray. Replace the large trees, with smaller ones in planters. Paint the light fixtures black.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Thanks Andrew -
I've been toying with the idea of immediately yanking out those dated orange slice inserts & painting the existing doors until can save up & buy something nicer looking. Perhaps wooden doors or the faux wood door designs? Very good point, they take up such a large percentage of the front exterior, ugly doors would make half of the house ugly no matter what you do to the other half. It becomes very apparent when approaching from the right side of home. Looks like a totally different home the first few times driving past the opposite direction.
That said, it just became easier justify buying new ones being more cost effective improvement than previously thought based on proportion.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Legends Lifestyle
Thanks for the cool ideas. Love the Gaslamps! Those are the bad boys of exterior lights--Lamps with Attitude! -And even save money on the electric bill than LED's. I would consider painting the home to just match the Gaslamps! Who doesn't love the look of real flames! Does anyone know where I can get a dragon to replace my security system?
I will definitely pay a visit to your site.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Do you need the french doors for the office? If not, I would take them out and put in a window there. That would probably cost about 2-3k so it may be something to think about down the road. The two doors seem confusing in the front. I agree with some different garage doors too - something more spanish inspired or southwestern to go with the stucco.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Apple Pie & Carrie
Thanks for the advice on what colors would be a good fit. I've been trying to figure out what would look good with that pink/tan color. I was a kid the last time I painted a house so I guess I just now got the memo that tech changed a bit.

Thanks for this helpful bit of life info:

"you can search for complementary colors on the manufacturer's website. If not, try Sherwin Williams "chip it" application on a photo."

This has just significantly improved my quality of life & saved hours of driving in search of homes that maybe, sort of match the color of mine... just so I can look at the trim they have.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:32AM
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These french doors in front seem to put me into the dilemma of:
- wanting to make them nice enough to be displayed since they more readily seen than the front door
- yet not quite as nice as the the single front door--- or confusion becomes an issue.
Considering the window still a good option.... since doors are quite pricey anyway.

I wonder if that is how its life as a bright red door began.....hmm..

I like the custom look of those garage doors... Do you think the leaving them natural brown wood type regardless of home color/trim.

or do you suggest that style to be painted to match the new/existing trim color that compliments the pink/tan.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Thanks, for opening my mind to all these wonderful options.
It is usually easy for me to figure out what is needed to improve the look of a home.
This home for some reason, had me stumped on what to do, each seemingly simple problem to fix had its roots deep within other problem areas.
So it became hard just to pick the color of paint/trim, how to improve landscaping, garage, french doors & even trying pick out to front door.

perhaps all the many small things matter more now.
I am glad you guys took the time to help. thanks!
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:25AM
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If you can change the Color scheme of your house- that is the first thing to do to get a great deal of curb appeal. Cut down the coconut tree!
Opt1| the english tudor look - black windows goes with grey n white walls.
Op2: the Ralph Lauren look- hunter green window panels with sand Color n brown combo.
Opt3: the Santa Fe look- coral, brick, chocolate colours n emerald green window sides. Paint the garage a diff Color so that the focal point is the windows n not the garage.

Kick it up a notch by adding a centrepiece of a standing fountain in the middle of your lawn. Of course replant your lawn ... Surround it with wooden chips n flowering plants depending on your Color options u pick.
Add topiaries around like the french gardens of the Versailles !

Edge the lawn with cool lawn lights n make sure you have the sprinkles to water the lawn automatically.
Please no white picket fence for this house! Ugh!

Or you also can have cute stone seats or table... To have tea in summer...
Or stone craved foot stones ... To lead to your door ...
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Maybe making the garage doors a more natural brown color... I like the other ideas about bigger sconces, adding more flowers and toning down the red front door. The previous owners probably wanted to accent the door and chose the wrong color of red. I think a darker, richer color would look nice. Some pretty pots with flowers are always nice.

Yes, doors are very expensive - I had to replace an eight foot and a twelve foot sliding patio door. Each one was 4K with the installation. I got Marvin fiberglass ones - much happier but a little poorer. The problem with homeownership is that the "stuff" never ends - its just on continuing process. I hope you enjoy your new home!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:54AM
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I downloaded a trial version of photoshop just to play around with different colors for my house. Maybe you could do that to see different color combinations....
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Check out these beautiful lanterns from Lantern & Scroll (www.lanternandscroll.com) I think they would look awesome by the garage!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Sierra Jones
What a beautiful house as it is...best of luck to the owner. My comment is directed towards michblue. The first comment I read and what a completely insensitive and ignorant thing to say. Americans lucky to have so many foreclosure opportunities???? Are you serious? Do you realize a foreclosure means that someone LOST their home!? It means someone is HOMELESS and BROKE. A person, a family...a child....unbelievable how you could make such a comment without even thinking. It really disgusted me. Here we are on a website ohhhing and ahhhing (me too) over beautiful homes, and thinking how to improve ours....while others have lost theirs, usually to reasons beyond their control. They once had good jobs....and then all of a sudden ...they DON'T. Lucky Americans??? NO...lucky Canadians that our housing market is still strong and we DON'T have these problems!
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Thanks... you have been such a tremendous help in so many ways. Great insight & great advice. I will be able to apply so much of it to what I am trying to achieve.. It will go a long way.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:16AM
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They are awesome. I will check out the site. Thanks.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:21AM
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I think that Shamiko Design is right in that you probably need to decide what your house wants to be - French, Spanish, English and then go from there. That will help you decide on the color, landscaping, sconce design, door color, etc.. Play around with photoshop and see what you come up with. I have the same problem with curb appeal - but my house is big and gray - most people were suggesting changes along the line of craftsman. I don't think thats the direction it wants to go but I did get some really good ideas. Good luck and post some after pictures!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:58AM
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To everyone.
I am blown away by your generosity & willingness to help a complete stranger in need of advice get specific answers pertaining to what was asked..
I don't mean to stray off subject, but I must say I am impressed by everyone's ability to stay on subject.
You all have an amazing sense of style & helped me begin to see things more clearly. This is my first time using this site & it works. Keep up the great work & preserve the spirit of this amazing site.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:01PM
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They are awesome. I will check out the site. Thanks.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 3:28PM
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I guess we are sort of in the same boat. I took a look at your home. It is large & lovely. I will have to take a closer look when I have more time, but I see you are having an issue with balancing the oversized appearance of the 2car Garage with the proportions/pattern/details of the rest of the home.

I can see that "Craftsman" Style gets suggested frequently. However, I think you may be able to balance it out using the "Tudor Revival" Style if you don't feel sold on going Craftsman.
Entire 2car Garage section with stone or brick coverage. Then skip over to the Section on other side of Entry & cover it top to bottom with stone or brick.
Accent as needed to achieve balance & interesting detail and focal points.

WWW.FAUXPANELS.COM may be worthwhile to take a look.

Since I have not found a pic that is shaped exactly like your home that I can show you.
Try to use the "Street view" on "GoogleMaps" to look at some of the homes located on the same street/neighborhood near this address.

12601 Locksley Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93311

There are some that have similar proportions/shape as yours but they use lots of little tricks to achieve a more balanced look.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 4:39PM
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I think the easiest fix is to paint the trim a cream color or 5 shades lighter than the color of the stucco. I think it will brighten up the whole front.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Thank you for your suggestions! - I will take a look.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Here is an article that you can great great ideas from. I think you will like it.
Ideabook: Ornament Your Garden the Artful Way · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:00AM
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New exterior lights and a house number that plays off your deep red door.
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:23PM
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