Seeking curb appeal advice!
November 27, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We would love to replace the awful awning over our front door (and the tenant's door below) with something more modern, but can't figure out what would go with this brick house and the archway over the door. We would also love advice on what color to paint our front door, and any other "curb appeal" makeover suggestions! Thanks so much.
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Check this out...would look good with a fresh coat of paint on the brick...
November 27, 2012 at 7:45PM   
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It depends on what look you're going for. Traditional or modern?

I like the idea of retrofitting an old brick building with subtle modern accents. I'd certainly ditch the awnings. The one by your main door, I'd replace with a simple no frame tempered glass awning following the upside down V line of brickwork above the door.

Remove the black railings and replace them with a stainless steel rail and glass panels. Keep these elements very subtle to let the brick work stand out on its own.

If you have a bigger budget, you could extend the roof a few feet out to give the house a proper silhouette and to replace the function of the awnings.
November 27, 2012 at 7:48PM   
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You have a great base...paint brick or dark metal planters with great color flowers...very nice
November 27, 2012 at 8:33PM     
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Nd maybe some black shutters
November 27, 2012 at 8:34PM   
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pmorganii window trim too
November 27, 2012 at 8:48PM   
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I like this spare design: FORMA Design This one is to die for: Beaux Arts Residence - Entry Canopy.

A gable portico that follows the line of the bricks with wall supports like this would work: New front entry.

Substantial black window boxes like these would be better than the small white ones: Frenchflair. Even better are the black metal ones like these: French Country Garden. Isn't this arrangement eye-cathcing? Chicago Residence.

Do containers at each side of the main entrance and more in the courtyard: Windsor Companies

I would paint the trim, the door and storm door black: Park Slope Brownstone or Exterior.

It looks like the roof needs to be replaced soon. Do it in a slate grey shingle. Another maintainence item is the steps, they need to be repaired be for it gets worse.

Good luck with your home.
November 27, 2012 at 9:03PM   
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I like some of the suggestions above, especially the simple FORMA glass canopy. The other one is Art Nouveau and way too fancy for your home. A simple metal one might be a possibility too.

The most unique aspects of your home is the unique hood over your front door with the gothic arch. Putting a gable there would obscure its beauty and be too visually heavy. Like the color the door is now, but something brighter could be nice too.

The brick window box brackets are cool and I would replace the missing one. You could put branches and evergreens in there in the winter, or maybe winter cabbage an such depending on your climate. Spray painted seed pods and such can be beautiful too--saw it quite a lot in Europe for outdoor winter garlands and decorations. Can be subtle and very sculptural. The boxes do look a bit undersized.

Not sure about your tenant's awning. Space is tight and it looks like you have to duck to get down there. A simple canvas awning might work, or a small architectural hood or metal canopy. Or just forgo it..

As for other things, I would:

1) Enclose the garbage cans, perhaps screen the front concrete yard with some planters, maybe even some bamboo or something that doesn't take up much space.

2) Consider staining the concrete or resurfacing with pavers (helps with drainage too) and adding a simple bench. Clean the front steps.

3) Redo the light colored repointing--looks like it was done with a modern hard mortar or portland cement mixture, which is too hard for old brick and will damage it and cause spralling. Replace with a sott lime mortar tinted to match the old mortar.Check the rest to make sure it is sound.

4) Replace shingles with an architectural type metal or synthetic slate or concrete type shingle, possibly in a old-fashioned geometric pattern of charcoal grey, light grey and rusty brown. The flashing is looking bad, especially with your gold aluminum neighbor. Perhaps they will be inspired by your example :).

5) Add some period appropiate lighting and cover the outlets with dark covers.

5) Eventually invest in some heftier railings that are more in keeping with the style of the house.
November 27, 2012 at 11:33PM   
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Wow, thanks everyone for your suggestions! We'd definitely like a simple modern awning that won't dominate the brick arch over the entry, such as that Forma awning or a simple metal, wood, or glass one. What do you think of this one?:

November 28, 2012 at 10:22AM   
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Aggie Purvinska
Thank God, someone is trying to replace the awnings! This is NYC, isn't it? Queens? (I live in Queens, and I love it, but there is a lot to e desired about these awnings).

I like the front door, do either a very dark green or blue green (almost black) for the door. Same on the window trim, if possible. Look into getting a straight glass portico roof with anodized metal detail (suspended on a wire)
November 28, 2012 at 10:44AM   
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Texas Lightsmith
I would go with a custom copper awning, then you could do all kinds of amazing designs... matching either the curved arch or the angled one
November 28, 2012 at 11:14AM     
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Something like that in a dark finish may be OK for the tenant, but I think it is a little too straight to complement your nice rowhouse. The FORMA with the slight curve is more graceful, and yet still modern.
November 28, 2012 at 1:50PM   
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Yes, this is NYC (but Brooklyn), and yes, so many awful corrugated metal awnings and so few other options! Are there any cons to using a glass awning? Can they withstand the Northeastern winters?
November 28, 2012 at 6:56PM     
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The FORMA is actually metal.

I saw glass awning all over the place in Germany, usually in panels in an arch or slant or sort of an trapeziodal awning with sides. Some were very old--maybe from the 20's or so. I also saw them by the North Sea where it gets cold and sleety all winter, and very windy.

The glass is tempered so it is strong and the metal frame protects it, but also traps dirt. So i would say expense and having to clean the glass are its dissadvatages. An maybe finding a supplier, but NYC shouldn't be a problem, especially with a commercial contractor and supplier.

So an advantage of metal is that you don't have to get up there and clean it very often, and it may be more resistant to breakage. There is a bit more flexibility in design too, esp. if it is custom.
November 29, 2012 at 12:04AM   
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Joan Bartos
Please don't paint your bricks as they're so beautiful and unique.i agree with most of the other suggestions. Remember: Keep it simple,clean and neat and have some unity in terms of color.
November 29, 2012 at 1:18AM   
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Modern Updates
I would do a new gable cover with brackets over the front door and paint all the trim a darker color. Suggested look attached. Good luck!
November 29, 2012 at 8:02AM   
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