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House exterior update
February 26, 2013 in Design Dilemma
we are planning to replace windows and siding. I am unhappy with the split-entry (too small). i don't like the window configuration on the right side of the house (they wrap around the corners both upstairs and downstairs. the back of the house is truly boring! the house is settled into a sand ridge, so landscaping is a challenge. with 3 kids (priority) in sports year round, there is little time for maintenance.
i would be interested in others' thoughts on how they would change the exterior--color ideas, window configuration, and especially--curb appeal.
thank you!
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Lady Von
Hi Janpell! You have a cute little house. I really like your yard. Here are my thoughts about updating your home's exterior:

1) ENTRANCE - The first issue I see is that the entrance to your house is not defined (especially with two doors within close proximity). I would beef up the main entrance by adding a portico. This will drawn your eye to entrance and provide shelter from the elements. I would also reconfigure your stairs so they open to the front and not to the side (again, this will help to define your entrance). If feesible, add a new walkway from the sidewalk to the front door so visitors won't have to walk down your drive way (That's just a pet peeve of mine). Beef up the lighting at the entrance and maybe add some solar lights to light the path to the front door.

2) WINDOWS and DOORS - Without knowing your floor plan I cannot comment regarding your window configuration. However, your windows and doors can stand to be upgraded. I would replace the front door and storm door to something more stylish. Does the door to the "basement" area have to stay? Would you consider french doors, maybe something with grilles? You would still get access and natural light to that area (it just would not be in visual competition with the front door).

3) HOUSE COLOR - I was thinking an olive green or rich stone color. If you stay in the green color family I would use white trim to accent the house. If you went with a stone color I would consider using a "cedar" color or warm brown as an accent. I like these color families because they are rich (as in not washed out) and they are neutrals (like a blank canvas). You would be able to add in a lot of architectural details without overwhelming your house.

4) LANDSCAPING / YARD - Not knowing the specific area of the country you are in I recommend going to your local nursery and seeking advice regarding native plants that can grown in your type of soil. A way to get around your soil issues is to use raised planter beds. Raised planters give you more flexibility regarding your landscaping and they can also help to visually define spaces. For your back yard (which I love), maybe extend the patio to the right side and add a pergola. I would also add some simple rock or mulch beds around your trees (if you choose to keep them). I am not sure if you are allowed to landscape around that electrical box. If so, I would consider using an ornamental grass to define the space(provided the grass can grow in your soil). This would give a visual barrier to the box without hindering access.

Pictures: (1) Defined entry; (2) Pergola; and (3) Raised planter beds.

I hope this helps to get your design juices flowing. Good luck!

P.S. - I miss the snow! :-)
February 26, 2013 at 1:54pm     
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Lady Von
Here are some more exterior color palettes to consider. I am thinking of neutral palettes that won't look washed out in the winter time.
February 26, 2013 at 2:25pm   
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Wow! Thank you, W Smith! You have some really great suggestions! The photos are great for me, too, as I can't always visualize what others have in mind. We plan to replace the upper door, and we need to keep the lower door for outer wear (mudroom entry) since there is only a small landing for the other entry door. thanks, again, for your thoughts on the exterior of my house. i appreciate your time!
February 26, 2013 at 2:38pm     
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