HELP! Need help on color choices to update front of home and give it dimension.
November 20, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I would like it to be more modern. I decided to go with a blue shutter which looked good. I let the hardware store talk me into a dark blue, almost black, for the door surround. After seeing the results, I am thinking I should have gone with more of a gray color scheme. I like the red of the front door and plan on keeping it. For now, I am thinking I need a light gray for the door surround and garage door and darker gray for the shutters. I just didn't want it to be too drab. It needs more energy! Can anyone help?
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I actually really like the blue. I complements the color of the siding nicely, and makes your front door pop. I think that you should stay away from grays, as they make the nice details on your house blend into the siding.
November 20, 2012 at 3:55pm   
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My husband suggested flipping the the color of the door and shutters. Thoughts?
November 20, 2012 at 4:10pm   
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That might look good aswell, you might want to paint one shutter red to see what it looks like. It also should probably be a more toned down, darker red. Good luck!
November 20, 2012 at 4:19pm   
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Will you be adding any blue to the garage as an accent or will that be over the top?
November 20, 2012 at 4:26pm     
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The door will stay red. The garage will go whatever color ends up on the door surround, which will be the lighter color. The shutters and the round piece above the garage will/should be the same. thank you.
November 20, 2012 at 4:32pm   
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The storm door is really pulling the look you're going for apart. May I suggest a different approach? Would allow protection and removal of the storm.

November 20, 2012 at 4:39pm     
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I totally agree. It is coming off at the last minute, but the plan is also to paint the white around the glass the same color as the door surround.
November 20, 2012 at 4:41pm     
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I love the photo, but at this time, adding additional architectural detail is not an option.
November 20, 2012 at 4:42pm   
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Rebecca Knight
I think the garage door should be the same darker blue. Then you need some plants between the window like the picture with the portico that are much taller. Can be formal like the tree roses (guessing what they are) or perhaps depending on direction, climate and such topiary? Then pots on both ends of that front stoop or topiaries in pots. Seems to me should be on formal side to go with Colonial style.
November 20, 2012 at 4:59pm     
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I'd do the door surround in red and the door in black or mid-night blue, then carry that color on to the shutters. I'd be careful about painting the garage door a much deeper color than the siding, instead try painting the trim around the door a deeper color and continue that on the overhang.
November 20, 2012 at 4:59pm   
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I agree about the plants and what you said, Rebecca, is exactly what I am doing when all the painting is finally finished. I have to get the planting done before the temps drop too much. I only have about a week or two left.
November 20, 2012 at 5:10pm   
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Love the dark blue accents on the woodwork. Would do the garage door like that too. (The surrounds dark blue, I would leave the door gray, it's too dark all blue) And perhaps include your lanterns, so they stand out a little more.
We painted our front door two years ago and removed the storm door, we had a new door, which is much better isolated (Home Depot) and we never looked back. We live in the North East, winters are cold and lots of snow, but it has not made a dent on the door, so to speak. I guess you can do without. It really ruins the look. Your door surround is magnificent, the blue makes it really stately!
I would do some symmetrical planting, something left and right next to the entrance. Nothing to low, but neither too high. A topiary or potted evergreen would look stunning throughout the year. (Holly)
And the bird bath and fountain? Not so sure about this, takes a little away from modern....
Maybe you think about the hardware on the door to give it that special touch. Brushed nickel or stainless steel will also give it a more contemporary feel!
Enjoy the transformation.
We are just getting a new roof now,much darker, it will hopefully add to the look! Your home is your castle....Happy Thanksgiving!
November 21, 2012 at 6:03am     
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Mahoney Architects
What about removing the shutters altogether for a more stark & modern look? I like the barn-red door. add it to the garage door and the two-tones will look great. I would keep the door surround white in this scheme.
November 21, 2012 at 6:43am   
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I think we have the exact same house, but instead of trying to go modern and updated we painted it to look timeless and classy. We chose a beige for the siding and garage door ,but the shutters are a very very dark gray--really a shade of black. The trim around the windows is off white, and the front door is black. We debated using a red door like you, but decided it might look like a lot like several churches in our area. We love the black and installed a large brass door knocker for interest.
November 21, 2012 at 7:52am   
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change the window shutters to all white and door white including garage door.. your house will pop up. your house will look very stylish. include hanging pots having pink or red flowers on it. and two big pots on the entrance with lime green leaf plant and add some accent plant in it.
November 21, 2012 at 8:35am   
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Nancy Hehmann
Have you thought of driving through other neighborhoods to see what color combo already on other houses really "Wow" you. That is what I did when we changed our house colors. You will be able to see the on another structure.
November 21, 2012 at 8:38am     
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Judith Taylor Designs
I love the image that decor enthusiast shows. It conveyed my thoughts. If you want the house to look more modern then the entryway is what needs to change as it incorporates classical elements that go against that. It isn't going to turn into a modern home but if you keep the lines simple and more linear it will give it an updated look. I would paint the garage section and the attachment to the house a muted colour (keeping with the grey colour scheme is fine) so the house grabs our attention and the garage and its passageway recede visually. Then, put your time and or money into landscaping. Increase the walkway bringing it further away from the house and fill in behind it with plantings, or define the walkway with plants creating a very inviting entry. That will give you the most impact. Lovely home!
November 21, 2012 at 9:03am   
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the front door trim surround has got to go- I feel like it's super dated. Replace it with a columned over hang and it give your whole exterior a face lift.
November 21, 2012 at 9:58am     
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I think it's nearly impossible to make your home's facade more modern as long as the colonial door surround is around. Seriously though your idea to paint it a lighter gray is a good one since I have a problem with accentuating it at the same time you want a more modern look. Perhaps that's why I'd consider maintaining it as a white to match the two panels on each side of your red front door. BTW I also like the "husband's" idea to paint the shutters red though I can understand why you won't at this point entertain that option. I also don't know why a garage door should be made a focal point through the use of paint. I would have the garage door the same color as the siding. Good luck on your decisions, madeline
November 21, 2012 at 10:07am     
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Aja Mazin
a light gray for the door surround
November 21, 2012 at 11:49am     
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Gary Rosard Architect
To really make it more modern, paint the siding a dark gray and the shutters black or matching dark gray. Then leave the door surround in white, and almost any color door will work.
November 21, 2012 at 12:50pm     
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A huge change could be made by replacing the hardware on the shutters so that they were actually functional shutters. It would add more dimension to the house. I also think that a darker color, even black on the shutters would make them stand out more and give a cleaner look. Right now all of the details are blurred together.
November 22, 2012 at 9:07am   
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Well, I seem to be the odd girl out here, but I love your use of navy and red-just like it is. The door surround is beautiful. You have a lovely home.
November 24, 2012 at 9:55pm   
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click on pictures they all enlarge.
I have a similar style home. Whithout knowing your budget, it's more difficult to give advice.
Here's some lower budget ideas:

1) paint the garage door white so it's not a focal point.If it's not insulated, replace it with a new white raised panel door WITH Windows across the top

2) paint the front door surround white(easy choice) or experiment with a shade of gray. If at all possible replace it.I'm assuming a new barreled roof porch is out of the budget

2( if a front porch is out of the budget) cover cement porch pad with colored 4 season slate,adds a lot of character !

3) change shutters to flat or semi gloss black, changed exterior lighting to black. Add (white) trellis to side of garage..
Finally on lower budget (like we had)! have trellis built on each side of garage door and over door as in picture below.( I changed the invasive trumpet vine to a pink climbing roses ).
Matt Grand Blanc, MI
November 25, 2012 at 8:49am     
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