Need help with front walkway, brick wall and privacy on the corner
guavayj
January 21, 2014 in Design Dilemma
We just moved into our new house after the interior remodel. It is a corner house with a relatively larger frontage ( much smaller backyard). I want to move the location and shape of the front walkway ( total 40 ft long) to create better curb appeal with a modest budget.
brick wainscoting: do I need to remove the brick or stucco over the brick?
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Cynthia Murphy
I have never been a fan of the stucco and light brick combination. I would look at changing the walkway by adding big curves and a more organic looking material in a warmer tone. Consult a landscaping specialist I am sure they will gave the perfect solution.
January 21, 2014 at 6:26PM   
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Denise Marchand
What is your personal style? Modern, classic, artsy or classic contemporary? You have a clean slate to do anything. Also, is the neighborhood mid century ranches?
January 21, 2014 at 6:45PM      Thanked by guavayj
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azhomes
There are so many possibilities. You are lucky to have that corner lot. Would you use the front of your home often. If so I would incorporate a courtyard with a redwood wall and grass and planters in front of it. I would also make the walkway to front door wider.
January 21, 2014 at 9:02PM        Thanked by guavayj
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azhomes
I like the brick. I would darken randomly some of them.
January 21, 2014 at 9:03PM   
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azhomes
One more thing. You need a tree or two in the front.
January 21, 2014 at 9:05PM        Thanked by guavayj
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Denise Marchand
I agree with the advice above. Your home has so many possibilities. First, paint the house and brick the same color. Since we don't know what your style is, go for a sandy beige with black trim…classic contemporary.

Are all of those walkways new? A wonderful detail is two colors of gravel for the walk. You mentioned a larger front yard, so use it to your advantage. Build a deck with an arbor and a fence and plantings to delineate the space. I feel that the house needs stronger architectural features. Think of an impressive walk to the front door, paint the front door a color, and be bold with the deck. Take a look at the pics I posted with the black arbor.
January 29, 2014 at 11:35PM   
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Denise Marchand
More inspiration images
January 29, 2014 at 11:39PM      Thanked by guavayj
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guavayj
Great ideas for everyone. I almost gave up, since I haven't received a single response for 2-3 weeks. Wow!! One question: to Denise--My style could be classified as classic contemporary. So to "paint the brick with sandy beige and black trim" Where would you paint in black? And another: My front door is stained mahogany, already "wow" factor among my neighbors, so I w'd not paint it at this point. I also want some privacy by using a wall or fence, either stucco or redwood ( not IPe, a cost factor). You seem to have many great ideas. Others included in wish list is planting fruit trees, since I have much smaller backyard and squirrel is a serious problem for fruit trees. I do agree it needs a tree. Another in the wishlist is artistic metal gate for the enclosed courtyard.
January 30, 2014 at 7:01PM   
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guavayj
another thing: I removed all the lawn in the front and back, and want to use drip irrigation system for the plantings.
January 30, 2014 at 7:07PM   
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guavayj
question to azhomes: I do agree I need to change the walkway which is 4' wide 40' long. Do you think it should be wider than 4'?
January 30, 2014 at 7:10PM   
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Denise Marchand
Glad you liked my suggestions. Paint the entire house a sandy beige (the stucco and the brick-same color) by the trim I mean the trim around the windows. You can see an example in the pic of the Spanish Med house w the pink flowers. The black would be a simple line featuring the window frame and the arbor, water/sculpture feature, mailbox, house numbers. Keep the front door your newly stained mahogany, but don't forget to add a color to a planter-like the lime green that is on the pillows in the image above. Wall hang a large impressive lantern on the left side of the front door facing the approach - not where it is now.

Here are some more images of my favorite garden wall of all time that was featured on Houzz: Arterra LLP Landscape Architects, San Francisco, Contemporary Fireplace. You can go on Houzz to search the entire article. The courtyard can be fantastic and simple and extremely functional. Stain the wood the same as your front door. Now that I located this project from Arterra, I see that I was very much influenced as it has everything you are wishing for.

The gate for the courtyard should only face the side, of course. There are so many elements of surprise with this design for your home. The only problem you will have is to edit the design elements for simplicity.
January 30, 2014 at 9:26PM   
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nwduck
Such great ideas, Denise. Seems exactly right. Love the metal art piece. I have one similar, and it's the best thing I ever added to my entry. Guavayj: have you had fruit trees before? I've dealt with a few and to me, they felt like more work than an urban dweller might want. Although, if you're into it and the climate is right, a lemon tree by the front deck seems like a great cocktail hour idea.
January 30, 2014 at 10:40PM     
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guavayj
nwduck, to answer your question about fruit trees: yes and no. I do love fruits and the idea of growing my own fruits, of not having to worry about pesticides,etc. A larger frontage (smaller backyard) and a major squirrel issue almost force me to limit the fruit tree planting on the front yard. I know I need to juggle the aesthetic appeal with the practical needs.

Denise: I love the horizontal fence and the stucco combination: the wood fence softens the solidity of the stucco wall. I agree with you on the point you made that it needs some archetectural feature like a pergola of some sort..a great point.

A question I have been wresting with is the location of front walk way. I thought of moving it to the right side to give some more balance in the overall layout. Another thought I have is the pattern of the path, either strait line or staggered line or adding some curve. I w'd appreciate if anyone offer some more great ideas that many of you have done already.
January 30, 2014 at 11:22PM   
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guavayj
Now another question: to cover the brick, slate or stacked stone or entirely something else. I am restricted by the city code from removing the bricks without putting major shear walls in 4-5 places. This option requires removing stucco exterior and some interior walls--not a choice at all for me. So I am left with pasting over the brick with some decorative materials. The stacked stones are not natural, so it has the fake look. A true dilemma...
January 30, 2014 at 11:31PM   
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guavayj
I saw another house in the neighborhood with bricks pasted over with stucco, and didn't look appealing to me at all. I went back to the drawing board again with the above dilemma.
January 30, 2014 at 11:34PM   
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Denise Marchand
Just paint the bricks the same color you paint the stucco above. With all the other details you are working on, the color of the house will just be a backdrop. Do not stucco the bricks. Ignore the house finish for now. I think down the road, if you want to change the exterior finish, you can, but for now paint will be appealing.
January 31, 2014 at 12:07AM     
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guavayj
Fabulous, Denise. If I have the stucco wall for the privacy wall for the courtyard, would you suggest to paint it in the same color with similar texture? Or go with wood fence entirely?
January 31, 2014 at 12:30PM   
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Denise Marchand
Personally I like the wood because you want to take the focus off of the stucco altogether. If you decide on the stucco, don't "match" the existing. First, it will never match and, second, just ignore what you don't particually like. Clean it up and call it a day. I'm really loving your home. It's feeling very inviting, isn't it?
January 31, 2014 at 12:37PM   
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guavayj
Sorry! Denise. Looking at the pics you sent shows stucco and wood combination.
RE: walkway, if I need to prioritize for budgeting purposes, would you leave it the way it is or change it with slate or pavers. Or once I have the courtyard with wall and gate with pergola, the severity of current walk way will be less noticeable? Do you agree?
January 31, 2014 at 12:37PM   
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guavayj
Denise, look at the image below of fence done by Urban Organic Design. Could that work well?
January 31, 2014 at 1:07PM   
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Denise Marchand
Leave the walkway. Don't change to pavers or slate, as it's not needed to make an impact. However, it needs to be wider, especially from the front door. Gravel will be an inexpensive solution for the transition from the existing walk to the courtyard. You also have the option to insert a lawn detail.

You can do anything with the wall around the courtyard: all wood or a combination of wood and stucco. I am sending suggestions by the seat of my pants without dimensions. It's all about scale, if you do both wall styles, it shouldn't look stumpy or too short on either wall finish, if that makes sense. What do you think about wood front facing wall and stucco side facing wall with a fireplace like the one in the images? (I could go on and on) (BTW it took me a few months ago that rolling the curser over the image enlarges it. You probably know this, I guess I'm slow sometimes LOL)
January 31, 2014 at 3:09PM   
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Denise Marchand
I didn't get the Urban Organic Design image
January 31, 2014 at 3:17PM   
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guavayj
Sorry. I just checked and it is in my ideabook, . I do not know how to lift the image to this panel. If you are just curious, use the search word," Urban Organic Design" and you will see one with cement foundation with horizontal fence slats and with the house numbers.

One of my limitations for the wall is the city code for visual triangle--40' x 40' and the straight line between the two. I need to build the wall outside of the triangle. That's why the existing retaining wall is shaped round to avoid hitting the triangle. I do want to build a rectangular shape, but not sure I am allowed to do it without reducing the size of the courtyard. Need to double check for the measurement and with the city.
January 31, 2014 at 6:29PM   
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Denise Marchand
I took a look at the Urban Organic Design fence and have an issue with the concrete at the base. Visually it's not clean enough for me. If you are located in a rainy area, there might be a problem with drainage or pooling. The space between the slats will allow good air circulation and the house numbers are very nice. There will be several details in the front yard. Keep each plane as simple as possible. Another horizontal line will support the horizontal line of the brick on the house, which you don't want.

Be nice to the building department.
January 31, 2014 at 6:53PM   
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Denise Marchand
Here's the Urban Organic Design fence design, if anyone wants to share their thoughts:
January 31, 2014 at 6:54PM   
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guavayj
Deninse, drainage is an issue with any poured foundation. But how would you avoid the issue unless you put the wood down into the dirt for the fence (which would rot sooner).

Regarding horizontal line, I thought it would accentuate the already boxy shape of the house.
January 31, 2014 at 7:11PM   
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armygirl1987
I love the ideas that Denise has suggested. Sorry to hijack your thread.
Hi Denise if you get a chance can you look at my dilemma and see if you could offer some help to my backyard. http://www.houzz.com/discussions/826230/Outside-window-garden-
January 31, 2014 at 7:42PM   
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Denise Marchand
guavayj, dare I suggest . . . vinyl or composite wall/fence? See: http://www.houzz.com/photos/modern/vinyl-fence There is an enormous library of vinyl fences which are very impressive. It would eliminate upkeep and save some trees. Take a look.

I would do nothing to draw attention to the existing house exterior and use it for backdrop color only.
February 1, 2014 at 2:23PM   
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