Need Exterior Help - Mid Century Ranch
mrsclark
November 6, 2013 in Before & After
I have a 1952 red brick ranch. I want to restore some of the original styling to the house, but also give it a touch of modern. I have been looking at some of the houses that are having this done in Dallas and am trying to emulate a bit, but somehow am missing the mark. Though I am not done yet...

The house was originally designed with open soffits and no shutters and no gutters, as was my neighbor's who is the original resident of theirs, so I have removed the shutters and gutters. The gutters have actually caused wood rot damage and I wont be putting those back on.

I have attached the before picture and the "in process" picture. I have painted a nice grey on the wood soffits, the window trim will be a dark charcol grey and the door will be replaced, possibly dark grey or maybe the same green as the chairs as a pop of color. Thoughts?

I also want to change out the porch support post to what this third picture has, and paint the dark grey to match windows/door. Thoughts?

Also, being in Texas and wanting to conserve water, and having to replace several half dead and overgrown trees that just buried the house, I tore out all the trees, vines and weeds that were not working. I saw several houses that had pond stone or pea gravel with potted trees and plants and liked that, and thought that would also conserve water. But now that I started with the right side, it looks a little bare. Granted, I have not plants in the pots yet. I was considering bird of paradise or sky pencils. I have not started on the left-front of house yet, there is still a bunch of monkey grass and viney things in there.

What am I missing? Thanks All.
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joots07
Already looking a lot better. Just taking down those weeny shutters is a huge improvement! I'm not always a fan of foundation planting, but maybe something low and sculptural (not hedgy or bushy) would work to soften up the line.
November 8, 2013 at 2:34PM        Thanked by mrsclark
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dstemple1956
I own a 1959 orangy-red rough brick rancher. It has a descent sized porch but no overhang or portico. The front porch on a rancher one street over was recently redone. They took it down to the ground and started over, building a lovely new covered porch with square columns that totally fits the style of the house. I plan on doing the same.
November 8, 2013 at 5:20PM   
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mrsclark
What would be better...arbovetae or bird of paradise? Looking at adding fences
November 8, 2013 at 5:25PM     
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mrsclark
Click to see fences on sides
November 8, 2013 at 5:26PM   
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dstemple1956
I am an avid gardener and I think that I would choose something like a globe arborvitae, something evergreen and then add color with perennials and annuals. Bird of paradise seems too tropical for a ranch style house to me.
November 8, 2013 at 5:42PM        Thanked by mrsclark
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mrsclark
I want to use some plants to give it a touch of modern though so it doesn't just look like all the other ranches in town. How about sky pencil holly?
November 9, 2013 at 4:40AM   
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dstemple1956
rrsclark - I like sky pencil holly very much. You can prune them to keep their height manageable. I would just be careful about placement. Perhaps one on each side of the windows on each side with something in between them that won't grow up and over your windows.
November 9, 2013 at 2:37PM        Thanked by mrsclark
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mrsclark
Yes which would mean maybe one more pot on that right side.
November 9, 2013 at 7:09PM   
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joots07
It might help to plan more in terms of beds with curved shapes that work overall with your house, instead of a line of identical foundation plants. Think of shapes, sizes, colors that you want, make note of sun and dry/wet condition, seasonal variation (for example, is an evergreen planting a must for your taste?) Then go to a good greenhouse for recommendations on various plants that will do well. Until you consult with a nursery person, it's not so much the exact plants you need to concern yourself with as the overall look, again in terms of layers of shape, size, and color.
November 9, 2013 at 7:23PM   
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mrsclark
joots, what I dont want are a bunch of curved beds. LOL. I want to save water and work so I dont want to plant a bunch of annuals or things that have to be constantly tended to. I also didnt like what was already there because it was just such a mish mash of plantings that none of it made sense. But now that its gone, I dont know what to do. This must be why I am not a landscaper. I had seen this house and thought it would be great, but it doesnt seem to work with my house.
November 12, 2013 at 1:53PM     
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joots07
mrs lark, I hear ya. A clean modern look can win over more "organic" lines, not just for looks, but for ease, too. Straight or curved, the rest of what I suggested still works. Plan the general look, then consult with a green house. They'll know what plants will work where. Sometimes, for example, you have to change plants at a corner because of wind and sun changes. Local greenhouse (as opposed to big box) is usually best. You might even be able to swing a deal that they'll plant for you if you buy enough.
November 14, 2013 at 6:16AM        Thanked by mrsclark
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joots07
...And I think you're on the right track, by removing the shutters and the mishmash out front. you can also drive around your hood and see if any of your neighbors have ideas you like. I envy you your clean slate!
November 14, 2013 at 6:19AM   
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mrsclark
Thanks joots. The one house around the corner that looks great is the one with the big tropically plants, either bananna or birds of paradise... very palmy. The rest in my hood are quite ignored. No great yard people. I do plan to hit the nursery up the road. Just gotta get the painting done first!
November 14, 2013 at 3:00PM     
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cynamonc
Check out this website for some really great ideas on updating brick ranch houses. http://www.rogerdtucker.com/B&A1507WendellAv.htm
November 18, 2013 at 5:36PM   
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mrsclark
Awesome! Thanks. Some great ideas there.
November 18, 2013 at 5:54PM   
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