Ideas To Perk Up a Stuffy Colonial Exterior?

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Q: I've jumped head first from tiny apartment living to my partner's huge house. The interior is getting a little more stylish every day, but I have no knowledge at all of exterior design.

My style tends toward contemporary, clean lines and punchy/contrasting colors, all of which seem to clash with this conservative colonial house.

My first inclinations are to lose the shutters, paint the trim a brighter off-white, and paint the front door something bright. (Though I'm not sure either will work with the pale-red brick and beige mortar.) And maybe grow some viney plants up the enormous columns. Am I on the right track? Any ideas from the amazingly creative people out there are most appreciated!

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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