Ranch Exterior Renovation
Melanie Parker
November 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Any ideas on what I can do to add curb appeal to the boring exterior of 1950s ranch house I recently bought? There is too much white!
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handymam
Without knowing your budget...

If that is aluminum siding, it can be painted. A new darker roof would be nice. Landscaping.

Are you looking to keep the 50's feel or go modern?

I would suggest you look in the houzz ideabooks for inspiration.
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Melanie Parker
Thanks! It is vinyl siding. We plan on replacing the roof within the next couple of weeks. Darker would definitely be better. I am looking to keep the traditional look. Just something more eye catching.
0 Likes   November 5, 2013 at 11:28AM
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handymam
I think a door that has color will add some appeal, and some new strps or at least paint what you have for now. What color roof are you thinking of?

Don't know where you are located, but it maybe too late for gardening this year. Use the winter to collect ideas into your own ideabook though! :)
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Melanie Parker
Dark gray or brown roof most likely.
1 Like   November 5, 2013 at 12:23PM
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handymam
I like both of those, but some will tell you the dark grey doesn't lock you into a color as much. Brown will always have to work with everything else you use, (door color, window treatments, paint choices even) but dark grey is like black--goes with everything.
2 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 12:26PM
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rinqreation
Tradtional as in a fun color or traditional as in just some contrast?
A white home can be cozy too, a bit minimalist. It's the garden that needs some work (the whole picture). And the front door needs a color (or wood) (imho).
My Houzz: Mid-Century Modern Décor meets Bold Textiles in a Mississippi Home
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Cedar Lake Renovation
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2 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 12:53PM
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lucindalane
Hi, Melanie. I think I just wrote a long post on your other thread, so I'll try and by brief here.
So glad you want to retain some of the traditional feel of your new home. '
I think what you have there was not originally a "ranch" home-and I'm basing that partly on the info of your other thread. Your house probably was just a small frame house-the minimalist traditional(emphasis on the minimalist here)style that was built after WWII to meet the needs of the growing population-so, just a nice little utilitarian home. Later the owners added the left side-an extra room(in your case, I feel, a den)and the garage. They were "moving on up" in the upward mobility trend, more than likely, and so when they got more "affluent" they added on. So, the house now has the elongated shape of the ranch, though I think most of the original ranches were all one structure, as in a long, rectangular box. There are exceptions, of course.
However, even though it probably didn't start out as a "ranch" style, that's what it morphed into. This makes is rather eclectic, to start with, so I think that you have a lot of ways you could go to fix it to suit your needs and taste. You look like your yard has a lot of nice, healthy grass, but you need some nice, pretty flowers close to your house for that "homey" look-or some nice, low maintainance shrubs if you are florally challenged, like many of us are. :)
This house is one of those exceptions I mentioned. I don't know if yellow is a color you would like on a house, but I think it makes for a lovely little cottage effect here-and the flowers shown are pretty hardy, and really add to the curb appeal, IMO. Also, that's the garage on the right-the door is one of those where they did the diagonal strips.

0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 1:47PM
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Judy M
I would paint the front door a color so it stands out.

Add foundation plantings and a tree or two in the front yard to five the house some depth from street view.
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 2:07PM
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Judy M
Foundation planting

1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 2:11PM
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0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Melanie Parker
Yeah, there really needs to be some flowers and shrubs to add some color!

Lucindalane, thanks so much for the explanation about my "ranch" home. We were wondering if the den and garage were an addition!
0 Likes   November 5, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Judy M
Tree, choose a tree that does not get very big, since your home is single story.


0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 2:15PM
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lucindalane
You are welcome, Melanie. I think the fact that you have steps down add to that possibility. If it had been part of the original it probably would have been on the same level. Again, there is the possibility that it was original, as a "sunken den" was also something that was rather "chic," at the time-but chances are that it is added on, and it was built on ground level to save money. Also, the fact that your house is a frame one also makes me think that its an add on.
I think a colorful door would be a nice touch.
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    November 5, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Melanie Parker
Ideas on lighting for outside the house? I just bought solar lights for the walkway to the house. What type of lighting would look good by the front door and garage?
0 Likes   November 22, 2013 at 11:04AM
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gail1979
Black shutters and a red front door?
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 2, 2013 at 7:53PM
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PRO
Décoria Interior Designs
Your home has so much potential. Besides focusing on just color or changing up a few pieces, I would suggest you step back and look at the big picture of what your home could become. Do a little research on homes in the 50's. Start a vision board with all the architectural examples of what you love from that era. With each photo you get closer to putting a complete roadmap of what you want from your property. It can be quite fun. It's so much easier if you can figure out where you want to end up and break down from there the different projects you need to reach your goal.
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 2, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Melanie Parker
I love the idea of shutters, but I'm not sure it would work with how close the large living room window is to the front door.
0 Likes   December 3, 2013 at 4:43AM
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Meghan


What about doing something fun with your garage door? And also with the front door.
3 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 5:21AM
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lucindalane
Melanie, it would help to know, if possible, just how much you really want to do to the exterior of your home. Are you going to have to stick with just the basics, like color and adding plants-or are you contemplating any structural changes? I think that it would look very charming if you just painted it, with the body being a darker color and the trim being some complimentary color. I think just adding a couple of planters on either side of your door would add a lot, and they could be just plain pottery ones, or ever wooden ones painted to match the house in some way.
I wish I had a way to just upload these photos, but I don't, but-if you're interested, here are some real images of houses that people could buy the plans for and build. The one I am including is a very plain, non-descript little(and I do mean little)house.
There is another thing that I think is rather unusual for your little home, and that is that it has a "hipped' roof. Most houses of the era had gables, which basically meant that the roof consisted of two rectangular surfaces that met on one long side, and the ends of the house came up to meet the roof, and the usual configuration made it look triangular. With a hipped roof, the sides of the house pretty much stay in a straight line, and the roofline extends down on every side. Although there were exceptions, Ranch style houses usually did not have hipped rooflines.
Here is the link. I hope that you find the houses interesting. A great many of them are in the minimalist traditional style that I mentioned-as they are small, but often have at least one classic architectural feature added on. For example, one that I am including was the small, frame type of house, but it had a rather Federal style doorframe on the front. http://www.antiquehome.org/House-Plans/1949-National/Bell.htm https://www.cmich.edu/library/clarke/ResearchResources/Michigan_Material_Local/Bay_City_Aladdin_Co/Documents/1949_annual_sales_catalog.pdf
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 7:20PM
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rpolli
As a roof color, I would suggest weathered wood. Many homebuilders in our area use this color in their developments. The developers want all the homes to have the same roof color, but to blend with all the home siding. color options. It will keep your options open for paint colors.
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 8:35PM
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daarnold05
First, congratulations on your new home. It's really a great house with lots of potential. I'd suggest a yellow color scheme on the exterior. Yellow houses always looks so pretty with green landscaping. And it has great curb appeal. It seems everyone wants to paint dark colors that are more a craftman's style, especially when the trim is darker than the paint on trim. I'd chose white trim for yours. Grays and beiges on a house make the overall look of the landscape muddy. A blue or dark green door and shutters would be pretty. At minimum, I would paint and do landscaping. Later, use an architechtual shingle, with dimension. Add a gable porch over the door, rails coming down the steps and a garage door with windows for interest. I personally like to paint the garage door the same color as the body of the house. It will make it look larger instead of "highlighting" the contrast with color. Change out your windows to a white too. Here's a link to a house with a yellow color scheme. The garage doors on this one are white though: http://bloombety.com/exterior-house-paint-colors/yellow-exterior-house-paint
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 9:18PM
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daarnold05
And what if you added a picket fence: http://www.housekaboodle.com/little-yellow-houses/
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 9:23PM
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lucindalane
I think this house is adorable. The colors are a bit unusual, but they look great on this house, which is really just a neat, well kept frame house.

0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 9:26PM
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joymedley
I love these 50s style homes! As a landscape lover I have some suggestions. What about digging out a whole new, wider walkway from the front door to the driveway. You can add a new garden with matching shrubs on either side of your stairs to add symmetry. That will make a new door just 'pop' if you add a color, and/or shutters as you decide to invest.

The digging of the new walkway takes muscle (I know there is possibly something already there), but new flag stones or broken concrete can be framed in brick or just left natural with moss or manicured grass as inserts. A boarder of Liriope grass will be an evergreen element to frame the gardens on both sides of the walkway and matching garden with hardy boxwoods as your anchor shrubs. Very 1950s. Add an evergreen or two on either end of the house frame ( near the end of the garage and the right end of the house). With these new gardens you can add perennial plants on either side, and plant annuals for each season. Small evergreen trees on either side of your door would be nice, too. Best of luck with your beautiful new ranch.
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 11:12PM
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rpolli
I must agree with daamold. Pale yellow homes are so adorable. However, if yellow doesn't warm your heart, I would then suggest a sandstone or if budget is tight, leave it white. What I feel your home is really missing is the landscaping. I don't know what zone you are in, but I will try to give some basic design suggestions to help plan out your landscaping. Measure and draw out the front of your home plan on graph paper. The grass area from your sidewalk back to your foundation needs to be a mulch bed. Where the mulch bed ends to the left of your entrance, it should pick back up to the right side of your walk extending out past your right corner. This bed will be deeper at the step side and curve in towards the center and gradually back out wider to circle around perhaps an ornamental tree on the corner. After drawing out, add circles for plantis to scale of each plant at maturity. Basic rules are mostly evergreens along foundation, flowering shrubs center, annual/perennials along border and stairstep with tallest in back. This is done in areas where beds are deep enough to allow all three rows. In areas where the bed narrows, you either eliminate the border, flowering shrubs, or both rows, but always try to keep the foundation row. Also, try to plant in mass of odd numbers such as 3, 5, 9, etc. except using 1 for plants labeled specimen. To avoid a toy soldier appearance, use taller specimen plants on corners with mass plantings between, such as under the windows. It appears you may have enough room for a second ornamental tree to the right of the driveway in front of your largest window. Perhaps something small and weeping would fit in that area. Trees may cost you more, but they take up more space and cuts down on plants. Try to use 6-9 different plant species, use repetition, and at least 3 different textures. Make sure to consider sun exposure, water needs, and maturity size when selecting your plants. Also, choose a mulch color that compliments your home color. Hope this helps. You have a very nice property. Enjoy making it home : )
0 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 3, 2013 at 11:55PM
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Melanie Parker
Thanks so much everyone! I don't think replacing the siding / painting the siding is in the budget. I think that some landscaping is what needs to be done. The house is in St. Louis, MO which I believe might be zone 6?
1 Like   December 4, 2013 at 5:06AM
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saratogaswizzlestick
Handy am is right, brown roofs are very limiting. The grey is a more neutral choice. A curvy flagstone walk. Wedding gown hydrangeas, hostas, boxwood and azaleas would all work in your zone. Maria killam has a blog and she has just landscaped her ranch. It looks wonderful and I would check it out for ideas.
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 4, 2013 at 5:27AM
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handymam
Melanie, I don't know if you are in zone 6 or not, but if you are, it is probably too late for planting. If your ground is not too hard yet, you could actually dig out a bedding area now and get some spring bulbs in along the edges if you have any idea what you will want to pkant. I don't know your sun/ shade ratio out front, but if you like them, there are shade hydrangeas and sun hydrangeas. Do put some plants that retain their color in winter, and plan on using dwarf varieties of plants so they never outgrown their space or their welcome. You can use this winter as a time to start a gardening/landscaping ideabook and collect things you like, to incorporate into your design. Then in the spring, you can add plants as they appear in the garden center. If you do so in stages, you will have multi season appeal. Sometimes, you won't be able to find certain plants until it is their season.
2 Likes   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 4, 2013 at 5:40AM
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rpolli
I agree with handymann. If you are in zone 6, it is probably too cold to do much and a great time to put together a plan. I suggest boxwoods, gold thread or gold mop falsecypress, birds nest spruce and holly for evergreens. Hydrangeas, knockout roses, spireas, and viburnum for flowering shrubs. For perennials, maybe some liriope, happy return daylily, hardy geranniums, black eyed susans, kim knee high, coreopsis and hosta's. Perhaps some ornamental grass such as fountain grass or the dwarf fountain grass. In front of your large window, maybe center in that bed, a sargent crabapple or a snow fountain weeping cherry. On your right corner, a fat albert blue spruce if you prefer an evergreen or maybe a Magnolia for spring color. You may want to google these suggestions and see what works for your sun condition and soil conditions. I tried to mention plants that are not high maintenance, hardy, and those with a long bloom season for color. I suggest going to a nursery. I use a wholesale nursery, but they are open to the public on weekends and usually have good prices. Perhaps, there is a place in your area offering this. Some nurseries have designers that do a design for free if you order the plants from them. They will deliver all the plants to your driveway if you choose to plant yourself. Don't be shy to tell them your budget. I can do a $1000 or a $3000 planting for the same house. It all comes down to using less or more expensive plants. Also, don't feel like you have to do all of it at once. Maybe start with the base planting and then add the flowering shrubs and perennials later. Just stick to your design plan along the way. Gather up all your friends and family and make it a planting/bbq party. Just wait till they get there before you tell them about the planting part lol! Have fun!!!
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 4, 2013 at 1:49PM
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callastars
Adding plants will go along way in increasing the curb appeal. I also like the idea pergola over the front entrance, however it is very difficult to find vines that are evergreen in our zone. The Missouri Botanical Garden has a great page called PlantFinder that is great for choosing plants, especially foundation plantings for St. Louis. Be very careful when buying evergreen foundation plants for zone 6, I have found that a lot plants offered in nurseries don't survive our summers well (pines and some spruces). Heat stress makes them vulnerable to numerous pest problems which reduces there lifespan.
1 Like   Thanked by Melanie Parker    December 4, 2013 at 5:13PM
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