Modern Curb Appeal - How do we achieve it?
Erica Garza
March 8, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Here's the photo of the house on closing day. Since then we have pulled all of the scattered/random shrubs and plants that were in the flower beds and also removed the rotting wood frames for those "beds." The walkway has been painted with cement paint to mimick the look of slate (in a dark grey tone). We live in Central Tx, so it gets HOT and we moved into the house during late fall so currently have rye grass that's been green through winter.

Several concerns:
1) what happens to the RYE grass once spring comes? Will it completely die off and leave us with nothing but dirt??? This is Austin so we don't want St Augustine since that requires too much water and we usually have strict water restrictions through our very long summer months.

2) Modern appeal - planters by the front triple windows? What about directly next to the front door?

3) Mold on the brick. Caused by 2 things - rain and the door never gets direct sun so it never fully dries out. During this rainy winter season I've seen this go from gray to black to green to black. We do need rain gutters, but that will take time to save up for and install. In the meantime we want something to hide how yucky that looks until we find a permanent. I am hoping the mold will die off in the hot summer months, but that remains to be seen.

We love the idea of mexican pebbles (round /black) in the beds and then have large planters with some type of agave plants...idk, i'm thinking aloud.
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
apple_pie_order
Attractive house. What is your budget for the current wave of fix-up?

Perhaps you could add an awning to keep rain off the front door.

I would also consider adding a single run of DIY gutter on the sloping roof to the left as you face the front door. Drain can go under the sidewalk with a modest amount of digging or use one of those "roll out when it's raining" floppy gutter hoses to avoid tripping. Cost of that much gutter and a downspout would be under $50, if DIY in standard white. The second story is not a DIY job; alhtough it is probably the source of most of the water that hits the front door area, it'll just have to wait.

The rye grass will die as soon as it gets hot and dry.

Do you have current photos?
0 Likes   March 8, 2014 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
this is the change made to the sidewalk. as you can see right now it's just dirt.
0 Likes   March 9, 2014 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hayleydaniels
Rain gutters need to be a priority if you live where there's lots of rain and snow. Water dripping off your roof will cause problems with your foundation if neglected too long.
2 Likes   March 9, 2014 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
in Tx we have mainly HEAT ☺ but I agree. we need gutters. here's a pic of the yard today. clearly it needs life that screams WELCOME instead of "do people live there?"
0 Likes   March 12, 2014 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathleen MK
We have a white limestone like brick and that same mold problem where we don't have gutters and the dirt splashes. A scrub brush and bleach or mildew remover will get rid of it with lots of elbow grease. Until you get gutters use lots of shredded wood mulch or rocks to keep the mud splashes down.
Rye grass will be history soon in our Texas heat. It is an annual here. Check for some native grasses like Buffalo grass at good nursery. Texas Tech and A&M have developed some hybrids that can take our bipolar weather. Scrubbing the patio In shorts one day and bitter cold the next, so go for native plants. There is place just off the highway going to Helotes that all sort of Mexican pottery dirt cheap. You can mix large sculptural or colorful planters with your plants or put your house numbers up in hand painted tiles.
1 Like   March 12, 2014 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
I'll have to look into the Buffalo grass for sure. As for the mexican pottery..that's not a look we are into. I do however like the idea of large sculptural pieces, but more towards the modern feel. I also want to put house numbers in a more visible area (they're currently small black numbers tacked onto the pitched roof line by the 3rd small window you see. I just blur that our for privacy here :) We've had to call 911 once already and EMS couldn't find our home. Ugh.
0 Likes   March 13, 2014 at 6:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
We are thinking of adding modern house numbers to the door just below the wreath. can someone Photoshop it to get a visual? We only have one outdoor lamp so this is the best option. yesterday I took care of the mold issue around the door so no more yucky bricks. I will share a before and after of those results today.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 6:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
similar to this
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredm51
There are two types of rye grass, annual and normal. If it is annual, you should be thinking of a replacement. Use the same type of grass as your neighbors. As far as landscaping go with big beds don't buy big tree and shrubs 5 gallon trees and 1 gallon pots they will be the right size in 3 years.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 6:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredm51
It may be nice if you built a surround for you front door using the plastic, pvc wood. Like your last picture.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 6:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
How's the possible? To build a surround when its just a brick facade? I thought of maybe some nice molding at the top of the door to make it look nicer. I REALLY want a glass front door so I can open the main door in the summer but have the glass door front to keep the bugs out.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Erica, having the numbers on the door is an okay idea, but will anyone be able to read those numbers from the street? I am thinking of EMS. Consider having very large numbers added by the garage area. Let me see what I can find for you.
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Something with large numbers like this:



Here is a search for numbers on Houzz so you can find what suits your style: http://www.houzz.com/photos/products/address-number-modern
2 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 8:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
That's exactly the reason why. EMS can't see the numbers as the "flipper" of this house attached them to the ROOFLINE just over the kitchen window. Brilliant eh ;) Since there is no light over the garage the only front light we do have is right by the door. It should illuminate the numbers from the street as long as I go with a steel finish.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
I'm a Realtor. Believe me, not having numbers visible is one of the things that drives me crazy. But naturally it is not nearly as important to Realtors as it is to EMS and fire or police services.

As to flippers - as a general rule they will put in the absolute minimum needed to get the house ready to sell. Address numbers hardly ever make the list for absolute minimum. :( So you have the right idea about going in now and doing all the little bits that need doing to make it a home.

Did you know there are numbers you can buy that are backlit so don't let the light dictate where you put them. Put them in the best visible spot.
There are quite a few different types that are lighted.
Here is one sample

0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
Modern desert climate landscape.
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
I can understand their reasoning. I have no complaints. they didn't cut corners elsewhere so I will take the minor quirks in stride.

I don't know that my husband will like an illuminated LED, but I will show him.

wow, the mock up really brings life to our home! it feels crazy seeing plants!
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
We have something like this planned for the area below the large window. oh and a tree swing for our little guy
4 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredm51
To add a surround to a front door on a brick area is similar to adding a surround on a fireplace. Use either pressure treated or PVC wood using concrete fasteners. Build the surround making sure the top will shed water caulk and paint.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovebugsmom
I would place large charcoal or black house numbers vertically on the left brick side of the garage door.
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
The black in my drawing are black and gray smooth rock, instead of mulch. Glad you liked it.
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
Here is the first after photo of my attempt to scrub off the mold. still needs another pass but it's much better, right?
1 Like   March 31, 2014 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Looks much better!
0 Likes   March 31, 2014 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
Everything Beautiful - any way you could PS some black shutters to the windows at the top? And instead of removing so much grass from the right yard, add some modern tall planters near the trio of windows (where the old garden bed was) and some pavers that lead out toward the street? I need to play with PS sometime this week myself!
0 Likes   April 1, 2014 at 5:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
we have started with some plantings this weekend! adding a few more this weekend, probably in pots to fill in the gaps on the ends. since the house faces northeast we get a lot of shade for most of the day. I know this looks like a lot of rocks and not a lot of plants, but we want to give them room to grow first. I would really like some purple agave type plants!
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
here's a mockup I did with some black shutters, tall planters. still deciding on the design for an outdoor seating area. suggestions?
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
I like your tall planters, but they might be better in another color - black, red or even yellow (in my opinion). I wouldn't do the shutters on the upper windows. They aren't sized right and just don't do anything to enhance the curb appeal of your wonderfully modern home.

On the other hand, the seating area out front could be a stunner. Let me see if I can find something that you might find exciting for the seating area :)

What do you think of a seating area like this one? Two chairs, round paver patio with stepping stones and wonderful flower landscape surrounding the area.

1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
that's a cute seating area. I don't want that many plantings though. I'm open to various chair styles too. we both love cedar wood.


as far as the shutters we both do like the idea of tying in the black door with black shutters....so perhaps in a different style/sizes? the house originally had shutters but were tossed when it was renovated before we bought it.

here's an idea of the type of plants I'd like in a tall planter. I definitely won't do red. it's a color I love but can't live with for long. black, grey or a color like this planter is more our taste...other than a nice white
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Nice idea for the tall planter! I totally get not wanting so many plants in your seating area that it becomes a maintenance issue too.

About shutters: they look great when they are sized right and are either functional or look functional. Here is a very brief but effective article with photos that shows you the difference between the 'right' shutters and shutters that are undersized, poorly placed and not functional. It makes a huge difference on the appearance of your home when done right. http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/residential-architecture-101-shutters/
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
more pics of the area for seating. it doesn't have to stay rectangular, but I do plan on adding a tree swing up front. something simple on a nice plank of wood, but fun for my son (ok and us lol)
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
more pics of the area for seating. it doesn't have to stay rectangular, but I do plan on adding a tree swing up front. something simple on a nice plank of wood, but fun for my son (ok and us lol)
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
more pics of the area for seating. it doesn't have to stay rectangular, but I do plan on adding a tree swing up front. something simple on a nice plank of wood, but fun for my son (ok and us lol)
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
more pics of the area for seating. it doesn't have to stay rectangular, but I do plan on adding a tree swing up front. something simple on a nice plank of wood, but fun for my son (ok and us lol)
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mntraveler22
I'd make that planting area on the right much, much larger, with curving sides that go out to, and around the tree. I love the idea of including some pavers/cement work in this larger landscaped area for your seating area like Danita mentioned above.
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
lol...here is my idea of a tree swing

0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
omg the head thonk comment in that article made me laugh
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
a few new plantings and finally a plant for the entry! still deciding on the front seating area design
1 Like   April 21, 2014 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Love the purple door and the plants with purple flowers! What a happy, welcoming, clean, beautiful entry to your new home. :)
1 Like   April 21, 2014 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VizX Design Studios, LLC
It looks like you already started on the walk way. I would have removed all of that and start with more of a natural free flowing walk and flower beds to the street. The house is amazing with a commercial appeal to it. By adding curves, stone, and a pond less water feature you could soften up the look and keep it modern by choosing the right materials.
0 Likes   April 21, 2014 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
the door is still black. I think the filter I used may have made it appear purple. oops. we like linear lines for a more modern look which is why we kept the existing walkway
1 Like   April 29, 2014 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
saratogaswizzlestick
You should consider that purple shade for your door. I am not normally a purple person but that eggplant shade goes perfectly with your house and picks up the color of your plants. Try Spray is and Forget it for your mold issues. Fantastic product.
1 Like   April 29, 2014 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
I"m not sure I could convince my hubby of an eggplant door. Any good shades that won't look toooo strange?
0 Likes   April 30, 2014 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Go to the Sherwin Williams paint site and load up the front door area of your home. You can try all the different colors in their paint visualizer to see for yourself how it would look. There are some 'eggplant' colors that are so deep purple that they look black until you see it in a certain light. It doesn't come off purple at all. :)
0 Likes   April 30, 2014 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
that's a fun app! I wish the paint tools made more sense tho but it will do. I couldn't find an eggplant color I liked, but what about this indigo. too cheap looking?
0 Likes   April 30, 2014 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Painting virtually is fun right? :)

I think that particular blue is not quite the right blue for your front door. How about trying one of these blues (Benjamin Moore also has a visualizer)
newburyport blue
Paint Color SW6230 Rainstorm - Sherwin-Williams
This is a very deep blue....
Black Panther 2125-10 Paint
Blue Note 2129-30 Paint
Hidden Sapphire Paint
This color is listed in the info section of the photo when you click on the name. Yes, it is very deep blue, almost black
Kelmore Project - Exterior Shots
0 Likes   April 30, 2014 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Erica Garza
bummer...he didn't like any of them. He also reminded me how I'd like a storm door so in the summer months I can have more light and safety. here are some modern porticos we both like. we definitely need to add a portico over our door to shield is from the rain.
0 Likes   May 1, 2014 at 5:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jessica
OK, I haven't had time to read every response to your question - just skimmed them.

Be aware that Buffalo grass is a "clumping" grass so it can require extra attention to get it to spread into a lawn. You also have to mow it taller than standard sod otherwise you will kill it off. The native American grasses developed without being cropped as close to the ground as the European grasses because until the settlers came there were not domesticated cattle and sheep. So if you don't like a longer lawn that may not be right for you.

Mold and moss on your roof or building can be prevented with zinc. You have to do a thorough cleaning first. They make strips of this that is most often used in roofing to prevent moss from growing on shingles. See this video from "This Old House" http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20353185,00.html
0 Likes   May 1, 2014 at 5:46AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
How can I modernize my colonial landscape and curb appeal?
My husband and I recently purchased a great 1960s Royal...
How can we improve the curb appeal of our rental?
Renting this home--it's a split level and is great...
How can we improve the curb appeal of this house?
Any suggestions for what to do with the chimney, roof...
More Discussions
Restoration Hardware Fail - Need Quality Furniture
In July I spent over $20k at Restoration Hardware on...
Need help with kitchen layout
We are building our dream home on 10 acres and after...
Corner fireplace -- help!!
We recently remodeled our 1959 mid century modern home...
Undermount Sink or Farmhouse Sink
I am completely renovating my very narrow 12x8 galley...
© 2014 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™