Ideas for facade changes and paint colors for split-entry ranch

wsandrews02March 29, 2014
It's time to paint the wood siding on our house again and we're trying to decide whether to change colors or if there are other improvements we can make to the façade first. The house is surrounded by trees so it can seem dark when shaded. We're willing to put some money into it if the changes seem worth it and we prefer contemporary styled homes. Any ideas?
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TanCalGal
What is the roof color?
    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    March 31, 2014 at 9:20PM
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nwduck
I think the colors are much pretty on, considering the setting. Maybe a tick darker on both the body color and trim color. What you might look at with a fresh eye is painting every piece of board trim the darker color. It feels like you could smooth out the visual of the house if you eliminated some of the dark vertical/horizontal bits, and just painted them the house color. (For example, the two dark strips there at the front corner by the multi-paned window don't seem to add to the look much. As the little horizontal bit on the front door bumpout). If you like contemporary, it seems like you could do a small enclosed courtyard entry with a 4' high slatted fence, with a piece coming off the corner by the windows, breaking at the walkway, and doing an "L" shaped piece starting at the right of the walk, running back to the corner of the house. The tree there would be a feature piece. A colored door (orange? gold? green?). Outside of the courtyard at the bend of the "L" fence a great piece of black metal art for drive up visitors to enjoy!
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    March 31, 2014 at 11:16PM
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PRO
garden design online
Just need to add a stair,a pergola.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 2:03AM
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wsandrews02
Neat idea, thanks for the visual!
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 9:15AM
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wsandrews02
Thanks nwduck, I'll play around with the idea of painting some or all of the trim the same color as the rest of the house and see how that looks. I appreciate your suggestions!
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 9:23AM
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wsandrews02
The roof is a dark charcoal color with flecks of red and white
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 9:24AM
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TanCalGal
I'd paint gray with white trim. Horizontal boards near door in white, areas around windows in white + plant ground cover in bare spots for a bit of green in winter (Pachysandra?)
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3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 9:44AM
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leelee
What a beautiful setting! Your current color is very cold looking. Pick a warmer tone like a beige or the warm gray above looks great. Try accenting just the trim around the windows and use the same paint as you have on the main part of the house for all the other vertical and horizontal boards. That will really alter the look and make your home more up-to-date. All those squares make your home shout 70's.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 9:54AM
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leelee
You could also chose a darker color where the white is now (unless your windows are not wood). Make your front door pop with an interesting color.
    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 10:00AM
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wsandrews02
Wow, I love these suggestions - thanks!! That warm gray is absolutely beautiful with the white contrast and I agree our darker trim is making the house look dated. Interesting ideas for the door, too. We have shamrock hollies for a foundation border and periwinkle for groundcover to the walkway, but neither are doing well. I like the idea of switching to pachysandra because the deer won't touch it.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:04AM
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yoboseiyo
what a pretty house!

if you like, maybe look at doing some stacked stone on the base to give it a little more of a natural look. help it look like it's springing full-formed out of the ground. the same color of stone as the retaining wall for the garden in the foreground.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 11:25AM
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wsandrews02
I bet that would look especially good once we remove the distraction of the darker trim right above it. I hadn't thought about using the same color stone as the retaining wall but now I see how that would add to the continuity. Thanks yoboseiyo!
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:37AM
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nwduck
wsandrews02: I might offer one note from personal experience. I, too, have a wooded lot, and switched to lighter house trim. What I didn't realize is that just the "stuff" captured then cast off by the trees (more dirt, than you would think, amazingly enough) really showed on my light trim. Never really noticed it when it was dark. I probably wash off the trim on the house 2-3 times a year. Sigh.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 11:39AM
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nwduck
Oh, and pachysandra is great, but it's a slower grower than periwinkle. Amend the ground well and plant the starts close together. Then you won't have to wait like I did for it to fill in!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 11:42AM
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lovebugsmom
TanCalGal posted a perfect gray color. Would be awesome
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 11:49AM
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theschalks
We live in the PNW and are very familiar with this style! Your house could be taken in such dramatic different directions. You mention you like contemporary. Just how contemporary are you talking? I think your place would look fabulous doing something like this
Inverness · More Info


I'd also up the surrounding landscaping. The dramatic steps suggested above are fantastic.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 1:03PM
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anne dee
I am aware thst the pic I am posting is not you style of house but if you wanted to brighten up the exterior
what about the colours of this house
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1 Like    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:10PM
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wsandrews02
I agree TanCalGal's color example is stunning! Thanks nwduck for the word on how dirty the trim can get - we have the same problem with our deck which sits under trees, so sounds like that would be an added reason to change the current darker trim to the same color as the house. We installed pachysandra as a groundcover at the back of the house and it did take several years for it to fill in well (sigh). theschalks, we would consider any changes that make sense for this house so thanks for the inverness house idea, and thanks anne dee for the craftsman color example!
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:31PM
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anne dee
someone suggested to add a stair and a pergola
might look something like this
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3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 1:34PM
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libradesigneye
One reason the current tone looks good is that your roof needs to be darker than the house - and your roof gray appears to have the same blue undertone as the body of the house now.

So, if you head to the warmer grays, the challenge is that they will clash with / fight with the lighter blue-gray roof. (or that could be reflected light) You could probably head blue-green-gray for a bit more modern tone that would still work with a blue gray roof - it will shift the perception of the color more gray with that little bit of green like http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/gibraltarcliffs or stonybrook http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/stonybrook
you would have to test to make sure these weren't too deep against the roof but the next shade up on the chart might be a bridge to the white and help the body color feel darker an more modern - bm mount saint anne

nwduck is right on -trimout color wise only the doors, windows, eaves and fascia that contrast - same for the chimney. Rock along the base just where the house canitlevers over it would be amazing but adds up for cement board / and the profile is critical here that it be real stone / natural tones./ that relate back to the color on the house . .

For a modern door color with all this blue -green gray - what about a tonal blue green like wetherburns blue http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/wetherburnsblue
or maybe for a contemporary look, pop into a strong eggplant tone http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/eggplant
or you could head more apple green if you want it to feel a little more 'cottage in the woods"
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 1:52PM
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wsandrews02
Neat, maybe a portico or pergola structure would help make the odd roofline look better.
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:53PM
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wsandrews02
libradesigneye, thanks for all of your specific suggestions - very helpful! I'll have to make sure the house color doesn't clash with the roof (will take a closer look at that color when I get home today) and also that it remains a lighter shade. All very good points to consider! I'm especially excited about how transformed the house will look just by painting out some of that trim! Looks like the trick with the stone will be to make sure it complements the house color while also resembling the retaining wall. Hopefully that can be done (even if it does break the bank!).
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 2:23PM
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anne dee
should you consider design changes
I'm posting the following only as an inspiration to "trigger" an idea/s
A Ranch Re-dressing Hanover NH · More Info

East Jefferson Residence · More Info

Residential Remodel · More Info

nasbephoto home/garden · More Info

Entry View · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 2:37PM
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wsandrews02
love these - thanks anne dee!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:33PM
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missreneerow
cream, tan and taupe for the main colors. I am thinking a taupe main color with cream on the trim and taupe for the insets. I would do a one inch black trim around all of the windows then a touch of red on the door or other impact color. Maybe some pink impatiens for flower color. I would do two round topiary in large pots with stands at the front path to the door, for drama.

A fire pit at the bottom of the hill to the right with 4-6 comfy chairs with color cushions would add a pop of color to the front and draw your eye down hill, making the house look larger since you drive up to the side instead of the front you need front impact.
    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 3:49PM
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wsandrews02
Looking at the roof I see it's definitely a mix of blue-green gray similar to flagstone with some red thrown in. That figures - when we had the shingles replaced some years ago we chose a color that would match the house.
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:55PM
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victorianbungalowranch
I really think a rusty reddish brown for the door alone will brighten things up.
    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 4:14PM
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wsandrews02
Currently the front door to the left and other entry door to the right are white and surrounded by the darker trim. If we change the entry door to a different color, what do you think we should do with that side door? Thanks to all!
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 4:23PM
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TanCalGal
To find the perfect gray and door color, follow this article: http://www.lindaholtinteriors.com/2011/07/testing-wall-color-101/

For the door: I'd wait until front of house was painted and then hold color choices up and view close up & from a distance to find the right door color for each door. You mentioned flecks of red and white on the roof, I might match those colors for the doors.
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2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 6:01PM
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wsandrews02
That's great advice - we'll use boards to test some colors first and then we can decide on the door after. Any ideas on what to do with that side door?
    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:11PM
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libradesigneye
I think that painting the secondary doors the color of the standard siding or trim is the way to signal what the front door is. Painting all of them bright is a more contemporary option. Good luck and share your results.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 7:15PM
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victorianbungalowranch
I would paint them both the same color or the secondary ones a color to match the trim. It is a bit confusing to have them so close, and you need to have something the emphasize the entrance.

If you do put in a pergola, I would consider a more contemporary version that is like an extension of the roof rafters, but not extend it too far so the supports aren't blocking the other door. I would paint it the same color of the trim/fascia, not white.

I would also consider a bit of sculpture or a trellis or ornamental bush or something tall and skinny in that dead corner to visually terminate the entrance path, and help people make the turn to the front door.

There are a lot of greys out there and I agree a greeny grey with a bit of brown might make a big difference, with dark trim along the interesting roofline, roof supports, window and door frames (except for the little basement access or whatever near the front door) and the base of the long cantilever only, I think your roof is neutral enough to go with warmer brown tones as well though, especially if mediated with a cooler dark grey to brownish trim and similar tones in any landscaping or stone facing.

The exposed base needs to be darker too. If you go with stone, I recommend a stacked stone base to go with the long horizontal lines of the house or a period-style random applied veneer rock look, almost like on a patio. I don't think the river stone type of veneer would look best here, and it tends to look a bit fakey if you have a lot of it, even if it looks pretty good up close, because there isn't as much variation in size as the real thing.

It is worth trying a digital mock up first to see what you like, such as with the Sherwin Williams visualizer or a simple imaging program. I have looked for a picture of the kind of extension of the roof trusses type pergola and can't find it, although they were somewhat popular in the 70s and 80s.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 7:18PM
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TanCalGal
Has anyone ever confused the doors? The main door seems obvious to me as the other seems to be down a slope and has 3 shrubs as a barrier. If the main door was a color the other I would leave the white of the trim. If you choose a color for the main door, urns on either side or one side can mark it as the more important door.
Old World Made New · More Info


Do you have a lot of rocks on the property? Rocks can line the way to the front door, too.
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1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 7:53PM
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nwduck
If you are going for more a contemporary feel, your house is in the woods and it is already dark inside, I don't think I would do a pergola, to be truthful. What you think is the strange sharp sloped roofline is actually many times a hallmark of contemporary. I wouldn't clutter the entryway with more elements, but keep it simple. Repaint, then see how you can detail the exterior with stone, door colors, plantings, house and landscape lighting.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 1, 2014 at 8:03PM
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wsandrews02
You have all given very helpful advice to consider! We purposefully installed a stone walkway and the boxwood shrubs to direct folks to the front door so there hasn't been confusion. I feel confident now that with some simple changes in house, trim, and door color we can improve the dated look of the house and make it more interesting. I was looking for a program online to play around with these ideas, so I'll check out the Sherwin Williams visualizer. Thanks!!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 7:56AM
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PRO
Sound Painting Solutions
A warm grey or beige on the body and white on the trim. Good luck! :)
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 9, 2014 at 12:42PM
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PRO
PPF.
Many good suggestions already given. Concur with not painting all trim the trim color. Use color to emphasize or deemphasize features. Trim does not need to contrast so much with the body, a more monochrome palette may work.

The entry area seems awkward, specifically the box containing the entry door. It reads like an afterthought. The entry should be prominent. Like others, I like the idea of a wall to the right of the front door with a visual barrier on top. You could extend the concrete pad that is in front of the door out along the wall. Try columns also.

Going with the gray theme others have suggested, paint the fascia a dark gray, and paint the box where the front door is the same color. Make it like an exclamation point -- here I am.

Paint the exposed concrete under th front part of the house dark as well. Paint the chimney all dark.

The trim around the large window on the right side is larger (which i like) than what is on all the other doors and windows.

Paint the double doors so they blend in, and the main entry a nice bold color -- again, make it stand out.

And please post after pictures.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by wsandrews02    April 9, 2014 at 10:20PM
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wsandrews02
Thanks very much Sound Painting Solutions and ppf. for these additional ideas. We have someone from an architectural design company coming tomorrow and I'll let you know how things go. I really like the idea of having the fascia and front door area darker like an exclamation point!
1 Like    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:12AM
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