Houzz Live: Curb Appeal
Emily Hurley
June 27, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Welcome to Houzz Live: Curb Appeal

Today we will be conquering the topic of Curb Appeal! We've seen a lot of lively discussions and requests for help from the community on this topic, so we've invited some Houzz professionals as featured guests to go over some basics and helpful tips. Please welcome...

Alon Toker of Mega Builders http://www.houzz.com/pro/megabuilders/

Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates http://www.houzz.com/pro/margie-grace/

In addition, all community members are invited to jump in and participate by answering the questions posted.

The format is as follows: We will post questions as comments to this discussion thread. Each question will be prefaced by the question number, for example “Q1)”. For every answer to a particular question, you should use a corresponding label to attribute it back to the question you are answering, for example “A1)”.

Remember to refresh your page to see new questions and answers.

Most importantly, have fun!
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Emily Hurley
Hi everyone, we'll get started promptly at 11am. Be sure to say hello in the meantime to introduce yourself!
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Hi everyone! I'm Jeannie, the other Community Manager at Houzz. Looking forward to meeting you all and seeing what you guys have to say. :)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Mega Builders
Good morning everyone!
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:01AM
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Emily Hurley
Let's get started!


Q1) What do you look for first when assessing the potential of a home’s exterior?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
Hi All! I'm Margie Grace. I'm a landscape designer and contractor. My landscape design + build firm is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA. I love naturalistic, welcoming, beautiful spaces!
6 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Mega Builders
A1) I always start with the budget. The reality of the budget underpins any project. We start with that before any design work and that is one of the very first questions we are asking our clients.
Coming up with spectacular solutions, rendered in the most mouth-watering ways, is of little value to homeowners, if these solutions are priced out of their reach?
Once budget is established, the style the clients’ are aiming for would our next focus. Here we try to steer clients towards a style that fits their budget. For example: a modern façade will typically be more costly to realize than a Mediterranean.
Many owners do not like, initially, to frame a conversation in the context of a budget. This is natural, as this will typically limits the scope of the discussion and proposed solutions. But most owners soon come to realize the sense and wisdom of this approach.
The end result is always a realized project as opposed to beautiful plans and renderings the owners end up never using for an actual project.
9 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A1. The facade, terrain and existing vegetation.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A1) I’m looking for a welcoming feel and a sense of being drawn into the house. I want to approach the property and get excited about seeing more of it.
5 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Emily Hurley
Q2) What’s your absolute favorite exterior feature to see?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:11AM
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decoenthusiaste
A2) A beautiful, livable porch and garden.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Mega Builders
A2) Well, my most favorite exterior feature is one I can do nothing about – mature landscape (rare in our area). It’s either in place or it’s not. Apart from that, I love a dynamic visual and at least a touch of higher-end features. For a visual to be dynamic, the elevation needs to be interesting and not 2-dimensional. Higher-end features could be nice light fixtures, some cast elements, some stone façade so not everything is stucco (the prevalent exterior finish in Southern California), and so forth. A well planned and executed front yard landscape and hardscape goes a long way as well.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A2. A water feature.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Emily Hurley
@Mega Builders Totally agree! Love big, mature trees.
6 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Mega Builders
There aren't too many of those in most areas of the Southland...which makes them so much more precious and attractive :)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
A2. Front porches like this make me happy. :)

8 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A2) I suppose, if you pinned me down, I’d have to say my absolute favorite exterior feature is a killer front porch. But not everyone feels the same way and not every house has/can have a front porch…

It’s not a specific feature, per se, that makes for great curb appeal. It’s a specific feeling that makes a place great. I want to see a compelling composition: a beautiful garden (size doesn’t matter) with an alluring “come-hither” path with just enough of the house exposed so I can tell it’s a great place – yet I don’t see all of it and can’t wait to discover the rest.
9 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Emily Hurley
@Margie I keep promising myself that one day I will have a wrap around porch on my house to sit on and sip lemonade. Love those!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q3) What is your least favorite feature to see on an exterior? - How can you minimize or improve it?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@Emily --- a porch with a porch swing and a lovely big tree...
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A3) Problem: Garage is the predominant element of the architecture + driveway is the only pedestrian approach to the house. It’s dreadful when the house is oriented around cars --- you want your house to be appealing to people; de-emphasize cars and play up “hominess”.

Solution: 1) Find some way to get in a separate path to the front door and 2) soften up the garage (eave-line trellis, vine, different garage door, paint… something!)
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Mega Builders
A3) Disrepair and neglect will top this list. Peeling paint, damaged roof, a yellowing lawn and so forth. Beyond that, poorly designed/cheaply done additions bother me the most. When additions and changes to the home are not well designed, they are readily recognized and detract from rather than add to a home’s curb appeal. Additions (on first or second floor) need to be ‘organic’. Once done, the house should look as if it was always meant to appear this way
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A3. Mechanicals, which can be artfully hidden.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:19AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@Mega --- I second that! I've owned homes I would have paid extra for not to have certain "improvements"!
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Suellen Valetta
A1 Budget and existing features.
A2. Mature trees are essential. If there are none, they should be the first thing planted.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Emily Hurley
A3) I have to say, when I have been house hunting in the past, I avoid homes with a circular driveway in front. I really love a separate garage with the driveway down one side, but my ideal situation would be an alley behind with garage access from there.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A3. I agree with you Margie Grace about garages. Wish more architects and builders would conceal them on the side or the back of the house.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Judy M
A)3 overgrown foundation shrubs that hide the entire house from view.
6 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:22AM
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mpoulsom
A3) I agree about garages....i think all architects should put carports and garages on the backside of a house whenever possible!
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Emily Hurley
@Goldthorpe ME TOO!!
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Mega Builders
Some neighborhoods (HOA and planning departments) prohibit garages being visible from the street
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q4) Let’s talk front doors. Any rules of thumb you can share about making the most of this feature?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Emily Hurley
@Mega Builders I want to live there! :)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:24AM
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mpoulsom
i was typing at the same time as many above it seems! :)
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
I'm a big fan of alleys --- but if you don't have one, you don't have one.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Emily Hurley
@mpoulsom definitely refresh early and often! Moving pretty fast. :D
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Mega Builders
A4) I like to see the front door system proportionally sized to the size of the house and the elevation.
Having it match style-wise is important as well.
Seeing a front door that is dwarfed by the front elevation or a front door system that dominates the front elevation is not unusual. Seeing an arched front door or one that has arch element(s) when nowhere else arches are used, for example, is fairly common as well. Both of these are examples of things to avoid, IMOP
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A4) First of all, make sure you can find the front door --- you’d be amazed at the number of houses where this is a problem! After that, you want the front door be really approachable and beautiful (hint: bars on the screen door, motion-activated spotlights and other similar elements simply scream, “stay out!”). The front door should be complimentary of the architecture (if the architecture is worth featuring). And it can have a little personality: a special color (caution is warranted here too), beautiful hardware, beautiful wood/craftsmanship, a special feature (a speakeasy door, a knocker, a special greeting on a small chalkboard --- you’re allowed to have a little fun; as long as it has a charming, welcoming effect and isn’t uber-personalized). As a landscaper, I often have a recommendation for the front door --- it’s a really important element.
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:26AM
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decoenthusiaste
A 3 Clumpy shrubbery - even if nicely trimmed it just doesn't do anything for me, and unless in a very formal setting, it does little for the house either.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A4. The front door should be interesting architecturally, as tall as possible for the facade and should be beautifully framed (like art).
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:28AM
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marjie1059
I'm wondering what are the upcoming trends in outdoor design, maybe not even in the decorating books and magazines yet, that may change the way I look at my property in the future?
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Mega Builders
I see an increased interest in drought tolerant plants, and in having less lawns
More lights are used as well
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Emily Hurley
@marjie I wonder if some of that depends on where you are. I feel like I am seeing more and more drought tolerant / resistant yards in my area both because we tend to have issues with water from time to time, but also because people may be looking to be more conservative with resources in general.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A4) I look at the whole composition when I'm looking at curb appeal --- it's less about individual elements than about the combined whole. Not everyone can - or should - spring for a designer-y front door and not every house "wants" a designer-y front door.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Emily Hurley
Q5) How much emphasis should someone place on making their exterior “fit in” with the neighboring homes?
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:32AM
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decoenthusiaste
Woudn't you say door color suggestions are one of the most asked questions at HOUZZ?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Emily Hurley
@decoenthusiaste We definitely see that question a lot! I feel like that can be a pretty easy update to do to make what feels like a large impact on your exterior.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Mega Builders
A5) Neighborhoods where there are HOA rules that govern exterior look or a city’s Planning Department that regulate the exterior are typically also more affluent neighborhoods. As a result of both factors (regulated design and higher income), these neighborhoods will look nicer and be more pleasant to walk in or drive through. Home values there would tend to be higher as well.
Nonetheless, ‘fitting in’ should NOT be the focus. Yes, set back from street, total height of building and general color scheme will enhance curb appeal if they conform and/or surpass that of neighboring properties.
But design should reflect the owners’ needs, tastes and lifestyle. Not the neighbors'!
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:34AM
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decoenthusiaste
A5 If you have a couple of acres, it isn't as important as when you're side by side! Also depends on regs in the neighborhood!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A5. I think the exterior of the home should fit in with the existing landscape and orientation rather than the surrounding architecture unless it is a city scape.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Judy M
A5) It would be nice not to be next to the neighbor that decides a bright pink house reflects their personality.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
@Judy M: I used to live next to a bright baby blue house. That was fun... :P
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Emily Hurley
@Judy Oh no! Is that the case for you now? That would be tough. I had a pink house next door to me at one point and I remember when they painted and updated to a different (better) color our entire neighborhood gushed to them about how great it looked now.
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:38AM
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decoenthusiaste
A5 I think I could live in a "cookie cutter" neighborhood, as long as the cookie cutting stopped at my entry!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Judy M
No pink houses in my neighborhood.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:39AM
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marjie1059
A3) But why do developers insist on featuring garages? In our area, you can barely see the front door because it's set back several feet from the front of the garage. Nasty. (Although I've been married 34 years and have never had a garage of any sort, so if I had one that were prominent, maybe I'd be so delighted to have the lawn mower no longer in the basement that I wouldn't complain!)
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:40AM
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JMittman Designs
A5. You would be hard pressed to find any two identical houses in my old established neighborhood. And that is just the way I like it. I could never live in a sub division.
5 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q6) What are some of the best low-maintenance landscaping features that add to a home’s curb appeal?
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Judy M
It's because lot sizes are getting smaller, not allowing a wider width lot means the garage is attached to front rather than to the side of house.
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
RE: trends outdoors. Big trend: a great site with just enough house for in case it rains (in mild climate areas like mine). Ongoing trend: life lived well outside - outdoor furniture expands (rugs, table lamps, fans --- all the indoor furnishings made outdoor-friendly and beautiful); outdoor elements expand and price-points for pre-made items is more accessible to more people (fire pits, landscape lighting, spas, outdoor kitchen products). New trend: we move beyond "greening" our yards with "green products" and move to lifestyle changes/practices ("softer" hardscapes, flexible floor plans). New trend: we will include as many elements of the native biome as possible in our own backyard (e.g., we already plant pollinator and bird attracting gardens; we'll begin to leave a couple of boards out of adjoinging fences to support land birds such as quail and small animals; we'll manage our garbage stream so pest-type animals - possums, rats - decrease to naturally sustainable levels and the fauna of the site is more balanced). And we'll continue to want more out of life with fewer resources expended.
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:42AM
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JMittman Designs
A3-@marjie--Lot sizes
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A5) If you like the surrounding neighborhood, I say there’s a lot to be gained from harmonizing with it. If the neighborhood has good “neighborhood appeal”, it can only enhance your house’s “curb appeal”. That doesn’t mean cookie cutter landscapes surrounding each cookie cutter house, but you want to exploit the assets of the surroundings --- include “borrowed landscapes”, site lines to landmark trees; enhance the urban forest with trees of your own; if a neighbor has a beautiful tree, consider planting another of the same kind on your property to “pull” that tree into your composition. This speaks to “site appropriate” landscaping as well --- for instance, you may love a beautiful, lush lawn but it just looks out of place in the desert; same holds for cacti in a tropical setting. Finally, shared features – design elements, materials, etc. – throughout adjacent spaces gives each home a sense of place, grounds the architecture to the site and makes each property look larger than it actually is.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:43AM
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decoenthusiaste
A6 Xeriscape, as cited above.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Mega Builders
A6) Trees. Especially evergreen trees. These need very little attention and will ‘frame’ a home if well situated, so that its curb appeal is greatly enhanced. Evergreens will also provide great shade. Beyond that, some well designed/placed hardscape (like walkway, pillars, planters) and low-maintenance plants will ‘do the trick’.
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:44AM
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libradesigneye
A6) Lighting
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q7) Any special tips for homes in areas with wide seasonal changes? Sun to snow and back again?
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A6) A great, well-placed tree (the right tree for the right place is quite low maintenance). Gravel/pebble mulch (done well). Boulders. A stunning pot (referred to as a "show pot" in our firm)...
5 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Mega Builders
A7) Being from Southern California, I’ll leave this question to those who actually saw snow ☺
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Peter P.
A6) Agree with libradesigneye, lighting, especially at night using a variety of solar lights (low maintenance, right?) bring a different feel, though they only last a few years depending on product
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Emily Hurley
@Mega Builders! Ha! Solid point. Snow is so gorgeous to me that it seems like a great curb appeal factor in and of itself. I bet lighting can be versatile for snow and sun.
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Mega Builders
I will settle to see it on the ski slopes, rather than shovel it off my driveway :)
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A7) Yeah – work it for all it’s got. Seriously, you can either be bummed out you can’t grow bananas or you can delve into all of the fabulous plant material that requires a good chill. (No way I'm growing peonies, dogwood, a really tasty pear...) For extreme winter areas, you’ll be working with evergreens and fabulous deciduous shapes for a rich composition of contrasting greens, textures, forms and fabulous fall color. Whatever your site, whatever the conditions, there is always something that is special about it. Manage whatever practical things need to be managed (snow, mud, frost heave, etc.) then exploit the assets of the site. For instance, the low angle of winter light combined with the crispness of the snow allows for beautiful winter vignettes, shadow patterns, etc. Make sure that you have structure in the garden even when the plants are sleeping: boulders, stone work, a beautiful wall, a bird bath, sculpture, pots (that don't crack in the cold), a charming garden shed…
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Emily Hurley
@Margie That's so funny. I was literally bummed out earlier this week that I couldn't grow bananas. Not even kidding. So many cool varieties.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:55AM
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judianna20
A7) Blue spruce can take a beating from all sorts of New England weather. The color of the pine needles is beautiful year 'round.

Another favorite foundation plant here is cherry laurel. And a quick growing, evergreen that will do what you tell it to do, is Manhattan euonymus.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q8) For someone with a limited budget, what one tip would you share about improving the curb appeal of their home?
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A7) Oh --- I forgot to add: make sure you vacation in sunnier climes from time to time!
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Mega Builders
A8) Most ‘bang for the buck’ – paint. A close second – planting. Plant early and use small (inexpensive) plants.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Judy M
A8) work on the landscape in stages and sections.
4 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:59AM
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charleee
I'm a little late to the party, sorry guys, are you all still chatting?
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
A8. Keep everything neat, tidy and trimmed. Paint the front door and some of the trim of the house.
6 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 11:59AM
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charleee
MPoulsom made the greatest display of house numbers I've ever seen! MP, can you share?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A8) Apply elbow grease liberally using inexpensive materials: e.g., make sure everything is clean and in good repair; cut back overgrown plants; de-clutter every space that can be seen from the street; paint the front door, the garage door, etc.; organize a neighborhood clean up day; contact your local beautification and/or neighborhood groups and ask for help with street trees (many areas honor Arbor Day with street tree installation wherein the organizatio provides the trees and the neighbors, kids from the local school, parishoners from the neighborhood church, etc. provide the labor); scavenge divided plants from friends and neighbors (iris, agapanthus, succulents, etc.) – but beware of cluttery, stuck-in-looking effect.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Q9) Any simple projects homeowners can take on to improve their curb appeal? Good ideas for weekend/day projects?
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Mega Builders
A9) Power wash the house – this will significantly refresh how it looks. Plant some color.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:02PM
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Emily Hurley
@Margie After your answer, all I can think about is my huge Bird of Paradise that desperately needs trimming. Guess I know what I'm doing this weekend. :)
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:02PM
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judianna20
Margie, what is woodruff? (sp). I saw it on a garden tour and loved how it spreads. Okay to just let it run?
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:03PM
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charleee
A9) Wash your windows! And screens!
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Goldthorpe & Edwards, Ltd.
Great answers Margie Grace and Mega Builders. Thank you.
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:04PM
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charleee
A9) It's very easy to build a garden bench yourself. Lots of my neighbors have garden benches in their front yard that invite you to sit, relax, gossip!
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
Speaking of pink houses and cheap fixes: my mom, brother-in-law and I once painted the side of our neighbor's pink house --- it was only seen from our house and we had extra paint and, well, we had just finished painting mom's house and had paused for some well deserved rest, some Mexican food and a beer. We found that it was hard to rest looking at the dilapidated pink wall. When my brother-in-law suggested the idea, my mom paused for a moment then said, "Good idea. Let's do it before the buzz wears off!" And that's how THAT came to pass!
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Last question!--Q10) Finally, when you moved into your own home, what changes did you make to improve the curb appeal?
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:06PM
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JMittman Designs
A8 @Margie Grace--slightly OT, but speaking of Arbor Day--my city recently was certified the only city in the US that can be called an Arboretum! We love our trees! And they do add tremendously to the curb appeal of our neighborhood.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A9) See answer A8, above. Plus: change the exterior light fixtures; plant a tree; paint the mailbox, if needed; paint; rearrange porch furniture; add a focal point pot; add a fountain… the list goes on and on.
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:06PM
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charleee
A10) We had the house numbers painted on the curb, and painted the front door and trim. That's about all we had to do, the front was new sod so just mow.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
A10) My house is transitional between cottage and post-WWII box. I wanted to play up the cottage feel. I replace the single sagging 2 x 4 porch rail with a charming porch railing, hung a porch swing, added depth to the eave-less roofline with a trellis and changed the front yard from sloping lawn to terraced garden complete with perennial borders, flagstone sitting area, fountain, a bit of screening from the street and lovely curbstrip plantings.
10 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Mega Builders
A10) First, all items in disrepair or in need of maintenance are taken care of– fix/clean screens, clean/fix gutters, make sure roof is in good shape, remove any unsightly elements from roof/walls and yard (old antennas, abandoned cables, dead plants, broken fountain, etc.), eliminate any loose or hanging cables, make sure grass and landscape are well kept and green.
Then the real work starts...
What is done depends on the budget, as stated back in my answer to question 1 :)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Emily Hurley
@Margie Beautiful job!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@JMittman --- kudos to Arboretum city!!!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Mega Builders
Very nice!
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Judy M
A10) moved in 30 years ago, still working on it, just like the interior, by the time you finish one space, it's time to replace foundation shrubs, which was one of the first things we did when we moved in.
Owning a home means you're never really done.
3 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Emily Hurley
Thanks everyone! That's the end of our scheduled discussion, but feel free to carry on "unofficially" ;)

Huge thanks to Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates and to Alon Toker of Mega Builders for being our featured guests today. Wonderful having your input! We'll be scheduling another live discussion soon and will update with a time and topic.
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Jeannie Nguyen
Great answers everyone! Until next time... ;)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Mega Builders
It's been a blast! Thanks to everyone who participated.
Until the nest time...
1 Like   Thanked by Emily Hurley    June 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@Emily - thanks! I knew it was "home" once the porch swing went in on the freshened up porch!
1 Like   June 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Judy M
@margie, that's the look I love, lush, full of color.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:13PM
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JMittman Designs
--here here--Huge thanks to Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates and to Alon Toker of Mega Builders for being our featured guests today.
2 Likes   Thanked by Emily Hurley    June 27, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@Judy - LOL. We prefer to think of it as a "dynamic process" vs. "it's never finished"!
2 Likes   Thanked by Emily Hurley    June 27, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
Thanks to all -- I had a blast! I love the back-and-forth in real time and love to hear everyone's input. I'll leave you all with a few tasty shots --- my favorite shot of my own garden plus three faves from our new work.
4 Likes   Thanked by Emily Hurley    June 27, 2013 at 12:22PM
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decofriend
Trim shrubbery and limb up trees that are sagging. Pull out those plants and shrubs that have become ratty or overgrown their position:-)
0 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:22PM
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DJSquire Designs
Late... oh well.

A1 - Does it "flow," does it look balanced, is it inviting, does it have curves or angles, is the Feng Shui good or lousy.

A2 - Healthy plants and trees that "frame" the scene, not block it.

A3 - Sick and dead plants, peeling paint, clutter.

A4 - Shade it and frame it with flowers... to make an "entrancing" entrance.

A5 - Very little. Elegance fits in everywhere.

A6 - Natural rocks and stones... drought-tolerant yet lush and flowering plants.

A7 - Plan for "color" in every season. If in a snow zone... plant evergreens.

A8 - Flowers (and complimentary paint.)

A9 - Add a front yard pond.

A10 - Improved the Feng Shui.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:26PM
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mpoulsom
I DO think nice house numbers and a nice mailbox are great little extras for curb appeal as well. I had a very battered and unattractive mailbox by the road and I built a solid wooden cover around the entire thing to go with the architecture of the house and planted a few plants around the base. It stands out when you drive down my street for sure.
2 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Peter P.
@mpoulsom, definitely agree!


6 Likes   June 27, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
@judyg: RE: woodruff (Galium odorata). I don't have any experience with woodruff. It's not happy in my area of the planet so I've never used it. If it performs per what I read on the internet, I'd put it somewhere where it could run... (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/c820/galium-odoratum.aspx)
0 Likes   July 2, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Suellen Valetta
I haven't used Woodruff in many years. When I lived in New Hampshire I transplanted it easily from the wooded area of our property in the spring.
0 Likes   July 2, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
Yeah. Woodruff is definitely going to work much better where there is regular and ample rainfall... Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
0 Likes   July 2, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Emily Hurley
Hi Everyone, We've got our next Houzz Live discussion on Smart Investments in Kitchen and Bath remodeling starting at 11am Pacific, just a few minutes from now if you would like to join. http://www.houzz.com/discussions/554576/Houzz-Live-Chat--Smart-Investments-for-your See you there!
0 Likes   July 11, 2013 at 10:44AM
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