My First House: Any ideas for this type of home exterior?
House Lover
June 9, 2014 in Design Dilemma
This home has a split entrance and I'm looking for help on the exterior of this house. Its my first one, I have not got possession of it yet, but I plan to be starting work on it in the next couple of weeks. I would be glad of any ideas for the colors of the siding and/or brick and the shutters. Or if anyone has any pictures of similar homes that look good. I am only 21 so will be doing most of the work myself to save money. Thanks!
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Kevin Strader
I would not paint the brick. Once you've painted brick you've introduced an ongoing maintenance issue. Plus brick needs to breath as it absorbs and releases moisture. I would paint the siding and the shutters, pulling colors from the brick to give the house a more cohesive appearance. Looks like there are grays and tans in the brick so I would go that direction. I've attached a couple of mock up pictures. I like the first one best which is in the taupe family but more gray than brown in this instance. The second picture shows what it might look like with a more brown color. In both the shutters are a darker gray/brown.
June 9, 2014 at 8:14AM        Thanked by House Lover
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Sound Painting Solutions
I agree, I wouldn't paint the brick either. Paint doesn't not adhere well to brick. I would paint the house a color that goes with the brick and a lighter color on the trim.

Try the BM color app to try different options.

Good luck:)
June 9, 2014 at 8:30AM        Thanked by House Lover
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Congratulations on owning your own home. I hope you have many happy years of home ownership ahead.
I grew up in the sixties, and what you seem to have there is a vintage late sixties, early seventies style of home-kind of MCM meets Cape Cod. The seventies especially was an "eclectic" decade when it came to design-there was kind of a "everything but the kitchen sink" attitude where they often just mixed all kinds of styles up. It didn't always work-which is why there is so much moaning and groaning(especially on this site.)Fortunately, your new abode is an example of one that did.
About your house, I like the first picture that Mr. Strader did for you in terms of color. If you went with this color, I think that painting the shutters and door a nice dark blue would look very striking, and more contemporary. If you'd like to be a little more vintage, you could paint the wood a rather khaki green, and the door a darker, moss green.
The light over the door is pretty, but it seems too small. It is a great period piece, so I hope that you wouldn't discard it, and maybe sell it to some salvage place-or sell it on ebay to someone who is trying to fix their period home with period appropriate fixtures. For your porch, I believe that a larger, lantern style pendant light would look great. This would probably be a good place to put a 21st century stamp on the home, and choose a contemporary finish.
August 6, 2014 at 10:14PM        Thanked by House Lover
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House Lover
I have also thought about painting the shutters and front door black. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts with that? I thought it might make it look sharp, but I am not an expert by any means.
August 7, 2014 at 4:23AM   
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The best thing for you to do is drive around other neighborhoods and see what houses have as far as color and style. See what you like and what you don't. Paint is one of the easiest options, however, it is tricky, the wrong paint and wrong color and you have a mess. Best way to see a color is on someone's house and how they have matched it with other colors.
Personally, before doing anything to the building itself, I would focus on the landscaping. It needs curb appeal. You would be amazed at how different a house looks once the outside is tailored.
Start by cleaning your walkway to the front door. Then you can decide if you want to keep that passage or redirect it going to your driveway, assuming you have one. Maybe railings on either side of your doorstep to section off the entrance.
Add some decorative plants, some perennials along that walkway. Some pots on either side of your doorstep which will bring the eye to your front door.
Plant some boxwood in a row and maybe some begonias in front of that with some garden lights.
You might consider some decorative borders going down your driveway for cleaner lines.
Perhaps, a fence with a gate on the side to close off the front of the house front the back.
It all depends on you and how far you would like to go. You want to do the most with the least and add value to your home.
It's not easy for me to see the colors that you have but from what I can tell there is black and sandy beige...? So, work with that. Black door with black shutters will definitely look great. A dark brown would also go well with the siding. If you want a different color , how about a forest green, just for the door maybe, or shutters as well.
I can't see the color of your roof and that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Consider moving that satellite dish or getting ride of it altogether.
If you are willing to invest in an electrician, you might consider lights on either side of your doorway for balance, that one light hanging there does not appeal to the house. The style itself is very nice, you might look for something similar and to scale.
The lower part of the brick needs to be cleaned. That can easily be done with a power washer. Minor detail but a necessary one.
Good luck!
August 7, 2014 at 6:00AM     
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Here's some similar houses from the site.
Whole House Green
I like that overhang on the second photo.
August 7, 2014 at 6:18PM   
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I'd lighten it up and take away the whole muddy look by using an almost white, silvery grey siding and rather deep charcoal grey shutters, pulling on the grey tones of the brick. It will make it a lot cheerier and make the presence of the house pop but with class. Another big improvement would be a brick cleaning to remove the rusty stains toward ground level.
August 7, 2014 at 6:32PM        Thanked by House Lover
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GN Builders L.L.C
I had this house when I was in my 20's... the first picture you see the improvements I did to it when I first got it... I added a bow window, and I added an A on top of the roof above the doorway, new siding. I didn't want to go crazy I was single at the time so I did this all in a week to make it look good so I could move in. A year later I had a little more time, so added addition on the front of it which became a large master bedroom, a walking closet, and a huge Master bath with a large Jacuzzi for 4.
This is just to give you an idea if you want to do something quick (without the addition of course) and not to spend a fortune on it.
Above posts show some nice images, you can add some nice things to this house and its an easy house to do anything and depends how far you willing to go and how much you want to spend .

Good luck
August 7, 2014 at 7:20PM        Thanked by House Lover
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The more that I look at these kind of homes, the more I think that a darker color on the upper part gives it more presence.
Here's a photo that illustrates this well.
Bethesda Mid-Century Addition/Renovation
Of course, on this house there's red brick, which is a strong presence on its own, but your house would probably look good with an upper section that stands out, but isn't so dark that it looks top heavy against the lighter brick.
Also, I've been wondering, just what style would you like to go for with this home? Right now it's a split level-and they are a "modern" style. However, since yours has the shutters, it gives it a bit of a cottage-y feel. Nothing wrong with that, as I actually lean toward that style, personally. Still, if you wanted to get a more linear feel-maybe a bit more masculine, I daresay, you could remove the shutters. On the home pictured, the white on the windows really looks good against the darker body of the house.
Another thing that could look really good is to remove those small pavers, clean all of that greenery out, and add some large pavers as a walkway to your drive, and some plants like are shown in this next photo.
Rauch Residence
I also like this natural wood door, which would be a really great contrast to a dark background-and would still blend with the brick.
Okay, so hope this isn't info overload, but I just wanted to show you some examples that you might could use as inspiration, if you like them.
August 7, 2014 at 8:10PM      Thanked by House Lover
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Pamela Rambo
Window boxes under upstairs windows, the same width as the windows.
August 7, 2014 at 8:52PM      Thanked by House Lover
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House Lover
Thanks! I was definitely planning to do landscaping and get everything cleaned up. I agree that alone will make a huge difference. I appreciate the suggestions! I will be starting on the exterior in a week or two and I'll be sure to upload some pictures after.
August 8, 2014 at 4:11AM     
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Yes, please update us on your progress. :)
August 8, 2014 at 6:47AM   
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