Exterior update? Go wild, folks.
amyemoore
September 7, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I'm buying a house, and although I love it, I feel like the exterior is uninteresting, especially in comparison to a beautifully renovated interior. I'd like to keep the brick - as in, I don't want to install siding over it or anything - but everything else is negotiable. Any and all suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks!
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larryhinkle
I love it and love the curved lines of the porch. Many older homes were much more colorful when they were new but all got hit with white paint at some point
September 7, 2012 at 2:30pm     
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mousemaker
i love it too. i agree you should keep the brick without siding, etc. i'm sure you will get lots of good suggestions! my first idea is to get a porch swing :) or figure out how you are going to enjoy the view once you get your yard landscaped the way you want. i don't know if you are a symmetrical person? but i would try not to keep everything matchy matchy, if you know what i mean? it looks like someone tried...
you might want to look around your neighborhood or similar houses for ideas too.
September 7, 2012 at 2:46pm   
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ikwewe
You have a beautul Craftsman bungalow with the perfect Craftsman bungalow front porch. What's not to like? Color, porch decor and landscaping will do the job.
September 7, 2012 at 2:53pm     
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bjshep
Love your house. My suggestion would be to leave the brick, however, remove the brick on the front view of the porch and have the porch reconstructed. I think it's blocking the view of the house, etc.
September 7, 2012 at 2:54pm     
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larryhinkle
Here are some colors the house might orginally have had.... you could find a modern version and keep a period feel but a contempary vibe...
September 7, 2012 at 2:56pm     
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salex
Your house is gorgeous - congratulations! If it were me, I would move the boxwoods (I think that's what the shrubs are) so that you can plant something taller with larger texture at the ends of the porch (also possibly in the center) and use the boxwoods as foundation plantings in between the taller shrubs. Maybe use mock-orange for the taller accents? Then some pale plants would look great in front of the dark green and red brick; a dwarf Elijah Blue fescue might look stunning. Enjoy that porch!
September 7, 2012 at 2:57pm     
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judianna20

Love your home! The only thing I would suggest is work on the landscaping.
September 7, 2012 at 3:01pm     
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fletcherb
Could you knock down part of the front porch and makes large steps?
September 7, 2012 at 3:03pm     
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Gabberts Design Studio
What a wonderful home! Craftsman style homes were traditionally painted in soft earthy colors. I found this great website showing historically accurate color schemes for 20th century style homes. It always amazes me what a little paint can do. Hope this helps! http://www.historichousecolors.com/early20.html
September 7, 2012 at 3:08pm     
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meadowood
ad colorful plants in front of brick to soften, leave everything else alone, ad some nice sconces for evening appeal
September 7, 2012 at 3:12pm     
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avajane
Charming house! Agree that fresh paint and landscaping is all you need. And climb on the roof and spray paint the bright silver gas vent a color that matches the roof shingles so it blends better.
September 7, 2012 at 3:14pm     
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Ross Design
The siding on the dormer should be removed. I'll bet you'll find something interesting behind it. My guess is that there were originally brackets at the corners, removed to facilitate siding installation. You might also look at replacing the windows. Most craftsman homes had divided lights of some sort in their upper sash. The local historical society might have a photo of the house on file. If you have the time, that would be a good source of info. Definitely lose the white. Craftsman colors were deep and earthy.
September 7, 2012 at 3:16pm     
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eyeglow
I agree. The house is wonderful and the white has got to go. Find as many pictures of craftsman homes as you can and pick the color scheme that you like. Once the white is gone landscaping will make it a perfect home.
September 7, 2012 at 3:17pm   
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Ariane Tarbet
I love it however I think the house is not what is lacking it is the landscaping. Although, possibly changing the white to grey would add a needed contrast and a fun bright color for the from door could help. Mostly, I think it needs a few well placed bushed or trees right up front and some beautiful hanging baskets.
September 7, 2012 at 3:17pm     
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jennymaxwell
I found this book very helpful when I repainted my bungalow. How you use color can make a huge difference: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1586851306/ref=rdr_ext_tmb#reader_1586851306
September 7, 2012 at 3:18pm     
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Glori DeJure
I'd go with a dark painted or wood stained door. If you paint the door, try navy or if you're the fun type maybe purple. The siding needs to be toned down. I'd go with a beige or a very light bluish/grey. Something that will compliment whatever door color you go with.
Look into two good Craftsman light fixtures for the front door area.
You need some landscaping! Bigger bushes to anchor your corners, smaller ones clustered toward the center and along the walkway by the steps.
Those steps down to the left look steep and forbidding. You need handrails on both sides with plantings. Make sure your handrails are attractive and inviting.
To finish it, hang a few green plants in attractive planters from your porch. A porch swing would be perfect and a lovely chair with a small table would be perfect.
September 7, 2012 at 3:19pm     
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eyeglow
I disagree with grey it needs warm colors
September 7, 2012 at 3:19pm   
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Lori Barber
I love the Craftsman style homes. You mention that you'd like to leave your front brick work exactly as it is - I wish I could change your mind on this. I'd love to at least see you remove the top level of brick work that is on the front left hand side so that there is a better view of the door and consider replacing the missing pillar. No need to center a doorway but it would be cool to have it line up with the door if possible. It's just a friendlier look and much more inviting. A little paint and some landscaping would bring the rest together. I love to see the olive green combined with persimmon or even a medium blue with a yellow on this style of home. I would not do siding or paint the brick.

I'd love to see some dogwoods out front and perhaps some of the lacy hydrangea's to add softness. Another fun shrub is Viburnum because they get such lovely blossoms.
September 7, 2012 at 3:23pm     
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larryhinkle
the pillar isnt missing. Why do you need to see the door better? If she's gonna knock down brick and paint things gray she might as well just move to the suburbs and hang wave petunias
September 7, 2012 at 3:33pm     
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Thomas Wakeman
I'd remove the small brick wall on the porch and add some wood railings instead, and maybe move the steps to the centre with some symmetrical landscaping on the sloping lawn~maybe a path lined with formal box trees e.t.c.
September 7, 2012 at 3:34pm     
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Walter Comstock
I would take the wall down to the first course, take the brick that you removed and extend the pillar to the roof. Door a nice bright color, maybe sunshine yellow and think about a different color for the trim. Add some landscaping and lighting and maybe a railing on the steps. Hope this gives you some ideas. Good Luck
September 7, 2012 at 3:37pm     
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JaredViar
its a big charming classic craftsman style, would your budget & interest consider painting the brick? go with some period colors of that era if in stages, knockout the brick in between the pillars and replace with craftsman style wooden xx rails, then mimic the lower front brick with slats of thin boards that are period patterns of craftmans styling's. then add some high & low , mixed grasses, with purple & seasonal plantings that pop the landscape, there are some great books at your locals B&N that carry very inspiring suggestions & many images of that era character flairs,........ a glider of swing at one end, if you don't knock out the brick upper porch facade between pillars, accentuate exterior with some wood that has a dual repeat of the colors that you choose, even a three tone paint effects in crafts style will give the door a really bold autumn colors deep sage velvet greens & golds with a surprise brick accent band.......some adirondack chairs & bench or accents, will really look great! some boxed craftsman planters boldly placed at the end of the steps with japanese maple evergreens & drawf willows & dual colors repeat in smaller form on the porch, keep clear of classical urns or redundant motifs use google sketch up or auto cad & any paint company paint play with uploaded images, sketch it out cut out cardboard mock ups & use painters tape to mimic the effect before it goes on even if done just with paints. Good luck! call curb appeal HGTV is always looking for a block to makeover your could be the one! give all a try...... Jared The Design Guy
September 7, 2012 at 3:38pm     
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karengodley
I agree with several others. The brick is too high on the front. The front door and front window are closed off. Take out a few courses of brick and maybe put a walk way right up the middle and this cute little house will welcome your guests.
September 7, 2012 at 3:42pm     
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gransgarden
The entry is not inviting at all, because you cannot see where the door is, easily. The brick should come down on the one side and reconfigure the front steps so that you more easily see where to enter. The brick is beautiful otherwise. The home shown above is a good example of seeing the front door. Yours would not have to be almost in the middle as that one is, but curve towards the top of the stairs to enter in the door from the front rather than the side. Then landscaping with larger foundation plantings and it would be great.
September 7, 2012 at 3:43pm     
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larryhinkle
you can see where to enter because these houses have steps up to the porch. People arent stupid. They can find a door without it being painted some funky color and being all symetrical.

So may of these house were ruined in the 60s when people decided it was good idea to remove the details and add curly cue wrought iron or worse aluminum
September 7, 2012 at 3:48pm     
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Ann Alderson
Jared, she doesn't want to paint or change the brick. Why would she? It's super low maintenance. The house looks mission-style to me (see photo). Paint a contrasting color around the dormer windows (leave the trim white to match the front door-keep it white or it will disappear under the porch roof). Landscaping will complete the look.
September 7, 2012 at 3:50pm   
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JaredViar
oh a few more thoughts & in my saved images of craftsman homes, admire the upper wood details, imagine if you just painted the wood, for some reason a deep aqua teal blue, with some cinnabar amber colors accented with a aubergine band in between with a mustard deep curry squash colors blended on door & those accents, then reverse the colors on some boxed planters made from old palate wood...wow! just a maybe!
September 7, 2012 at 4:03pm     
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gransgarden
The house is definitely not Mission style at all. It is Craftsman Bungalow. And the door doesn't have to be painted a funky color, Larry. No one said people are stupid about finding the door, but with the bottom portion of the door covered up, and the bottom of the windows, likewise, it is uninviting. If the brick is left on the right side, it will still give privacy for sitting on the porch, but the left side can be so enhanced by taking down the brick, at Least to give full view of the door. Some Craftsman style porch lights would also add appeal. I agree, ruining the character of the house with wrought iron or other cheap materials would spoil the look. But it CAN be enhanced and keep within the style of the home.
September 7, 2012 at 4:04pm     
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beverlynn
The brick is beautiful! Spruce up the exterior with landscaping! Choose bright colorful flowers/bushes that will thrive in your area!
September 7, 2012 at 4:08pm     
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Darzy
What a great house! I agree NOT to paint the brick or modify the front. LarryHinkle's period paint color selection is nice. Two, or three different colors for walls, trim and door that complement would be great. What you really need is professional landscaping to bring in the pretty, textures and colors. Boxwood is out! If you did the landscaping, I bet you would wait on the paint for a while!
September 7, 2012 at 4:10pm     
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Decorating Den Interiors
I love the house and used to live in a house like this. I would relocated the steps leading up to the porch and center them. Then paint out the trim in a complimentary color, like green or tan, then add some great wicker furniture, potted plants and outdoor drapery. You will have a cozy spot to spend hours with a great book or a charished neighbor.
September 7, 2012 at 4:18pm     
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Miranda Willis
Landscaping with height and color variations and curved beds to offset the squared facade would do wonders for the curb appeal!
September 7, 2012 at 4:19pm     
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lindahouck
I love so many of the great ideas above. I would paint the dormer a different color, and the front door, maybe even add a couple shutters on the windows on the porch. The trim could be an accent color, too. I like the idea of removing some of the brick between the pillars so you can see a bit more of the adorable porch, fill in with a large hedgrerow in front of the lower brick is a must. I like the idea of the porch swing, too and some furniture to make use of the porch. Hang some fern baskets along the porch, as well. Try to go with some of the traditional crafstman colors for the paint. A couple ceiling fans on the porch ceiling could help make it more functional. And.. don't forget to hang the American flag at the opening to the porch:)
September 7, 2012 at 4:28pm     
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Sara Ballinger - 1130 Creative, LLC
Great house! A window box w/ flowers on that top window would add lots of charm.
September 7, 2012 at 4:31pm   
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sidney01
Very, very nice house!
September 7, 2012 at 4:41pm     
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Bonnie Chappell
I worked on this in Photoshop. So here are my suggestions.
September 7, 2012 at 4:46pm     
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kdrorvig
I'd keep the brick on the outer part of the porch, but the part around the windows and door (and all of the white area) would be nice with warm toned shingles. Add shutters around the windows in contrasting colors so it pops. Paint the door and around the windows in a third contrasting color. Put a hedge of laurel or boxwood along the front flowerbed to break up the expanse of brick a bit. Perhaps get rid of the sloping lawn and do a terraced garden...even veggies with some low growing sunflowers would be charming. Add a pot of geraniums on about every third step going up the walkway.
September 7, 2012 at 4:49pm     
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yvesun
Lovely home, but I think there's too much brick! if you removed some of the brick in the front and placed a grand tapered stairwell it would let more light in. You could put white flower pots on every other step and an elegant railing with a curved path leading to the steps or street lined with white & yellow flowers. I would paint the dormer Benjamin Moore's Linen Sand 2151-60, and keep the trim white.
September 7, 2012 at 4:49pm     
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Alicia Bristol
Paint the front door a fun color, plant some colorful flowers,
September 7, 2012 at 4:55pm   
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mostlyblackcats
It's pretty darned cute and I think the fix would be kind of simple... Knock down that top layer of brick so you can actually see the porch and the facade and it will look like a whole new house.
September 7, 2012 at 5:01pm     
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ArtZenFlowers Color & Design
It is a very beautiful home!
The brick suits the classic (20's?) Bungalow styling, I see someone added some much needed landscaping (virtually, above) that would help, though I'd use taller and looser plant materials, think daisies & ornamental grasses for a more contemporary look.
What I mainly suggest is paint; GO BOLD! with your color choices for paint.
I would encourage you to select a deep trim color to add instant warmth to the shadowed porch structure (which is gorgeous!) then lighten up on the siding, keeping your trim dramatic, a dark accent on the top of the brick wall, brick pillars and the gutter line, etc. will cinch it!
Body; Benjamin Moore Historic color HC 82 Bennington Gray
Trim; Benjamin Moore Historic color HC 88 Jamesboro Gold
Accent; Benjamin Moore Preview color 2138-10 Southern Vine
Warm, wonderful, rich and done!
Well, unless you'd like to paint the front door; HC 64 Townsend Harbor Brown
Then sit back and enjoy that lovely front porch with a glass of your favorite beverage!
:))
September 7, 2012 at 5:03pm     
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Patricia Winter
Paint the trim a sage or gray that compliments the roof. If you can afford to change out the windows, add craftsman-style windows. Add some more greenery to the front and add some pops of color in front of the bushes. Big dark gray flower pots could be great in front of the water faucets (at least I think that's what they are) to anchor the area. Not sure what the lawn is doing but the slope looks dangerous with a power mower. Maybe terrace that. Main thing - get rid of the white trim.
September 7, 2012 at 5:29pm   
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ikwewe
It looks like the house has a pretty steep drop directly in front which makes the front steps a problem. The steps come up on the side, which is why the porch access is on the side. We wouldn't want guests rolling off down the hill at night.
September 7, 2012 at 5:36pm     
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Kathleen Thebeau_Warner
I'd make custom flower boxes that would hang across the front of the brick porch, replace the dead lawn, get rid of the hedges and replace with flower beds with plants that flower or change color in spring, summer and fall.
September 7, 2012 at 5:38pm   
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pursue
I don't think they are faucets in front, probably just solar lights. Landscaping will soften the brick. Color
on the siding and window trim will make the house look much nicer. Looks like there may be a storm door over the front door? I would replace the front door with a craftsman front door. Do a google image search for craftsman front doors. There are lots of attractive wood doors. It is a very pretty house with nice lines. Don't paint the brick. Keep it as low maintenance as possible.
September 7, 2012 at 5:41pm   
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Randy Lyon
My wife (Rhonda) and I noticed right away how our houses look very similar .
September 7, 2012 at 6:29pm     
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anitajoyce
Painting the front door in a color is a good idea. It does need a little landscaping to soften the brick in the front.
September 7, 2012 at 7:13pm   
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tomanyideasnotenoughtime
Update the upstairs window so it's not so choppy, and I would take away the brick down to the level of the porch floor, and add color.
September 7, 2012 at 7:56pm   
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Kris McDaris_Byars
This is my paint program rendition. Messed with the brick a little bit even though you said you didn't want to, but maybe you'll like what you see. It was fun for me, anyway. :) Good luck with your house!
September 7, 2012 at 8:10pm     
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The Property Sisters
I agree with a previous poster. Knock out that useless center column. Knock down that low wall of brick and create stairs going up the center to the porch and use a less obtrusive railing like wood. This way we can see the front of your house but you still keep that brick apron under the porch. Then, paint away whatever fabulous color you want, and add some great landscaping and a walkway to the porch. Voila!
September 7, 2012 at 11:05pm     
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Denny Allen_Ide
I really like your house. with the brick. Try landscaping. The yard really takes away. Some plan on the wall will really dress it up.
September 7, 2012 at 11:44pm   
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mousemaker
i knew you would get lots of help!!!!!
September 8, 2012 at 7:56am   
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buterbad
Wow, lots of great suggestions. I didn't read them all, and you've probably already received this suggestion, but I would consider replacing the siding on the dormer with shaker shingles. I also agree that the white has to go and would go with some earth tones. I also agree with some of the suggestions that you should remove some of the brick in the front and install steps to the front door....would make the house much more inviting. Other than that, it's a great house with tons of potential. Congratulations and have fun with your reno!!
September 8, 2012 at 9:25am   
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amyemoore
Wow! This is amazing. Thank you all so much for your suggestions and for loving my house! It's my first house, and you all are helping me make it even more special. Don't be surprised to see an updated picture in a few months showcasing many of your ideas. :)
September 8, 2012 at 9:51am   
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yousaytomato
I love callope0's photo. That would look great for your house. Your house looks solid but kind of like a bunker. It would be a lot friendlier if you'd open up that wall of brick and put the front door there and a great staircase/path leading to the front door just like the one in that picture. Or leave the door where it is now but just open up the bunker wall there like in that picture. Put in new Craftsman-style windows even up at the dormer, with thick white or cream paint trim, with smooth plaster on the dormer instead of siding-- heck, just go ahead and duplicate callope0's suggestions; they are fabulous. Maybe one of the bright period colors somebody suggested and then great broad-leaved plants all around. You could have a porch swing or at least some welcoming furniture that could be seen a bit from the sidewalk.
September 8, 2012 at 12:53pm   
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donnaclaytonlloydrealtor
As a Realtor I look at a lot of houses and this style both was and is very popular in my town. it's great fun to see the new renditions. I thought Kris McDaris_Byars nailed what my mind was seeing. The warmth of color and the addition of faux stone up the columns or it could be stucco just to break a little accent out was cool. There is a HUGE Craftsman being renovated here and that is what they did. The addition of new, well insulated craftsman style windows, both on top and the bottom plus the Craftsman style wooden door added the warmth, style and pizzazz. And landscaping will make a huge difference. While bold color can be fun, breaking up the trim and siding in to so many colors serves to make a smaller house look smaller to me, and sometimes hodgepodge. Be sure what you choose plays well off the roof and let's it all blend, top to bottom as Kris's choice did, for my eye. Why go to the expense of tearing a lot up when you can just enhance what is there so effectively? It is important not to be afraid to invest in giving your house an updated look but keep the advantages of low maintenance and reasonable investment in mind as you decide between options so when you are ready to move to your second house you will be able to pass it on to someone else to love and take the gain forward to a new dream. I look forward to seeing what you choose. Cool!
September 8, 2012 at 3:00pm   
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deloresje
I'd paint the wood another color, maybe gray or something warmer if you'd prefer and outline the windows in another color eg. black, red, dark blue. The front door should be a bright color. Great lighting on the porch along with rockers and a swing would make the patio inviting and welcomming. Beautiful flowers along the brick wall would soften the brick and lawn line plus add color. You could go with all red and white flowering plants.
September 8, 2012 at 3:28pm   
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casavieja
Invest in a subscription to American Bungalow or buy one of their books - It was invaluable when we were restoring our '30s Spanish: www.ambungalow.com/magazine/
September 8, 2012 at 6:37pm   
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andreago
I would open up the porch at the front to create a more welcoming entry to the house along with some gorgeous landscaping.
September 8, 2012 at 7:17pm   
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Virgil Carter Fine Art
You have had many, many responses and this is probably overkill. IMO, the primary issue is the side entry and the continuous brick "wall" creating a visual barrier to the front of your house that is very uncharacteristic for an arts and crafts house. It creates a barrier to the view and the entry to your house. Look at all the photos posted in the replies and you will see that the entry to the house is open and inviting when viewed from the front of the house. Thus the single best improvement is to modify the brick wall and make an attractive entry that is visually clear and appealing. If it were me, I'd get rid of all of the brick--all of it--and replace it with a wood picket railing and entry stairs even more in keeping with arts and crafts period houses. Examples are readily available by Googling arts and crafts house. Just a thought to add to all of those you already have! Good luck!
September 8, 2012 at 8:15pm   
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furrytoes
Hi, I don't know anything about architecture, but I am familiar with the style of this house. In older areas in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a lot of houses with the "side entry" front porch Houzz people seem to be objecting to; and houses of this period were typically built high above street level (i.e., very steep front yards) because the storm drain system consisted of open ditches next to the street that frequently flooded in the winter. I remember with my grandparents' house in Oakland having to go up ten steps just to reach the lawn, and then another ten steps to reach the front porch. One of my favorite memories of their front porch was feeling I could watch the world without anyone knowing I was there. Someone suggested going to the local historical society to look for photographs, which I think is a great idea. Be careful about rushing into "demolition derby." I think you are buying a WONDERFUL house!!!

September 8, 2012 at 9:18pm     
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lionnessone
You have a great home to landscape. I would play up your stairs by adding some shrubs and low growing perennials. I’ve added some inspirational pictures. I couldn’t help myself, I found so many. In front of your porch I would add very large boulders in various places not to many maybe three, or in the middle “line it up in the centre of the brick wall” add a sculpture or a large water sculpture. Add river rock or pea gravel within the garden. Place lavender in various places around the large boulders and start adding your favorite plants. I thought maybe something in the lines of Hydrangea, Siberian Iris, Snowball bushes, Oshiopogon Planiscope Nigrescens (black mondo grass) as border cover, Asparagus Ferns, and Phormium Tricolour. Have fun with it. I also thought you might like to add a Japanese maple off to one side of your home. Are you planning on using your porch as an extra room? If so; put up outdoor drapes for privacy if you need it. Yes keep the stone in the original state, though you may want to change the colour of the white. Choose wisely because you don’t want to paint it again, it’s a large task to take on. I can offer you some chooses but I not too sure of the true colour of the brick. Good luck and enjoy your new home.[houzz=Le Petit Chalet][houzz=Spiritual Gardens (not religious)][houzz=Mountain Home][houzz=Grace Design Associates 1][houzz=Grace Design Associates 2][houzz=Further into the deep lot hydrangea mingles with a large rusty star.][houzz=Traditional Perennial][houzz=Highland][houzz=Jennifer Jamgochian/ Multiflora][houzz=Nature's Beauty][houzz=Traditional Porch[houzz=Front Porch Makeover Summer 2010 1]s][houzz=Front Porch Makeover Summer 2010 2][houzz=Reservoir Bay House][houzz=Front Porch Makeover Summer 2010 3][houzz=Front Porch Makeover Summer 2010 4][houzz=A welcoming bungalow front porch]
September 8, 2012 at 9:22pm     
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fife2
Ah - I would just leave it alone - BUT you might try adding some beautiful style CRAFTSMAN windows on the front of the house - wood clad of course. And especially on those dormer windows - to complete the feel of your home. Those are NOT the original design of the window.

Secondly - I would really try NOT to do anything until you have investigated these period homes and picked one you love! I don't think I would be taking things off, OR adding things either - you just might regret this later on. I would go for New Paint, New Windows and definitely a wood front door.

I have a period victorian home - and I certainly got lots of suggestions - but IT was simple home from the beginning - no fru-fras all over the place - there is a lot to be said for maintaning the original dignity of a house.

I would just wait - figure out your colors that YOU come to love, get a beautiful Solid Oak front door, Get original looking Craftsman Style house numbers, light fixtures - and period style windows - AND definitely REAL cedar Shakes under your front roof line! As another said - they might already be there? I would do this thing first. If there are NO cedar shakes - I would take off the siding there and replace the shakes (I bet originally they were on the house) and STAIN them what ever color pallette you have chosen. You can get lovely OPAQUE stains (i did my whole house in painted stain - better for the wood). And on the front, I would choose to put original copper gutters - just across the porch area and down the front sides. This would have also been original - NO WHITE GUTTERS!

I would hire a professional landscaper if you can, or if not, wait and do this later.

And further along - I would consider adding an more period appropriate architectural roofing material. Don't take your porch apart - especially IF it is all original. BIG mistake.

let us know!
September 9, 2012 at 1:08am     
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fife2
Ah - I would just leave it alone - BUT you might try adding some beautiful style CRAFTSMAN windows on the front of the house - wood clad of course. And especially on those dormer windows - to complete the feel of your home. Those are NOT the original design of the window.

Secondly - I would really try NOT to do anything until you have investigated these period homes and picked one you love! I don't think I would be taking things off, OR adding things either - you just might regret this later on. I would go for New Paint, New Windows and definitely a wood front door.

I have a period victorian home - and I certainly got lots of suggestions - but IT was simple home from the beginning - no fru-fras all over the place - there is a lot to be said for maintaning the original dignity of a house.

I would just wait - figure out your colors that YOU come to love, get a beautiful Solid Oak front door, Get original looking Craftsman Style house numbers, light fixtures - and period style windows - AND definitely REAL cedar Shakes under your front roof line! As another said - they might already be there? I would do this thing first. If there are NO cedar shakes - I would take off the siding there and replace the shakes (I bet originally they were on the house) and STAIN them what ever color pallette you have chosen. You can get lovely OPAQUE stains (i did my whole house in painted stain - better for the wood). And on the front, I would choose to put original copper gutters - just across the porch area and down the front sides. This would have also been original - NO WHITE GUTTERS!

I would hire a professional landscaper if you can, or if not, wait and do this later.

And further along - I would consider adding an more period appropriate architectural roofing material. Don't take your porch apart - especially IF it is all original. BIG mistake.

let us know!
September 9, 2012 at 1:08am     
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fife2
Ah - I would just leave it alone - BUT you might try adding some beautiful style CRAFTSMAN windows on the front of the house - wood clad of course. And especially on those dormer windows - to complete the feel of your home. Those are NOT the original design of the window.

Secondly - I would really try NOT to do anything until you have investigated these period homes and picked one you love! I don't think I would be taking things off, OR adding things either - you just might regret this later on. I would go for New Paint, New Windows and definitely a wood front door.

I have a period victorian home - and I certainly got lots of suggestions - but IT was simple home from the beginning - no fru-fras all over the place - there is a lot to be said for maintaning the original dignity of a house.

I would just wait - figure out your colors that YOU come to love, get a beautiful Solid Oak front door, Get original looking Craftsman Style house numbers, light fixtures - and period style windows - AND definitely REAL cedar Shakes under your front roof line! As another said - they might already be there? I would do this thing first. If there are NO cedar shakes - I would take off the siding there and replace the shakes (I bet originally they were on the house) and STAIN them what ever color pallette you have chosen. You can get lovely OPAQUE stains (i did my whole house in painted stain - better for the wood). And on the front, I would choose to put original copper gutters - just across the porch area and down the front sides. This would have also been original - NO WHITE GUTTERS!

I would hire a professional landscaper if you can, or if not, wait and do this later.

And further along - I would consider adding an more period appropriate architectural roofing material. Don't take your porch apart - especially IF it is all original. BIG mistake.

let us know!
September 9, 2012 at 1:08am   
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tsudhonimh
The brick "knee wall" is the original, and shouldn't be removed. It's a side-entry porch for a reason, one of them being privacy.

The center "column" on the porch might be the stub of one that was removed, might be the original intent. If it was removed, it needs to be replaced to support the center of the beam across the front.

Craftsman style windows, if they are in the budget, would do a lot for the front.

It needs landscaping and a paint job, because the meatball shrubs and 1950s white paint aren't doing justice to the house:

1 - kill the lawn and replace it with perennials, tall grasses, succulents or other low-maintenance plants. That slope is DANGEROUS to mow.
2 - Install handrails along the steps.

Make sure that some of the plants along the porch mature ar slightly more than the height of the railing, but not all of them.

Consider adding a craftsman style arbor across the front for a lightweight vine, continuing it across the steps. That would clearly tie the steps into the porch, and is period style.
September 9, 2012 at 4:32am     
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dsciorra
I think your house is beautiful the way it is, but I really feel like whoever remodeled the porch to begin with left something behind. The brick post that goes half way up in the center is kind of sticking out. I would just go back to the original style like someone posted the photo shop of above, but you could also consider incorporating the upper part into that half post, and that would tie it back in. I really like the contrast, and coordination with the all white, and brick facade. There are all kinds of things you could do with landscaping also, so before you tweak anything too much I would consider what my options are there.
September 9, 2012 at 5:37am     
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Christine
Id go color crazy on that girl, she's a beaut. but I would take down the brick fence wall and invest in a true craftsman styled fence, doors and windows.
September 9, 2012 at 7:48am   
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tsudhonimh
Christine - that brick "knee wall" is probably original to the house.

Here's a picture of how to deal with the sloped front yard:
http://pinterest.com/pin/174796029258123900/
September 9, 2012 at 8:31am   
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cocinera
oh my gosh--what's not to love! it's a classic bungalow, i'm dying of envy.

i can only reiterate what others have said. that looks like vinyl siding. if it is, take it off. paint the siding a beautiful soft sage green. paint the trim and the fascia contrasting colors-maybe pick up a soft red from the bricks and a soft gray from the shingles.

use foundation plantings to break up the height of the foundation/porch wall--some nice fluffy hydrangeas would be traditional or big evergreen shrubs. or lilacs! imagine the scent of the lilacs in the spring! ivy over that front lawn, your not gonna wanna be mowing that slope. hanging baskets full of flowers in the summer and some solar powered lanterns. you'll be the belle of the block.

check out the books "bungalow kitchens" and "bungalow bathrooms" by jane powell for edification and entertainment on the subject of bungalow interiors.
September 9, 2012 at 9:32am     
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chezron
Just quit making shrubs into balls, boxes, and snow globes. Please.
September 9, 2012 at 9:37am   
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bacino
I am wondering if the bricked part of the porch on the left side of photo is original to the house. I would open that up and have steps leading up to front door on that side.
September 9, 2012 at 9:37am   
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7768
I would live in it awhile before I changed anything. I bet there is a reason they raised the bricked area on the porch. Probably for shade, or privacy. Landscaping with some colorful flowers or plants and some hanging baskets will do wonders for now.
September 9, 2012 at 9:52am   
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cocinera
i'm gettin' the vapors here. all these people who want you to take out the bricks (altho bonnie chappell's photoshop version with the front steps is pretty snazz) or stucco them over or paint them, or cover them with faux stone... talk about unclear on the concept. cover your ears, woman!

however...having said that...i could see taking out the center (or should i say off-center) pier, and having an unbroken horizontal line across the front. yes, you have too much mass across the front, what with looking up at the house from street level and all, but the solution is to break it up visually, not remove it.

and then,how about wisteria along the arch of the porch. can you do wisteria in your climate?
September 9, 2012 at 10:04am   
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mousemaker
cocinera!! how funny!! i use that phrase a lot just to get reactions :) this discussion reminds of "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" .........one of my all time favorite movies!
September 10, 2012 at 10:21am   
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lisahovav
This house is so cute! I would stain or wash the brick out and color the exterior with a pewter grey
September 19, 2012 at 9:54pm   
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Anina Salerno_Aita
I suspect that the section of brickwork that is in front of your front door is not original to the house. The joints look entirely different. If you removed the bricks on that side, and reinstalled the wooden post that was on top of the brick column, you could have a stairway that led directly to the front door. I think Bonnie Chappell's version is probably the way the house was intended to look. Replacing the windows with versions that have the correct upper divided lites would be very nice, and some warm, deep color on the siding would be more appropriate. Many of the Craftsman bungalows around here are brick and shakes, so if that is aluminum or vinyl siding, the texture of shakes would look good as a replacement too. Add some foundation plantings to soften the large expanse of brick to the right of the new stairway, and I think the house would be wonderful. I love Craftsman style!
October 19, 2012 at 8:54am   
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PRO
Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Landscaping, landscaping, landscaping! Do like your new home!
October 19, 2012 at 9:00am   
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victorianbungalowranch
PLEASE, I think your money is better spent on other things than tearing out all that brick. A "missing" pillar is typical of many bungalows, as are solid railings, and I wouldn't do anythig to change that unless the roof or room above was sagging I grew up in Pittsburgh and a lot of houses are like this, and the porches are great!

It looks very solid, it is hard to tell, but it looks like it still has the original door and storm, and roof brackets (hard to tell in photo--appear a bit thin).. Even the vinyl is not too bad compared to a lot of remuddled houses. This is a simple, solid house--don't mess it up. Restoring the clapboard or shakes would be the first step However, not all Bungalows had "Prairie" or Craftsman-type windows--plain double-hungs were used too, and at least they are in scale with the house.

As a simple fix, paint the barge board--looks like it is peeling anyway--and the bracket(s) If the casing around the windows are wood, you can paint those as well. The light colors might be best down below, but the dormer window could be enlivened with a brick red or terra cotta, or maybe a green or mustard trim, and something darker for the barge boards.

Adding softer shrubbery in front of the porch, and yes, a trellis would soften the brick, and nice ground cover on the slope would help--probably a pain to mow anyway. An arbor on top of the steps, or a pair of urns, could help mark the entrance and make it more inviting. Hanging baskets and or flower boxes with hanging geraniums, perhaps just on the right side, could look nice.

The flower boxes could possibly be mounted or hung below the top of the brick, or maybe you could put in a raised bed (be careful not to trap moisture or pile up dirt right next to the brick--that can cause a lot of problems down the road.)

Here is a rough renditon of cottagy planting (think hollyhocks, delphinium, floxglove, or glads for tall flowers, hydrangeas and other flowering shrubs, possibly arbor vitae to a tall accent, a trellis on the brick for a climbing vine, and a Craftsman type arbor possibly over the walk, plus more landscaping on the slope. Just doing the bushes on top would be a huge help to start..

Space looks tight up there, so be careful to get bushes that stay fairly small (lillac may be too big unless planted on the slope in a little retaining basin--can use a basement well faced with rock and creeping Thyme. I did a berm in front of my house for privacy and it worked well.

Anyway, the pic gives an idea of what just a little paint and some landscaping can do.
October 19, 2012 at 11:40am   
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S. Thomas Kutch
I think the brick hides your house front and blocks some of the characteristics of the bungalow style. I'm thinking that at some time your porch had a wooden rail system. I would take the brick down between the pillar elements and above the header bond course. and close in the openings with an open rail system This would add some openness to your porch and still maintain the bungalow look.
October 19, 2012 at 12:01pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
BTW, I think the joints look different on the left is because it was repointed (mortar replaced), not because it isn't original to the house. It also looks like the space in front of the brick is rather shallow for steps and a walkway.
October 19, 2012 at 12:49pm   
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ourfarmhouse
This Bungalow's got beautiful lines.

It would be a crime to remove any of it's historic features, like the brick balusters. To add a pillar in the middle would ruin the flow of the front porch, needlessly close it in and obstruct your view from the inside. That massive span is meant to be there. It feels strong and the mass of the brick feels sturdy - one of the characteristics of a craftsman bungalow.

What your house does need is color and some landscaping. The Craftsman style is known by its earth tones - colors from nature.

A dark sage body color and a light sage trim with a Cherokee red would be a correct historic look for this house. The main body color should complement the brick, not match it - hence the sage. The Cherokee red gives a nod back to the brick and adds a little punch.

A darker architectural shingle would also feel correct.

The rectangular details on the top of your pillars are begging for another subtle architectural detail on top of them. This extends the shape and gives these light blocks some meaning. The horizontal band that connects them helps the arch feel a bit less stark and goes a long way in giving your house the interest you're looking for.

Shakes on the dormer are a nice-to, not a have-to. But the interest they bring draws the eye up and just adds more architectural detail.

Vertical muntins in the windows and a door painted the same color as the window trim help to make this cottage a little more charming and tailored. Taking the storm door off sure would look nice. It does look like it's sheltered enough to do so.

Part of the reason that it feels like there is too much brick, is that there is very little landscaping...well, what you've got is a start, anyway. Typical Craftsman landscaping is not too fussy. It's usually hardier plants and bushes that add texture and color. Just flowers might feel a little light and a little sparse in front of so much brick. Different heights will make it more interesting, with the taller plants on the corners to frame the whole vignette.

P.S. Reading through some of these suggestions almost makes my heart break. I've seen too many of these bungalows ruined by shortsighted people who try to match these great houses to the latest fads by taking out the very things that make them charming (like the brick railing...I can assure you, it's original and integral to the design).

I had the privilege own a 1914 bungalow for 10 years and to nurse it back to health. When we sold it, I was impressed with the fact that we are only caretakers of the houses we own for a relatively short period, and then we pass them to the next caretaker. This makes me want to enhance only if it's sensitive to the original intent and character.

Here's what it could look like...
November 11, 2012 at 1:45am     
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greenthumb2
Instantly soften your home's curb view with some ornamental grasses, if your zone will encourage it. They (the grasses) are tolerant to snow but you need to research to find the size and style you like. The bright white paint is rough against the red brick only because one is cool, the other warm. Like the idea of wood casings around windows (if you have time and money for this idea) planting something in front of the center would be good to help soften the middle column. Or, if you like that column, a low rounded pedestal bowl with asparagus fern. change it out with flowing color in spring and summer. More formal; tulips. :=) A little color always helps. just know what you like to look at and that is half the battle. drive around your neighborhood. take mental notes. write them down. Enjoy. great job on choosing a home.
November 11, 2012 at 2:15am   
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greenthumb2
http://www.craftsmanperspective.com/advice/exterior.html you may find some interesting ideas here as well. take your time. make a little binder or folder of ideas. a definitely, not sure and no column. start eliminating and you will find solutions you can live with everyday. that is your bottom line -- to love and enjoy your investment.
November 11, 2012 at 2:38am   
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charlotteleigh
Ourfarmhouse, love your posting. I agree, DO NOT knock anything down. Paint and landscaping would make all the difference to this already awesome house.
November 11, 2012 at 3:48am     
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yvonne_pinckney
Leave the brick alone! Remember the story of the three little pigs! Just do the landscaping ands add a pond with a waterfall in the center with lighting
November 11, 2012 at 4:55am   
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