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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I need help giving our house some curb appeal!

deabinderJanuary 23, 2013
Help! I am lost on how to landscape our front yard. Right now its a lot of grass and the driveway basically leads right up to the front door which drives me nuts. I am open to any suggestions...
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What a great mid century style house you have... I don't know what part of the country you are in so plant material is hard to suggest. When it comes to placement tho I would want to play up the style of your home and bring your eye forward. A short wall or pillars on sides of the driveway made from a stack rock could frame the space,small birch trees following the curve of the driveway with up lighting would be dramatic... also changing fencing to a wood but on the horizontal would be very pretty in a walnut stain... adding plant materials that have a strong shape and strong color like chartreuse or deep plum foliage will compliment the homes style . I would place a bed of plants in front of what looks like the carport. If you are on a budget I would place one tree on the right back closer to the house , add a cement pad with gravel to create a seating area, brightly colored seating ..Another larger tree on the left more towards the middle and front. Plants in strong shapes and good lighting will bring the yard and house together. Maybe paint he front door a bright color also.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:47AM
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this reminded me of your house......cute
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:51AM
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I would frame the driveway with green hedges or small flower plants
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:58AM
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HI -- I love your mid century house . I like the curve of the driveway so I think you should work with that . Have a 3 foot wide band planting bed on each side . On the right plant some low growing junipers every three feet or so and then cover the ground with some decorative gravel either light or dark. Now on the left side plant some river birch trees and fininsh with the same gravel then left of that have a 3 foot wide walkway . This will be easy to look after . You could also then have a row of flowers on the left side of the new walkway. Then even more to the left more out on the lawn plant a feature tree , like maybe a weeping birch or something showy. This will all be a nice leed in to the front door.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Stone & Land, LLC
deabinder, if you’re looking for landscape planting suggestions, it'd help to know what city or state (or country) you're from. I like the look of the house as is, but the picture is a little hard to read as far as what’s going on up near your foundation and window. If you live somewhere with snow or you plan on making the front lawn more usable, I wouldn't advise lining bushes along the drive, cuts it off and your guests will find it hard to walk around their car, unless you expand with a coach walk on the side. I like lefty47 & bygeorgi ideas about using some multi-stem trees. They give you a lot of impact for the money. I'd simplify the foundation plants with some massing of lower goundcovers, and just a couple of groups of shrubs or ornamental grasses near the corners if you think you need to "soften" them. I think a nice interesting piece of sculpture would look nice against your car port and lit with some outdoor lighting. Maybe balance with something else on the other side and hang something on the fireplace and uplight it.

It looks like you have a grand vista to the right. Maybe you want to define the driveway more and make that area into a big courtyard / patio for entertaining. There'd be plenty of room to throw a football too. No rules that your entertainment space has to be in the back yard. It's your space and you can shape that front yard into more than a display for foundation plants.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Perhaps some hard-scaping and landscape features to define your yard.

Eichler · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Stone & Land, LLC
Building on Dytecture and bygeorgi, if you have a seatwall to define a "courtyard" across the way from the carport and then change the paving or make a band of pavers across the existing drive, it'll make it feel less like the driveway is coming straight into the house. It'll make the space a little more special and you can have some landscape or trees work off that wall to even further define that outdoor room.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Thank you so much for all your ideas! It always help to toss ideas around. We live in British Columbia, about an hour from the US border. To the right of the driveway and that lawn area, the ground falls away to a pretty steep bank down to the road. To the right of the driveway is a pretty flat lawn area and then a 3 ft stone retaining wall, with our neighbours above. I would love to eventually add another parking spot in front of the carport, ust so that my husband's vehicle doesn't block the front of the house when we're both home. Also, I would love any color suggestions, etc. for the exterior of our house. My husband is adament that he wants a navy blue front door...any suggestions for color combos?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 1:55PM
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Flip through this Flickr set. These homeowners did a fantastic job with the landscaping on their MCM home.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I must agree with Stone and Land LLC... hard scaping will add the dimension and feel that is the corner stone , no pun intended for mid- century style out door spaces. A seat wall would be a fantastic addition to the yard ... it is such a large expanse of grass that's why I suggested a seating area ... a combo of cement and gravel plays on texture....you may want to look at mid century homes in Palm Springs...I was there a few months ago and wow !
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 5:18PM
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When it come to color any greys from charcoal to warm light taupes or other natural tones usually compliment the hard scaping , personally I would use charcoal for the house color and a punch of color for the front door.... I think a grand house like yours could handle the drama... I like orange, teal, chartruese as an accent, keeping true to the color schemes of the era. Pull that color into your plant selections... I can't give advice there, I'm in southern California sorry, not a clue what would live in your neck of the woods.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 5:50PM
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You could create a zen garden with Japanese style plantings, using plants like Hinoki cypress, some raked fine gravel and a large boulder near the entry. A large specimen tree like a weeping birch or paper birch or even a larger maple further down in the yard to keep with the theme. There are lovely japanese gardens in your area and down in Seattle. You could add some clumps of grass for interest in the gravel. I would stay away from the junipers that look really tired after a couple of years. This makes me so homesick. We just moved from Seattle to Florida!!!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Have you done anything yet? Would love an update.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:52AM
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