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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Ranch Curb Appeal Needed - would prefer a more modern look

annalisehFebruary 8, 2013
Please help! My ranch house needs an update: new door, new shutters, new lights. I'm also thinking about changing the columns.

Any suggestions for color schemes or door styles? i'd love to make it more modern. We also plan to ditch the storm door.

The siding & brick have to stay (unpainted) at my husband's request.
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I would start by replacing the shutters with larger ones, painted black or a dark charcoal, replace the columns with square style supports. Replace your door with a modern type painted black or red. Remove all the rounded shrubbery and replace with a contemporary garden, with some grasses and phormium plants, add a few large boulders, keep your tree, and place a teak backless bench underneath. Replace your pole light fixture with a new contemporary style. At the front door use a large tall ceramic pot.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Given the style of the surround around the door, I would consider going with a raised panel exterior door with squares, perhaps in the same color as the surround. As well, perhaps exchanging the rounded columns for squared ones and changing out the shutters for ones in colors more like the door surround. Square lights to either side as well.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:39PM
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wow! great ideas! we're also finding the garden really hard to maintain & so many of the shrubs are overgrown & unruly. I think the landscaping was done 10+ years ago & has otherwise just been in maintenance mode.

I was thinking of a door like this. What do you think? obviously I couldn't get one that custom, but our hallway just inside the door is very dark.

Cary Bernstein Architect Choy 1 Residence · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Just box in the pillars for a more modern look and tell hubby that that brick is cutting the house into. By painting the brick your house will look entirely different. I like your house.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
If you want to go modern loose the shutters completely. Instead build out large trim around the doors and windows. The columns definitely need to go. Replace them with something beefier. You could just frame around the ones that are there. I think this might be the first time I've said this but paint the brick. It is not working in anyway to help a modern look. Obviously change the light fixture a brushed aluminum possibly. A new front door would look good. Possibly a full glass panel if privacy is not a problem. If it is than a metallic one (brushed stainless/aluminum which ever you chose for the light) with a narrow long rectangular glass window.
This would be a really good start.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Thanks all! Would I just hire a contractor to frame around the columns or are there kits to use? If I could convince my husband, what color would you paint the brick? Finally, is there any software out there I can buy to try some of this stuff out?
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
You could use Sketchup by google. I just had a discussion about this program. It is free to down load.
Boxing around the columns should be very easy. There are kits to do this that are made of a PVC product which is maintenance free.
I love the black door in the post above. That is exactly what I was picturing in my post above this one.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:00PM
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Great idea-cheaper than building new to do an exterior rehab!

I'm not crazy about the over hang porch because your house will be dark inside most of the day. You will need sunlights with this roof if you crave natural lighting. Velux brand is the way to go with that.

I love cedar siding-long and linear for houses like this or even shingled. I like the modern door, numbers the architect sent above.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
I see nothing wrong with the home as is but the landscaping could use some help and that would also enhance the home's features. I'd start by remove that hodgepodge of evergreens and shrubs . I can't see a long sot of the property but the path to the entrance doesn't look defined enough. Can you show a long shot with the house in the center ?
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Once you stick with the red brick and white siding, there isn't really a "modern" you can do, but you can still make it fresh! Go look at Young House Love with their red brick and white trim and cheerful Yellow entry door. younghouselove.com See what they did on their front porch to make it feel new. For your house, I would prescribe something like a french blue door (they make mens shirting in a gorgeous french blue - google that image for that tone) - Wowsa! and with that I could see some wedgewood blue-gray on your shutters (existing shuters are fine in my book - work with what you have!).

The front porch could then incorporate fun decor that draws from the flag - a lot of different distressed barn red accent benches and classic metal star art. Paint out / update mailbox and outdoor fixtures lights in a nice crisp black to echo traditional classic feel, try your house number in wrought iron script and display it under your entry fixture. Use that blue planter on the porch for something green and trailing with space for seasonal flowering color to be added 3 x yr. New outdoor seeded glass lantern fixtures may give you a more "updated" feel but respect the traditional bones you have to work with.

More fresh looks can happen in your planting beds - where you have "balls" of evergreen, trim the tops flatter and lower so the bottom of the bay window is open on the sight line - avoid balls / flat top the little ones and let them range from there sideways. Lift the beautiful red branched small tree / shrub so it arches over the entry door instead of obscuring the sight line. Maybe add an arched classic white vinyl arbor over where the sidewalk meets the drive/ road, and plant more liriope at the base with room for a flowering vine or variegated ivy to grow up and over. I say enhance your cottage charm rather than fight it going modern - the houses that look off are where they try to fight what they've been given.

You have a traditional ranch with a lovely bay window - while cypress is right that you can go off modern with some elements, I don't think you will be happy with it. Even if you painted everything out stark modern tones and changed out the front door, your classic traditional windows / good bones will show through. Better to add fresh color and bring more charm to your existing strengths.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:36PM
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I don't have a good pic (and it's dark now) but the path is made out of large stone slabs & runs off of the driveway. I would love landscaping help. It's so much work and as I mentioned seems to have been around forever! This is the only shot i have of the walkway.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Lovely house hope you like the colour
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:53PM
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
A black roof would look much more crisp as well . That one looks blue green. Yes a traditional like wainscot of brick doesn't look modern. To make it look more modern you need different materials at least on the front of the house.
This house would take a lot of $ to get it looking modern.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:20AM
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.

My parents have a very similar looking house. My Mom kept painting the door odd colors. The one that looked best was the jet black. Kept it classic. I only like to do fun colors on a door if the house is a small succinct cap cod, georgian, or modern house that is clean so that door stands out and makes a statement. In a house like this which is going to appear kind of busy. Maybe even cheap. You gotta be careful what colors you put on this with the red brick.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:17PM
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I would remove the shutters. They make the house look cottagey. I would paint the trim, mullions, door a dark color to give it the more modern look you are going for. I like this black against the brick.
Brooklyn Heights Addition · More Info
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Would continuing the siding rather than painting be an option as the brick is visually shortening the height of the home? Agree also that landscaping, square posts, and colour changes would change the look dramatically.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Thank you thank you! I think I'm going to comprimise and go with black, change the columns to square/chunky (in white), get new lightpost (and add lights on either side of the door) in a brushed nickel, not too modern, and get a new garage door (in white? black?). I agree going too modern will be too big a job. Will tackle landscaping when I save up next year.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Roc+Solid Land Design
Why fight the brick and style? I suggest going for a more retro look than flat out modern. Also, the landscape could be designed to update/add cool geometries. I did this for a home in Austin (similar home to yours) and it really gives the house a fresh, mod look (as opposed to modern). Change the columns to square and chunky like you said. The posts could even be something like welded steel. That would give a cool mod edge. And the door with glass...but perhaps with some horizontal slats (ie go with the linear flow of the home). Then a mod bench on the porch. And cool mod lights. I would take off the shutters.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 4:12PM
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