Need help improving curb appeal
tomatohair
March 30, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I'd welcome any ideas on how to improve the appearance of our plain but functional country home. We changed the white paint to orangey brown about 5 years ago and replaced the upstairs windows with bigger ones. Two years ago we replaced the old stockade fence with the one in the photo. I'd still like to do something to make the house more distinctive, without breaking the budget. Any suggestions?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
HOBNOB design
The improvements you made look great! You may want to consider removing or reducing the bush by the front door and add lighting to the front entryway for a more dramatic look at night. Best, Angela.
4 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
Oh! That's a thought! I'd hate to lose that beautiful rhododendron, but clearing the front door does sound like a good idea. I still think the house will look bland though. A not-too-expensive architectural change might help -- what do you think?
0 Likes   March 30, 2014 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
The shutters are too small. Also after they are sized right, they need to either be functional or at least look functional. Here is a short but excellent article with photos on the proper sizing of shutters. It will help enhance your home if you change out the shutters.
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/residential-architecture-101-shutters/
2 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
Wow! Thanks for that! You're right -- if they were functional they wouldn't cover the glass, would they? I've been thinking about removing the shutters altogether, but then would the house look even more insignificant?
I just read that article and I am now a shutter snob! I'm rippin 'em down as soon as it's warm enough! I'm sure it'll take some getting used to. You know, I actually bought shutters to put on the sides and back as well, to make it look more "finished"! I don't think so any more.
1 Like   March 30, 2014 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
Ok, here's another question. When I remove the shutters, should I paint the windows the same color as the house? I don't really like the white trim.
0 Likes   March 30, 2014 at 4:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
And another question. The picture window downstairs needs to be replaced. Do you think it would look good with three or four windows the same size instead of a picture window flanked by two small windows? Picture windows don't really suit my taste.
0 Likes   March 30, 2014 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
Let me find an inspiration photo or two for you. It's possible to beef up the frames of the windows and paint them too so they have more presence. Do you have stone or brick on the bottom? It is hard to tell from this far away. :)

This home isn't like your home but it has the beefed up (trimmed) windows and the 3 windows rather than picture window flanked by two small windows. I think the 3 windows give it a lot of appeal and naturally the trimmed out windows are much more substantial looking (to me). This gives a 'traditional' feel to the house. Your home right now leans more toward a modern feel. What style appeals to you modern, cottage, traditional, farmhouse etc?
552 Commercial Street After

Here is someone that used colorful window frames to enhance their exterior
Wooded Highlands by Design Guild Homes
1 Like   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
It may be worth while for you to have an architect draw up an elevation for you with the window and other elevation changes. I am sure an architect could come up with something very nice without having to spend a fortune. It is worth taking a the extra time to plan your changes. A good architect can actually save you money and time too.
0 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
Thank you, Denita, for your helpful comments. I'm surprised how much the 552 Commercial St house actually does look like mine, except for the dormer.
1 Like   March 30, 2014 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tomatohair
How does one go about finding an architect who's not outrageously expensive and willing to do a small job? What should I expect to pay?
0 Likes   March 30, 2014 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
There are architects here on houzz. Take a look under the pro section to find them. I don't know their pricing structure, but they will be able to tell you. There are some very talented people here that do sketches also. Search the threads that require plans and you will see who the responsive architects are and get a feel for what they can do. Then check their credentials and portfolios. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you get for the $$.
0 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 8:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Stony Point Construction Co., Inc
You should also consider design/build contractors who have staff that will be able to help you with some ideas.
1 Like   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nwduck
It depends on which way you want to go with this, but I do like it with shutters of the right size. I was picturing the addition of a cupola as as little somethin' somethin' (and maybe a weathervane, if you're so inclined). It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it seems like you could do a grander feeling entry area. By that, I mean a wider walkway from the left (where guests park) leading to a larger entry pad at the ground level of the house....or leave existing walk, and create a larger entry area. Heck, you could do a patio-type open hardscape area all along the front of your house, with a view down the expansive lawn. With a larger entry, your beloved rhodie would not necessarily seem out of scale. Even if you did an area like that in gravel or crushed granite with edging, with flowering trees at each end, and a few pieces of outdoor furniture, it might seem like quite the country home.
1 Like   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nwduck
Thought I might should clarify on the cupola notion...put on the lower roof (garage?) side to elevate it a bit, add interest from front and from drive up to house. Looks like you could do one for a few hundred bucks.
1 Like   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Will Weider
That is a lot of lawn. I A flowering tree in the front yard would break that up.
0 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Denita
What a great idea nwduck. Here is a pic with your cupola idea

0 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    March 30, 2014 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mary Frieson
Let's start from the bottom to top. It would be great if you could relocate the tree next to the front door.Relocate it to somewhere else on your property. Trim trees that are blocking windows. If you have the budget replace the bay window. You can add pavers to create a walk way.Add colored stained concrete platers or frost resist planters.You can add seasonal flowers or plants.
Yes, the shutters on the second floor, I would have it the same size as the windows.I love your yard by the way!
0 Likes   Thanked by tomatohair    April 3, 2014 at 6:27AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Need HELP with improving exterior facade and improving curb appeal
Recently gutted and remodeled interior and it looks...
Sarah Queen
Need help with improving curb appeal
I would need all the help with ideas to improve the...
haippa
Need Help Improving the Curb Appeal - Hi Ranch
Any suggestions on how to improve the curb appeal of...
s0864513
Need help with our landscape to improve the curb appeal.
We are getting ready to list our home in Northwest...
hogfantoo
1939 Colonial Home needs help improving curb appeal
I need some serious help deciding what to do to improve...
Kelly
More Discussions
Need help for my kitchen.
Would like to remodel this outdated kitchen to modern....
lucrecia411
Need lots of help with our entertainment room!
We have a very odd shaped bonus room that we are looking...
shankye
Need help picking out paint color for cabinets.
I have dark grey countertops and walls are a beige/off...
Amber O'Connor
Need Help matching this Goldenrod sofa
I purchased this new set, The picture is going it does...
Debra Zarkivach
Furniture Placement
I am purchasing a house that has this room as a family...
cieramachek
© 2014 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™