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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Any ideas for some Exterior Excitement?

tlbarrFebruary 15, 2013
Hello, all. I'm in the process of purchasing this house, and while the interior is very manageable, I find that I could use some suggestions for adding some excitement and/or drama to the landscaping. Thanks!
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Barnhart Gallery
What a great looking house -- congrats! I think if you take the brown details into the realm of creams and greys, taking color cues from your stone, you will have updated a real gem.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Where are you located, btw?
I see brand new plantings in the beds along the front of the house. Remove the boxwoods or whatever they are. Replace with nicely mounded beds and shrubs that will grow to be full, fluffy, and voluptuous. A well-placed ornamental grass here and there might be nice too.

For ease of getting and keeping green under the trees between the driveway and beds, consider a shade-loving groundcover like pachysandra (depending on your growing region, of course). That way, you'll have greenery, won't have to mow, won't have to struggle to keep grass alive. It will soften the hardscape and the look of the home. Once the new decorative plantings fill in around the house, you'll end up with a nice, nestled look and feel.

Add a decorative, tall urn for plants or a water feature in the front, along the walkway to the porch. A little color might be nice.

Off-topic: Part of me thinks this house would look even more fabulous with dark color window trim and grids/mullions.

Entrances · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Barnhart Gallery
...and on second look, there has to be a way to tie in your white (replacement?) windows. Hmm. I'd talk to my paint guy about taking them charcoal. Any other thoughts, houzzers?
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Try this landscape plan, and yes, remove the clumpy hedge. You'rs can look like this in short order!
exterior'>Exterior · More Info
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Your stone exterior is lovely. Consider some curving, organic-shaped plantings as opposed to the more formal line of existing boxwoods. I also like how stone was incorporated into the beds as shown in this inspiration photo.
Thin Veneer and patio stone · More Info
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Jayme H.
In front of your porch area, it looks bare..I would add in a curvy edged landscape bed with grasses, ornamental shrubs, and perennials...add in colorful annuals in season...Landscaped areas around the large trees would also look nice. I would possibly do an edging of some material of your choice, vary the edges of the arrangements...I don't like circular...And add in different heights, textures of plants/perennials.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Jayme H.
In the corners of the house, I would add something with height...Around the trees, a lush arrangement..taller plants in the back, could also be grasses...Yard is large enough to handle decent sized areas around the trees...to have arrangements..could incorporate an interesting boulder or 2..u can get colored, interesting ones..
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Lovely home, congratulations. With beautiful landscape and adding standing seam metal roof you have a dream home.

Here is an example.

Southern Living Idea House Exterior · More Info
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Hostas might work under the shade of the trees. They don't really like light and prefer the dappled light your front yard might give - dead easy to look after.
I assume you are somewhere where it is cool enough to experience seasons such as leaf fall and some snow
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Thank you all for your input, I'm starting to have some hope for an exciting front yard! I'm located in Oklahoma, so I experience all the mood swings of Mother Nature.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:09AM
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All you "need" is a leaf blower and some grass. You're new home is beautiful!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:19AM
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Jayme H.
Ignore the palms....can substitute a shrub or plant...But I would do something like this in the bare area in front of the porch...
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I agree with "barnhartgallery" that the white window frames are a little distracting. I think I would add shutters to all the windows on the lower level like the one on the far right. Many great landscaping ideas above. Make it variable and higher toward the house then bring out into the yard mid layers and finally ground cover. I also like the low stone edging of the beds, don't just "rim" the house.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Godsey Homes
I agree with getting rid of the browns and going with off white trim. This will tie the windows in and make the rock pop.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Harmony Design Group
Hi There! Congratulations on your new home. We would introduce a low boxwood hedge in front of the porch and incorporate some fun, colorful perennials in front of the hedge. Be sure that the bedline is sweeping so as to break up the linear lines found in the architecture of your home. We also noticed that the tree to the left is leaning and that it's probably a good idea to just cut that down. Once the tree is gone, you can introduce an ornamental tree with great fall color. After the plantings are installed you can then put down some sod or throw down some grass seed (be sure to water it often!).

The attached photo is of a job that we designed and installed this past summer and thought the foundation plantings in this photo could be used as inspiration for your project. Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Mary Dancey Interiors
I think your house is stunning - I didn't notice the white windows until they were pointed out to me because I was too busy being excited about the stone. :) If you're planning on replacing the windows then chose a dark coloured option using your stone for inspiration and please no white mullions either. Jayme suggested some lovely ideas for plants.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 2:02PM
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I agree with Jayme Hobbs; something that blooms a bright pink would be really pretty!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:25PM
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What about a color on the front door that "pops"?
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:54AM
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All of this depends of course on how you like to use your yard. Are you gardeners? Gardens can be low or very high maintenance- make sure you choose what you want. Do you have a backyard where there is more private outdoor space for play, eating out, enjoying the breezes in summer? Or is the front yard where you'll do that too? There looks to be a nice porch out front under the eaves- enough for a couple of rocking chairs (or something comfy) to enjoy Sunday coffee and the paper, as well as the fruits of your labor. Go to some garden tours this spring and summer to what you like- in terms of plants, bed shapes, heights, textures, colors. It's always good to live in a place for awhile too before doing anything too major- you need time to see how you really use the space indoors and out, where the best views and light are, etc. It's ok to take some time. In terms of the house itself, I can see the stucco painted a nice earthy green color even, something still neutral but just different enough. I'd leave the shutters off myself; there's already enough going on with the tudor aspect, and once you get the garden going, that will blend the house and the garden together. Have fun!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:27PM
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i would suggest adding some pops of color to the house itself in addition to landscaping changes, being that its rather monochromatic as is. adding some sage green or patina blue shutters to the first floor windows and painting the door in a contrasting color would make a large impact; painting the posts on the porch would draw more attention to it and make it feel much more welcoming, and if you got really ambitious you could paint the trim underneath the roof lines aswell. lining the walk with lush annuals and flanking its entrance from the driveway with some sort of waist-height shrub or small ornamental tree, like dowoods (make sure you dont plant too close to the walk, leave lots of room for growth) will also give a more inviting feel. this looks like a very shady area, so lots of shade-loving perennials such as ferns and hostas infront of the porch and pachysandra to fill in the gaps would lend a lush, classic romance to the porch area that will require little maintenance and will look gorgeous year after year. AVOID IVY! as tempting as it may be to let it grow up a stone wall, it will swallow your house and other plantings, and is impossible to get rid of.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:41PM
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I think a dark red door would make the whole house pop
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:38PM
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A nice house needs some nice yard work..I would say either some nice,bright,colorful flowers (real or fake) or a picnic table with a colorful umbrella. :) hope is helped
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:43PM
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What ever you do, place your plant selections from looking from the inside of the house out...what shapes do YOU want to look at from those windows? What view do you want to block or enhance? Making the porch area a more important shape could turn that into another "room". Think of your garden in terms of "rooms", breaking it up perhaps into thirds across the front one way, and then thirds going out. What would pair nicely with lots of leaves that will fall to the ground?
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:00AM
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