Hi, We bought this home last summer. The exterior of the house has been neglected. We would like to work on it this summer, starting with paint. Any color suggestions? Or suggestions overall? Thank you!
(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: boston(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)Who has helpful advice?
Hmmm....those windows are in an awkward spot for sure. I don't really mind the green on the facade but I think the house could absolutely benefit from some landscaping. Flower beds with some bright colors would help. What is that on the left side of the front door? I'd widen the front entry to create a small porch and bulk up the support pillar. I'd change the color of the front door, too, maybe a darker stain?
If you like bold: Royal blue with a creamy yellow door, or warm grey with an orange, red, or pink door. Pink would also work with royal blue.A warm blue-grey could also look nice and would give the look of the house more impact.Remove the shutters!And to the left of the door, are those windows or panels? If they are panels, paint the insides and the frames in contrasting colors. For example, the insides or the panels could be matched to the door, with the frames left white, if you are going to leave your trim white.If they are windows, hang a darker curtain behind them.You could even leave your door natural wood if you choose a housepaint color and a color for the inside of the panels next to the natural wood door that coordinate.I would also trim off the farthest left trunk of the tree next to the door, or even remove it altogether. The placement isn't good feng-shui, for realz. Another birch tree would look fantastic on the left hand corner of the house, with maybe a pine tree or two between the house and the street if you have the space and it would look good.Nice place!! Good luck.
Great house. It's a modern design and could be wonderful if treated so. Loose the shutters, they are inappropriate, paint it a neutral taupe/cement color and replace the door with something simple, reflecting the horizontal lines of the window next to it. I'm assuming that's a window? Is it painted, would be great if it was clear or frosted glass. This could be very cool without too much trouble.
I would try to play up the more contemporary elements of the house and start by removing those shutters. They look awkward, especially on those odd sized bottom shutters.A medium greenish grey with darker trim would look nice I think. And a more contemporary front door would help too.I also agree about bulking up the entrance.
I would get a different front door and some landscaping.
That should have said..."odd sized bottom windows."There is a nice looking contemporary house that could serve as inspiration on the Behr paint site. I tried to post a link but I can't get it to work since it's a flash gallery. Select Get Inspired/ Our Galleries/ Architectural Styles/Modern. It's It's the 5th Image.
Lose the shutters. Paint the house soft dove gray, and add a pop of color with a welcoming yellow front door. Red flowers would look fantastic as landscaping.
the birch tree is great. make sure you keep that. someone suggested removing one trunk of the tree by the door, but if you do try to do that, make sure you find a certified arborist in your area---otherwise there is a chance you will lose the whole tree and/or even the birch along with it. you can find one at http://www.isa-arbor.com/findArborist/findarborist.aspxyou could do a really nice rain garden with landscaping and disconnect your downspout into it. I think that landscaping would really benefit your home---be creative and think about getting rid of all that lawn!
What's your budget? Because I would use that overhang on the front of the house and add a front porch. Can you move those trees without killing them? Weird window placement!
A light gray would be very nice and then an accent on the shudders of your choice. Or a slate blue, blue/gray with accent on shudders. Also, you should do a front pathway running down the middle! And then maybe a garden can start on both sides of the path. Maybe lay down some nice slate and line the path with pretty rocks and plantlife. A middle path would be a sign of welcoming to your door. A side path would be, don't come by, we like our privacy. So think about that...Very cute!
I saw a house just like this on HGTV last week, and I'm sorry but, my only thought is that the house is sinking.paint the chimney deep red. The white is Ok but repaint it if you are going whitereplace the door with something where the door is either centered with glass on both sides, or a double door.remove large trees, Not only are they ugly but I hate to think to what the roots are doing to the structure of your house.frame windows with smaller trees or bushes, flower bed under windows to mimic flower boxes in upper windows. Over all paint color is not bad, unless what I'm seeing on my monitor is not accurate, that's possible.nicer stoop with a walk either straight to the street or curves over to the driveway, plant flowers small bushes accordingly.get rid of chain link fence, replace with white wooden picket fence.plant a nice showcase tree in the front yard, A cherry blossom, a willow. Just one though.It would be great if you had something to put on the exterior wall between the windows.
I would tear those shutters off, paint the house charcoal grey with a nice crisp white on those bold lateral eves only. I agree about the door, the window in the door has nothing to do with the house, get one with a square window in it or maybe you can have this one altered... and the paint it bright red or pink : )I love the stand of birch trees, but the other stand just to the left of those are misplaced. I would remove those and plant a few more more birch stands randomly through the lawn expanse. I assume you'll eventually do a nice stone or gravel path to the front door as well. Great house, love the lines.
If your remove the shutters as suggested already, I would trim out the windows with a 4-5 inch Smartboard. I think your biggest challenge is some great landscaping. It will make a huge difference.
Another vote for taking the shutters off. And I know this isn't color related, but if you have the funds, replace the front door! It's in the same inappropriate camp with the shutters. Something more sleek would look way better since the split ranch is all right angles and horizontal lines. Again, some more interesting landscaping. The last issue (May I think) of This Old House Magazine had some great landscaping tips in it, I think and that will go a long way in giving your place curb appeal. Congrats on your purchase!
Definitely, I think the house has some contemporary/modern elements to it but has some other elements that just don't really go with it, a colusion of styles, so to speak.Yank those shutters off and add some nice trim to bulk up the windows a tad but don't go too wide though.The paint color is OK but I'd suggest something else, unless the house is clad in vinyl siding, if so, then there isn't much you can do unless there is paint made for painting vinyl.I'd check that panel by the front door, if part of the original door and if that door was a double, I'd restore it, but a more modern style door and redo the stoop, it's skimpy and just does nothing to the place.The biggest issue is I think both trees, while nice are in such an odd spot and partially hide the house and may well be much too close to it to begin with (at my apt building, we have that very problem and the tree has grown so much so that it's causing the sidewalk along side it to heave up in spots so it'll come out I think within the year).The rest is too much lawn and a definite lack of any plants, both up by the house and elsewhere. I'd begin by framing out some curvy flower beds and begin there, after you have the trees checked out and possible removed if too close to the house.I like the idea of gray and I'd paint the door bright red for it has a welcoming presence.Good luck.
PS, I don't think the house is sinking but perhaps it's a split entry with daylight basement, in which case, the windows will be inches from the ground and with the way the pic was taken, they look closer to the ground than they may actually be.I know as I lived in one growing up.
At first look this house is seems to have sunk into the ground. On a second look however I see that it's the downstairs windows that are giving that impression. I think this is really the first thing you have to address.Yes, get rid of the sutters which just make the downstairs windows look lower and wider.But I think you need to plant something like a low hedge to disguise the line between the house the ground and obscure the bottom of the downstairs windows. I think you could also emphasise the step leading up to the front door (if it is a step, if not then turn it into a fake step) so that it doesn't appear to be on the same line as the windows.
Great-looking house! My sister in suburban Maryland has virtually the same style home (built in the early 50s, only with original brick siding...I prefer your home's horizontal cladding).Like the others here, I agree that the shutters must go. I rather like the gray-green color you have. If you decide to paint the home -- in a similar color I hope -- black window trim would look awesome.The contrast would highlight the clean lines of your home, and reinforce the Japanese inspired architecture so prevelant in the 50s, also a hallmark of the flat-roofed International Modernist style -- which seems to have influenced the builder of your home.Too bad the lovely clumps of trees were planted so close to the home. They may not need to be removed; just limbed up. This decision is best left to a skilled landscape designer and arborist.Landscaping is a must. Find someone who can present you with a site sensitive plan that would compliment your home's architecture. I see a somewhat minimalist look (not a lush cottagey look): Japanese-inspired with walkways of architectural shrubs, a subtle water feature, etc.Good luck! You've got a wonderful blank canvas.and architectural looking
Yes, remove shutters, add flowers & foundation plantings, and change the door (the half round window does not work at all).Also, how about a path to the front door? It's hard to tell form the picture, but it looks like there is just a little stoop and then grass. Some nice flagstones or bricks could make a lovely winding path.Sherwin Williams has some nice Preservation Palates featuring popular colors from various periods - it might be fun to see what some trendy colors were when the house was built and bring them back!
My suggestions:-- paint the siding a medium blue-gray-- remove the shutters; keep trim crisp white-- add white window boxes with some greenery and red flowers (geraniums, perhaps)-- center the door and split the sidelight so that there are 2 narrow, glass sidelights on either side of the door-- consider painting the door brick red (although I like the current stain, too)-- add some simple landscaping in gently curved lines; spend time looking at a lot of good landscaping and research some pointers (it's hard to make suggestions w/o viewing the whole front property and neighboring land)
I agree the blue or gray would like nice with white trimYou definitely need to get a larger door to make the entry look propionate. Shutters do need to be removed - since the windows are awkwardly placed it should remove the focus of them standing out so much.I love trees but where these two are located are too close to the house, replant / replace them to more of the center of the lawn and create a walk way and plant colorful flowers down the new path.There are so many ideas posted above that you can run with to turn this house to a charmer, just need some elbow grease and a set plan.
if you don't replace the door, at least paint the panels to the left of it the same dark color as the door - it will make it look, from far off, like you have a big double door, which would be a nicer proportion to the house over all.
Great buy! Nice lines, good bones.1st, check this website. The woman that runs it is a wealth of knowledge on homes of your vintage.http://retrorenovation.com/Crestview Doors are the people that make the right style doors for your place, or try scouting in salvage yards.Another vote for ripping off the shutters, although as you'll read on the RR site colonial revival was popular when your home was built. Save them if you want, but the look that’s hottest right now is cleaner. I also agree on suggestions to beef up the window trim by a few inches.I think you'd do well to extend the cement slab of the stoop to match the dimensions of the overhang, emphasizes the horizontal. Lastly something leggy planted on the left would allow light into the lower windows but some privacy and color on that side. Do rhododendrons stay evergreen in your zone? A evergreen that blooms in summer would be best, something you could prune to up to have bare stems and a asymmetrical leafy top.
- Remove Shutters Immediately- not appropriate for style of window.- Replace front door with a Glass paneled atrium door- The trees take too much focus, place large plants/shrubs to the left to balance, and extend the planting beds out about 3-4 feet from house for additional plants and annuals.- Paint House a cooler tone, and definitely add an accent color to the door and maybe planter pots on porch.Good Luck!!
A blue-grey would be nice. And some landscaping! You need pretty bushes in front of that house! And personally, those trees right in front of the house are blocking the door. I'd remove them.Laurahttp://www.grafxnerd.net
If cost were no object - I'd re-side the house with vertical siding: The currrent horizontal lines make the house look low, where vertical lines would make the house appear taller.I'd replace the entire front door/side panel with a new one that's appropriate to the midcentury style of the house - preferably a fixed panel w/ frosted glass and a matching front door - both w/ horizontal white mullions (to match the existing windows)The shutters need to go of course, and I'd beef up the pillar supporting the entry canopy that runs off to the right - probably would consider using roman brick or cut stone laid flat to make that a nice heavy column. Within the canopy, have flush downlights installed so that your path to the driveway is illuminated.Remove the downspout at the far left of the house and replace it with a rain chain and a large decorative boulder - This will direct the flow of rainwater down and could hang over a new rock garden created to direct water away from the house.The front stoop should be extended to the right, and resurfaced with exposed aggregate concrete. I'd imagine that there's a sidewalk running beneath the canopy to the right - Get rid of it and install large rectangular pads of exposed aggregate concrete with gaps in between in a staggered fashion rather than a straight line towards your driveway. In addition, install similar pads leading directly from the front door to the street in a similar staggered pattern, stairstepping down to the curb and creating a more direct and welcoming path to the front door. A column at the curb similar to the one supporting the canopy could be created as a place for your new stainless steel mailbox, matching housenumbers arranged in a vertical line, and even a modern solar-powered lamp to light the way for your guests.Remove the sod that is against the house and install berms with appropriate plantings - bushes, flowering shrubs, etc. and the aforementioned rock garden at the base of the rain chain. A Japanese Maple could be a great choice for a tree to the left of your house next to your rock garden, with an even taller tree around the corner of the house behind the chimney - make sure it's away from the house to allow for growth, as you'll want a tree that will be a nice backdrop for that end of the house.
Trees are ugly eyesores? Wow.Think over removing the trees very carefully. It takes years for saplings to grow to a decent size and your yard will look oddly bald for a long time. I would move them rather than chopping them down.I'd like to see the house painted a deeper color, maybe a dark gray or blue with white trim and a red door. I agree about removing the shutters. I don't see a walkway leading up from the sidewalk. Adding one would make the house seem less remote.You definitely need shrubbery and perhaps a few beds of brightly-colored flowers (or big pots of them) to warm up the facade.
"Think over removing the trees very carefully. It takes years for saplings to grow to a decent size and your yard will look oddly bald for a long time. I would move them rather than chopping them down."I wouldn't even move them: I'd prune a couple of the lower branches so that more of the trunk is exposed - raising the bottom of the leafy part to just above the canopy.
Paint the house a warm grey. Take the shutters off. Shutters that are not proportioned to the window they would 'cover' are ridiculous!Build a nice brick or flagstone walkway from the front door to the curb... in a nice meandering pattern.Plant some large flowering plants.
remove large trees, Not only are they ugly but I hate to think to what the roots are doing to the structure of your house.actually, trees are opportunistic and want to do what they do while expending the least amount of energy possible. so they wont be aggressively trying to rip up your foundation at all. most of the time tree roots encounter an object and then go around it. In the case of sewer lines this is also true... UNLESS there was already a crack in your line leaking, in which case the tree will take advantage of it and tell you there was a problem already!Birches are also shallow rooted trees, so most of their roots are going to be in the first 12-18 inches of soil. their root systems are not aggressive at all (unlike maples, esp norways and red maples, which have extremely aggressive roots that buckle sidwalks within 5 years of planting)as for the other clump, those are in the way in an odd place. possibly something that started growing on its own in the bed that the owner let go.my 2 cents on the trees ;)
I think this house lends itself to a modern exterior -- pared-down and simplified, with a restrained palette.For colour, I would suggest a very dark grey (verging on black).The decorative shutters should be removed.As well, you should consider modifying the windows: the ones on the right side of the house are both sliders, whereas on the left, they are casements -- having both sliders and casements together on such a small facade looks somewhat disjointed. All casements would be more attractive (although personally, my favourite is the awning window). Three equal-sized awning windows on the bottom left would look very good; the facade would look even better if the 2 basement windows were the same size.With respect to the front door, I think the best would be a very simple wood door, perhaps with a single long sidelight... check out the first door on the left (with simpler hardware though):http://www.european-window.com/doors.htmA simple slab-style door would look very nice too.The veranda post definitely needs to be made heftier -- it could be integrated into a larger entrance and landscaping scheme -- concrete would be good choice in a modern scheme.The trees are planted too close to the house, towering above it ( a common problem). Not sure what the clump on the left are, and whether they will affect your foundation or water and sewer lines (we had trees that did, and had to cut them down). It's an issue to look into.Here is the inspiration behind my suggestions -- check it out for landscaping ideas too:http://www.canadianarchitect.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000216077&issue=07012007http://www.prairiemod.com/prairiemod/2007/12/suburbs-with-at.htmlGood luck!
I didn't have time to read all the comments so forgive me if I am repeating some of them. Definitely needs railings by the steps. The painted windows to the left of the door in the picture aren't really working so I would remove the whole door and get a great big door. Get a beautiful light for the front entrance. I'm sorry but the shutters aren't working either. You need a path of some sort. It would be best to make it curved. Around the path, add some low lighting and low maintenance plants. Nothing is worse than something dead in the front of your house so whatever you plant make sure it is something you can keep up with! Depending on your budget, I would consider removing the large trees and planting some flowering trees instead (not so close to the house). If you must keep them- try adding something around them and some up lights to make the most of them. The color of the house is such a personal preference. Just don't go with something super bright. It is a blank canvas and has great potential! Most of all have fun. If budget is an issue just do one thing at a time.I hope you liked my suggestions! :) FeeFeehttp://feefeern.wordpress.com/
I think if you just focused on a great door entrance area and walkway (paint/plants/slate walk), plus trimming up the trees, the odd window positioning wouldn't be so obvious. If you can't change something....just take the eye away from it.
I know I am essentially repeating everyone else ...The entrance could really use a nice walkway. The house color could be better (but it isn't bad right now). The shutters should go as well. Also, I agree with the one tree trunk to the left, but would be scared of fixing this myself as it seems like a pretty big job.If you were to choose ONE thing to do first, I would definitely go with a new modern door with horizontal lines and fix the windows/panels beside it to be either glass or a coordinating color. Of course, if you are even thinking about painting the house I would do that first, and then choose these colors afterwards.Cute house!
Hi All, Thank you so much for all of your observations, suggestions and advice! This will help us in all of our decision making, definitely. I truly appreciate your time in responding. I will post a photo when we are all complete with fixing it up. Again, thank you!
I like the idea of black trim around the windows and door frames. Perhaps keep the color for the siding, maybe a brick red for the chimney along the side of the building as well as the front door. Some tall, vertical bushes on either side of the main windows may be interesting too.
I like the siding color as it is, and I like the white trim. Moreover, it probably fits your neighborhood -- since some advice here is coming from people who apparantly are not familiar with split ranchers, and those are ubiquitous in parts of the midwest and New England, at least, maybe their vision doesn't work real well with where you live...I'm ambivalent about the shutters. I'd probably remove them, but if you like them, they don't look that bad.I would definitely beef up the porch columns. Either box them in with wood so they are at least 8-10 inches on a side, or cover them with stone facing (which would cost more but look nicer.)Then it's landscaping. You need (and can build over time) a bunch of shrubs for "architectural" interest, a path either to the driveway or to the street (depending on where guests park), some perennials or annuals for color and interest... If that's not your forte, you should get someone to help, or study books on the subject.
i would cut the trees, or replant them a bit further in front if you like trees
Yikes! Has no one here seen a split-level house before? I can't believe all the comments that think the house is actually sinking. This style is actually quite common in the suburbs of Boston :)I think you have a wonderful starting point here. The yard looks bare now, but you'll be so grateful that you don't have to spend 2 months worth of weekends tearing out stuff that was poorly planted - you have a blank slate to work with.The sunlight that will come through those lower level windows is precious and you won't want to block it! You can jazz up the walkway by digging two mulch beds along the sides of the walkway and planting an assortment of annuals and low-lying shrubs (maybe eunonymous, sedum, etc) for color and definition.Maybe do another mulch bed around the trees so that you don't have to mow around them. Some hanging baskets of colorful annuals on either side of the front door?You could also add some interest to the front lawn by digging some more planting beds (or maybe a nice large one) in front with some feature plants.
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