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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I have the ugliest house front......help

cdnwomanFebruary 5, 2013
I have recently purchased this house. I know that I will be changing the garage doors rather quickly because the current door is broken. Though I will be working on the front slowly because of the need of a new garage door I want to have a plan for the front. I am thinking of possibly painting the brick (though some of my friends hate this idea) or stucco it or maybe stone the front bricks. I will be changing the roof so I colour is needed for that also - I am leaning towards black so that I can paint the white window trim black to match the front railings. I am also thinking of adding post on the 'porch', the ones that are larger on the bottom then the top. Eventually the front door will also be replaced.

I would love to know what vision some of you have for this house if it was your project. I know there is lots of talent out there and would appreciate any help you have.

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Engrav's Decorating
I would not do a black roof as it conducts heat from the sun. Perhaps a rich gray. I would replace the black rod ironing railing with a white one or white posts and clear panels which would give it an updated look. The brown is attracting your eye to the garage door, so make it white. Before your paint the brick, I would paint the house a warm buttery yellow. Yellow and bricks look very cheerful together. Yellow also goes with a gray roof and the trimming everything in white will give it a cheerful lift.
You could do a lot by taking away the evergreens that add no color in front of the railing. Instead put in colorful perennials with colorful pots of annuals in between the perennials. This will will help drawn your eye away from the garage door. It looks as though you could make your outdoor patio just as wonderful with outdoor furniture in vivid colors. Just some thoughts. I would save the painting on the brick as a last resort.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:25AM
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Engrav's Decorating
Typo - I meant add color under the railing with plants and flowers. Sorry...I didn't mean to type No in there.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:27AM
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Paint garage door white ,paint shutters gray with trim piece above the garage door gray.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:32AM
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I don't think your house is ugly! I think you have some good ideas already on your own.

I am not a big fan of garages in front, so rather than draw attention to them, I would rather paint them the same color as the siding (whatever you choose) and it sort of blends in like a wall of the house. I would not paint the brick. It is nice brick and once you paint it, you will be forever painting it.

You could get a nice new light over your garage, and move new house numbers over garage door, or where they are now.

I have seen nice small pergola type things that could frame your garage door and you could grow some vines to soften the entrance of the garage with that.

I do think a darker roof would look good as well. They have lovely ones in varying shades of charcaol and dark grey that are very nice or ones in deep brown as well. I have seen blacks that are nice too, and it goes nice with the brick and leaves you open to change your paint colors down the road.

I like the idea of heavier posts, but not anything massive. Something square with squared railings, but not what you typically see on decks. You could check for interesting railings elswhere on this site most likely.

You might want to paint the front door for a pop of color. What is your favorite color? There is always a shade of it that would work. I also would repaint the steps, they are looking a little pink now.

I would love to suggest some garden ideas, but first, could you tell us how far your property goes by the bed that is already there?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:10AM
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Hello Handymam:

Thank you for your lovely ideas and the time you have taken to respond to my post.

I have quite a big yard in front and back and I was thinking about that myself. Since I face a church and I have a large window in the front I was thinking of planting a tree in the middle but not a large tree - rather one that has branches that begin low on the trunk of tree and some annuals around it at the bottom. That way it would somewhat abstract the view and provide nice colour to look at...at least in the summer. I also live in the Toronto area where winters are harsh on plants.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:31AM
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I think your house is different, in a nice way. :>) It is kind of a craftsman/prairie style. Maybe this picture will give you some ideas. I love the two paint colors chosen for the trims. The window trim, that area over your garage could be painted a bit darker and the body of the house and garage doors the lighter (maybe like the stones at your porch). Don't forget to paint the gray area by the garage doors. No shutters, simple and sophisticated.
La Grange Park Residence · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Thank you - I also like the two paint colours chosen for the trims on the picture you provided. Thank you for commenting, the advice and the picture. It is lovely and is in keeping to what I am thinking about doing. Do you think a dark grey roof would suit this colour pallet?
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Yes, I do. Here is a picture of the back of the house I posted. I think your home will be great. I am on Cape Cod and we see nothing like your home. It looks very appealing. Love to see inside. Good luck.
La Grange Park Residence · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Creations Nadia Interior Design
it looks to me as an average Montreal house! if you live in Canada, please don't paint the brick - i have one word for you : WINTER ( l'hiver) brrrrr :)))
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:51PM
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We put a soft green metal roof on our brick house and now people often stop by and tell us how much they like it. The metal roof is NOT noisy, but energy efficient, saving us money in heating/cooling AND in landfill costs as it will last 50-75 years, versus 15 years for a typical roof. It did cost more, but over time we'll save -- if we live for 50 years! Hope you are younger and the investment would work for you.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Thomas Wakeman
These images come to mind. The garage doors in the first/2nd, possibly extend the siding down over the brickwork and paint a dark color like in the 3rd, the porch columns in the 4th, and as a possibility, like in the 5th photo, you could add a white panelling up to the siding level to cover the brick, then paint the siding a light grey
RJ Elder Design · More Info

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Cottage Addition - Exterior · More Info
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 4:38PM
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T W, really like the RJ Elder door you posted. That is going in my ideabook.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:18AM
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I like the first post with the white/butter and grey ideas. Grey roof. Medium greige deck and stairs, white fencing, light greige frontdoor, shutters and panel above garagedoor. White/butter garagedoor, trims and windows.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Engrav, I like your idea, unique (at least to me) but in my mind's eye very pretty and bright. Definitely will consider doing this.
Judyg, Love to be in Cape Cod (lucky you), never been. The pictures you provided of the back of the previous house picture you posted I think is fantastic and I definitely could work a similar design in my back yard, because the back of the house is similar. As requested I have included inside pictures of the house....I have lots of work ahead of me which I plan to do slowly (kitchen gut, new front door, new flouring, gas fire place insert etc. the dream is big but the budget small lol).
Creation Naida - Thx for writing and no I am not in Montreal I am outside of Toronto. I, like you, really do not want to paint the brick but I recently saw it done on one of the designers show and to my surprise it looked very good. To be honest I am unlikely to paint the brick I am leaning more to have a stone venire cover the bricks but that depends on the cost.
Diannaobrien - never thought of a green roof!!! how creative. I could see how it would work but being a typical Canadian .... this would be too out of the box for me. As to a metal roof....again would love it but it is beyond my current budget since it has to be done very soon.
Thomas Wakeman - great images, loved them and have saved them in my idea book.
THANK you all for your input and if you and anyone has any more idea I am very open to getting more since I strongly believe that two heads (or more) are much better then one.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Almost a year later, and I'm wondering how it has come along.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2014 at 9:40PM
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By the way, I have a similar MCM house, and this is what we've done...
    Bookmark   December 21, 2014 at 9:41PM
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notadumbblond thank you for taking the time after such a long time since I asked for some help with my front.
I changed the garage door to a taupe one. White I thought would be a too big a contrast with the brick and the roof was change to a nice black roof. I also extended the front flower bed, made it a little bigger and adding a bed to the side of the steps, curving the bed to the stairs with the intend to soften the harsh straight lines. Planted a Japanese maple tree in the middle of the yard which is struggling because my soil is made up of sand. I also put two planters on each side of the garage door. That is the extend of the exterior changes.

The house was build in 1975 and no updates done to it at all. The backyard had nothing but a falling apart shed and a flower bed on the one side. I covered the ugly patio stones with outdoor decking tiles, added flower beds all along all the fencing not to mention planted 15 small evergreen trees.

On the inside I renovated the one "master bath" to a nice modern master bedroom bathroom with a glass walk in shower. I also created a brand new bathroom from a large walk in closet that was in the main hallway upstairs. Both worked out well and I love how they turned out.

I am currently in the middle of renovating the basement, adding a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Hopefully it will be completed in the next month or so. All this while finding out I have ovarian cancer in August of last year (wow writing all this down makes me realize how much I have accomplished in a such a short time!).

So you see though I have done some work in the front I have had to take my focus off the front for now to concentrate on the inside.

Unfortunately I do not have recent pictures of the front and it is winter now so it doesn't look so nice. I now think the front looks ok, decent enough for now.

I LOVE what you have done to your house. It is gorgeous!!! I wish I could do the same but I think because you have lighter bricks the light coulours really work. Well done.

I do have some pictures of the bathrooms and they are attached.

Thank you again for taking the time after all this time to look me up.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 7:18AM
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Your bathroom is lovely! Great job!
    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 10:41AM
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The light bricks are a mixed blessing...although they were a blank slate, white brick of that era was made with a higher percentage of sand that is not as hardy as the coloured brick.

It's been a nearly 4 year project for us...house was built in 69 and although the previous owners lovingly maintained it, they never upgraded. We've done 2 of the baths, the kitchen, as well as decor. We haven't gotten to the basement yet.

Best wishes for a very speedy recovery!!!
    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 10:46AM
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