powered by
Discussions
Photos
Products
Ideabooks
Discussions
Professionals
Users
Outdoor Update
Lori Wallace-Roberts
February 18, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I live in a 1950s ranch home that's in serious need of an update. I plan to begin tackling it this spring and am looking for ideas.

I live on 3 acres and no one even uses the front, bit I still want it to be inviting and I know it's not.

I know we want to do something with the busted concrete walkway and the landscape. This is a winter picture (don't mind the Christmas lights) but in the spring I do have hosta and lilies that bloom.

I would like to remove the three large shrubs on the end of the house because they overshadow everything. Any recommendations.

I do have a lot of very old trees in need of pruning, as well.

Looking forward to your thoughts for a budget friendly makeover!
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
misecretary
could you take a few more pictures; maybe closer to the front of the house and then the sides too?
February 18, 2013 at 3:28pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
It's dark here now so I can't snap any more pics. The right side of the house is all driveway that goes back around to my barn. The left side is open about 5 feet and there is a row of pine trees separating the area from my side acreage. I will upload additional pics tomorrow. Thanks!
February 18, 2013 at 3:33pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
I haven't had a chance to get additional photos yet, but I wanted to add that I don't want the trees to go. I live in a home without AC and they provide a great deal of shade.
February 19, 2013 at 11:55am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
I've attached a few pics a little closer in. I'd love some feedback.

The trash scattered throughout has been picked up...way too much wind in Ohio lately :)
February 20, 2013 at 4:57pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Pamela Bateman Garden Design
Why don't you use the front door? Where do guests usually park? Could you have a curved driveway or parking closer to the front door for guests? The more pictures the more suggestions we can make. Perhaps put a courtyard in the front of the house with a large entrance path leading to the courtyard. This would make the house look more inviting and guests would be more likely to come to the front door. You can do an inexpensive decomposed granite path until you get to the front of the house and courtyard. Search photos in Houzz for courtyard ideas. You have lots of room so the possibilities are unlimited.
February 20, 2013 at 6:12pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
Thanks. No one uses the front because parking is around back and closer to the back door. The property consists of the house, a building behind the house that was once used as a business that's as big as the house and a large red barn.

I'm trying to take each separately area since the property is so large and I thought I'd start with the front. I don't foresee people using the front door regularly because of where the parking is located.

Thanks for your comments.
February 20, 2013 at 6:48pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
misecretary
Hi Lori:
I agree, keep the trees and trim as needed. Even if you had AC, it's still nice to have trees.
Your original post doesn't really say what type of project you want to do. Do you want to paint, landscape, or both?
Are the three windows on the right all the same size? I get the feeling the end one is a different size?
I don't know a lot about names of plants, but the area beneath those 3 windows definitely needs something--perhaps some type of shrub. Is there room between the sidewalk and the tree?
Is the patio door in good shape or will you be replacing it ?
February 20, 2013 at 7:04pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
Hi misecretary,

The house is gray siding. I don't love it, but will be living with it for a while.

I am looking to do some landscaping and cosmetic updates to improve the look.

On the right side, the furthest window to the left is smaller than the other two. Currently, the concrete walk is along the house. There is a large half circle bed around the big tree. I have lilies and hosta there that blooms in the summer.

I was thinking of replacing the patio door with French doors leading outside to a small patio or courtyard.

Thanks!

I just feel blah about the front exterior and want to add some punch. I was thinking about painting the front door a deeper red. I want to stay in that family, because my barn is red.
February 20, 2013 at 7:15pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
misecretary
Glad to hear that. French doors look much nicer on the front of a house than patio door. Think about french doors without grids/panes in keeping with current windows.

If you want to pain the door red, then do it. I don't have an eye for picking colors but from reading other posts, there are some designers on here that help you with that.

It really is 'that time of year' when everything looks dull. After you trim the lower hanging branches, you will have a better view of the house--which always helps. The corner by the patio door is in shadows and looks dull. Having the black table and chair set there darkens it even more. Will you be moving that ? If not, why not paint it and put brightly colored cushions on chairs (in spring/summer/fall). When putting in the french doors, think about installing some type of light fixture there. hope some of this helps
February 20, 2013 at 7:42pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
I was thinking of putting some sort of cozy built in near the front where the black table is currently located. I saw a project for a built in daybed sort of look with colorful pillows. Do you think something like that would work?

As far as the light fixtures go, I'd like to replace them, as well. At the front door, there is a recessed lighting fixture that's really old and utilitarian. I would definitely like to add something near the French doors that I plan to install. Great idea about French doors without the grids/panes. Luckily, my boyfriend installs windows and doors, so that should be a pretty easy task. Do you think white french doors?

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I'd still love to hear some ideas on the landscape. I like low maintenance since I have such a large area, but still want something that looks fresh.
February 21, 2013 at 5:19am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
I've attached some overhead images of the property to give a complete view, so you understand what I'm dealing with and why I'm taking the entire process slow. These are old and a lot of things shown have been repaired and or removed.

The images pan around the entire property. The barn roof has been repaired and the trailer has also been removed. I have so much to work with that it's overwhelming. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

As I said, I'm working on the front this year, but I belive someone asked for a view of the driveway area and other side of the house to get a full perspective.
February 21, 2013 at 5:42am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
misecretary
You really DO have a lot to take into consideration! With this amount of space, I understand why you could get lost in the design. Yikes.

I think a white french door would be fine--your windows appear to have white trim so that makes sense to me. I don't have a clue about built-in day bed but as long as the cushions are waterproof, why not. If it doesn't look good in that corner, I'm sure you could find a spot for it somewhere lol.

I'm like you--not an expert. Right now it looks like you and me, so if one chimes in maybe he/she can correct any mistakes we may make!.

Wil you be trimming the low hanging branches on the pine tree? As of right now, I can't see the windows on that end of the house so hard to tell what else should be done with land scaping.
February 22, 2013 at 9:42am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sooneralumom
Love your idea about the French doors/courtyard. It will add architectural interest. Great idea to focus on landscaping. It will make a huge difference by adding dimension if you have simple curved lines and a couple specimen trees in the courtyard. If you can do Japanese Maple there (check zones) it would be perfect in the partial shade between the two French doors. If you don't need them to function as doors a similar look in windows might be more budget friendly. Check surplus stores and buy shrubs in off season when they are getting rid of their surviving leftovers. (now?)
February 22, 2013 at 10:00am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sooneralumom
It's a good idea to decide what kind of feel you want for the property. If you go with undivided lite doors as was suggested above it's going to have a more contemporary, California casual feel. Divided lites will lend a more European country or traditional feel. Make that decision and use it to guide your choices in everything from landscape to interiors.
February 22, 2013 at 10:09am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sweet Caroline Garden Design
A good project for Spring would be a new garden bed in front. Your property is ideal for a woodland garden. Draw an outline for a bed, remove grass and amend soil . If you have clay, add amendments such as fine pine bark and manure, if sandy, add compost and manure. Get a book on woodland gardens to find out what grows in your zone. Such broadleaf evergreens as Azaleas are usually ideal for woodland gardens and they look very natural. Viburnums are also a great deciduous shrub ( some are evergreen, some are deciduous ), Small blooming trees such as dogwood, serviceberry and redbud are great in woodland gardens. Perennials such as hostas, ferns, hellebores, ginger, solomon seal, sedges and grasses are great for added color . Add a heavy layer of shredded pine bark when all planting is done. It will retain moisture and keep down weeds. I've doodled an idea of the aforementioned.
February 22, 2013 at 1:38pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sweet Caroline Garden Design
P.S. The decorative arbor across the front is an idea for a future project and I think it would really balance your home's architecture and emphasize the entrance .
February 22, 2013 at 1:40pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
The Color People
you have a wonderful Mid Century Modern home but I really can't see it well enough to give you any but the most cursory advice. Can you take some closeups or half the house in one photo and half in another if it too wide? It would really help
February 22, 2013 at 1:57pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
Wow. Thanks for the great thoughts and ideas.

Sweet Caroline - I love what you've done with the place. I wouldn't have thought to include all of the existing trees into one large bed, but it really makes a statement.

What do you think about the existing brick column along the front? There is no fireplace there and I don't know if it's structural, but it seems out of place to me.

The Color People - there are a few Images closer up near the top of the thread. Are those not working?

Thanks again!
February 22, 2013 at 2:06pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sweet Caroline Garden Design
If you decide to go with a decorative arbor I would have that brick column incorporated into the design by boxing it in with matching wood. It's probably a support column added on, but yes, it does look lonesome all by itself . BTW if there's room enought between those two large trees on the right you could sneak in another beautiful small blooming tree .
February 22, 2013 at 5:06pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sweet Caroline Garden Design
This photo shows an arbor attached to a house -it's boards are going length-wise but I prefer the ones going straight out from the house .
February 22, 2013 at 5:15pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sacapuntaslapioz
If nobody uses the door why not close it and make the front door the one that is actually used? Then you can get a large picture window in place of the door. A large bed with low plantings and you are ready to go! This is waht I did on my 1950 ranch, after ripping everything overgrown
February 23, 2013 at 9:16am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
@Sweet Caroline - I also like the arbor boards coming out from the house as opposed to the other way, but the pic gives me an idea.

Something else I happened to think about this morning is that my clean out for my septic tank is in the front on the left side behind the large pine tree. How would that impact the landscape design? I wouldn't think it would be prudent to cover that area with mulch and shrubs. Better to just design the bed around it?

Thanks again!

Thanks.
February 24, 2013 at 4:22pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Sure, just design around it.
February 24, 2013 at 5:22pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jonathan3
Keep it simple--this is a large piece of property. An inviting group of outdoor seating with flowering native plants that fit the spot without a lot of pruning to encourage wildlife would be lovely. Enjoy!
February 25, 2013 at 10:24pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Lori Wallace-Roberts
@jonathan3...thanks for your comments. I like simple and don't want anything too busy and cluttered. Hopefully, I can begin coming up with a plan of attack so I'm ready to go as soon as the weather permits. And once I get the front in tip top shape, I can move to the back :) I've gotten some great and much appreciated input from the Houzzers on here!
February 26, 2013 at 2:06pm   
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Old House in need of an Outdoor Update
Shield your eyes! This is our hand me down, work-in-progress...
I am updating my front outdoor entry. I
I live in a coastal community in N. California. I...
Update bath, laundry, build outdoor kitchen,
Our bathrooms need updating. Built in 1972 . We have...
Want to update my outdoor space in rural horse country
Would like landscaping that will work in water scarce...
More Discussions
What do I do with this GAUDY Rococo Bedroom Set? Help
So, very good friends of mine moved to the Yucatan....
Need help with flooring for our new hill country contemporary home
We like handscaped wood floors but not sure about using...
How would you spend $10,000 in your garden?
If you had a windfall, where would your money go in...
Cupboard and bench top colour?
I want to paint the kitchen cupboard doors and bench...
What color should I paint this small bedroom?
Main floor is getting painted next week. Mostly SW...
People viewed this after searching for:
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.