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Need help with our curb appeal
vhpazdan
February 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
This is the exterior of our new home. The only thing not shown in the picture that we have done is add black shutters to the two long windows on the left. The vertical blinds in the large window have been replaced with sheer curtains and drapes. Ignore the ugly satelite dish in the center of the roof as that will be gone when our contract is up. We are looking for ideas on how to spruce up the front of our house.

Ideas we've had:
Changing the front door but not sure what style of door we are looking for.
Replacing the old white rail with wood railings and possibly a decorative column.
Adding flower boxes underneath the two narrower windows or the large window (not sure which one yet)
Planting a climbing vine to the right of the stairs going up and over the bay window.
Waiting for the slow growing shrubs to grow!

Problem Areas:
The bay window area does not look good at all. Would love to add some sort of decorative thing to make it stand out in a good way. Stone maybe? Or would just paint do the trick?
Would love to do something with the siding above the bay window. Paint? Add trim?

Any ideas would be helpful and very much appreciated!
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Ann Alderson
Bring the black (from the shutters) over to the other side by painting the area below the bay window black, so that window doesn't appear to be floating, and paint the siding above it black! Definitely replace the railing with wood and I would also paint it black (white is really hard to maintain). Your big wow factor will be your new front door. I recommend solid wood (no window) and a color that is complementary to the red-orange brick, such as SW2811 Rockwood Blue Green (satin finish). The touches of black are sophisticated and the pop of color should be seen from the street. I'd love to see wood flower boxes painted white on the two narrow windows to balance the larger bay window on the other side. Congratulations on your new home! It's lovely!
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 1:10PM
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spanisheclectic
One way to keep the bay window from looking like a converted garage door is to remove some of the cement driveway to create a planting bed. I would also put a light to the left of the bay window. I would consider these two steps as safety features. Any possibility of making a circular drive? Is there no other garage?
7 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 1:16PM
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loriwcox
Great ideas so far! How about a large urn with a tall narrow plant or topiary at the bottom of the stairs where the little plant is now. I think this would add some visual interest and help disguise the bay window by drawing your eye to it. Some landscaping across the front of your house will add alot and break up all that red brick. A pretty rock or flower garden in that little triangle piece of grass at the bottome of the stairs would be. The "siding" under the bay window looks a little funky. Can it be replaced? Maybe with horizontal siding to match the siding above it and on the side of it? Didn't even notice the dish at first glance! lol
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 1:21PM
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claudiann
I would plant three Annabelle hydrangeas under the windows with the black shutters. I would like to see the steps extended under the large window to make a small porch. I would paint the door you have black. I would paint the brick on the bay window wall white along with the bottom of the window. I would continue the grass across the driveway. Then I would plant your little bushes and some more plantings around the bay. I would add a brick border between where the driveway stopped and the grass began. The border would continue up to the steps.
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 7:47PM
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sonriewife
We have a drive way like this . Averting the bay window... We planted bed of perennials about 8 inches in from the drive way to separate the grass fro the cement on the right hand side. We moved the bush to the corner of the drive on that side. It made a big difference by bringing attention to that side when driving by and into the drive. Also we park diagonal to the right so others can see the whole instead of a large chunk of cement with a car driving into a garage. Al beit we don't have a window there. Any chance you can put bay windows in the other two windows and less money on plants for now? I love ranch house you will have fun. Congrats. I can upload pics if you want.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:02PM
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sonriewife
It is so funny our walk even curves like that. remember this all takes time.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Latashia Ingram
I would definitely invest in major landscaping. That makes a huge difference. I would change the door to something like a red door. I would absolutely paint the brick and the area around the bay window to a neutral color like dark beige. And I would add an outdoor hanging ceiling fixture or even a wall mount next to entry door. If your finances permit, I would get the driveway done with that decorative outdoor tile and change the shingles on the roof. An awning would look nice over that bay window but proportion it with the other windows so it would look as if the bay window is longer.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 8:15PM
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kathleen MK
With classic black shutters some sort of Black iron work on the bay window side would balance the colors. Large lantern or decorative ironwork(house numbers) in the gable above the bay window. Planter boxes flanking the bay window. Low shrubs and flowers in the triangle between the drive and sidewalk. Something that smells good(flowers or Herbs). You can stretch you planting with just a few perennials that will spread and lots of seeds and annuals(alyssum,morning glories, zinnia) to fill in until they do. Don't be afraid to ask local gardeners about pass along plants. Irises are super easy. Check for plant sales for garden clubs, Iris Society and schools. I'd add some sort of upright evergreens for winter color at the corners but keep all the shrubs far enough away from the foundation to allow for growth You still want to be able to get behind the shrubs to paint those shutters and fill the window boxes :-) I'd layer some easy care shrub(dwarf ones so you don't have to prune them from blocking the windows later) and bulbs in a curving border from the steps to the corner of the house. Take time to plan and get advice from a local nursery and neighbors so you get what's easiest to grow in your area. You have a beautiful blank slate-- enjoy filling it..
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Elizabeth Bishop
Enlarge the front porch to include under the LR window, then add a bench there with pots. Increase the width of your front walkway to the driveway. Build up the front below the bedroom windows by adding either foundation plantings ( do I see some?) or building a raised planting bed either with stucco or brick. Soften the corners. Add plantings (trees) and shrubs with a grass space in front of the bay window. Remove the victorian door with a green painted solid door with square paned upper glass. Darken the paint around the base of the bay window so that it would blend more into the brick. Maybe a trellis surround with porcelain berry vine if it available in your area. Are you able to remove the driveway and make a garage elsewhere? Have fun with some drawings, or, look around at some homes that are nicely landscaped and take some pictures, then, take pictures of your house and take them to the local nursery with some measurements for help...
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:35PM
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cyn222
Plants do wonderful things. See far too much of the foundation right now.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Keitha
What about something like this for the bay window?
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:17PM
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vhpazdan
Thank you all for all of the helpful hints and tips. Unfortunately taking up part of the driveway is not something we are able to tackle right now but we are definitely planning on being here for a few years and would love to do that in the future. It sounds like most agree to paint or replace the door and we love that idea. I have another picture that shows the addition of the black shutters. You can see more of the bushes that are exist there now. We removed two bushes from the far left side of the house and replanted them in the back. We then planted two azaleas which do well in our area. Since we didn't plant the small green shrubs, we don't know what they are but they sure have made a lot of progress since we've been here, we'd hate to disrupt their growth now. Just takes time to grow the bushes. We've also added some hostas to fill in for now between the shrubs.

Thanks again for all of the advice!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 8:14AM
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