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tonkasmom

Need help with the entrance of my house!

Dede Ward
7 years ago
Thinking about removing the trees, taking off storm doors and redoing doors to look like photo attached from Houzz, and adding a pergola in place of the trees.

Comments (88)

  • Patricia Harper
    7 years ago
    So sorry I did not mean to offend anyone w roof comment. I just find it locks one in to certain palettes.
  • PRO
    Flintridge Design Inc.
    7 years ago
    I agree the trees are way out of scale and too close to the house. However as soon as you remove the trees you will have another problem with the long unbroken front elevation... I had a similar issue on one of my remodel projects. in order to break up the long roof plane I added a covered porch and stone ribonb giving it much needed character and focal point.
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  • PRO
    Carolyn Choi
    7 years ago
    Wow, beautiful Kurt Bednar, but the ultra modern contemporary look is about simplilcity .
  • PRO
    Flintridge Design Inc.
    7 years ago
    This study was not about ultra modern contemporary "less is more" (Mies van der Rohe) architectural style...It was more about bringing it back to its classic mid century ranch roots (which can be seen though out the neighborhood) and original plan. The previous owners turned it into a polished marble palace with a lot of bad choppy additions, and poor finish choices, including cheep windows etc. Their main objective was to stay on a tight budget and bring back its traditional lines to fit in with the scale and character of the neighborhood.
  • PRO
    Carolyn Choi
    7 years ago
    I meant the ultra modern contemporary look in my design idea for Tonkasmom , not your study, Kurt. I like your project.
  • Susan Jacobs
    7 years ago
    Wow, I guess you're really asking for it when you put up photos of your home for all to criticize. If you don't mean to
  • Susan Jacobs
    7 years ago
    ...offend, than don't say anything offensive.
  • PRO
    Kamran Isaac Design
    7 years ago
    Trim the trees down into topiaries into boxes and up light them...They make such a beautiful statement! Two chippendale planters with two boxwood round topiaries. Pea gravel as a ground cover. Up light the adjoining area and boom you're done!
  • suelou2011
    7 years ago
    I would hesitate to lose the amount of light that these doors bring in, have you considered keeping the clear storm doors and going for a glass door that works with your internal decorating scheme. I agree with the posts that the two trees have overgrown the space they are in and need to be donated elsewhere. One final note, this front yard appears to have zero purpose for the homeowner, however some moderately priced wood panels could provide screening and then allow the homeowner to develop a Japanese garden, sculpture garden, seating area, game area, or any number of other useful/beautiful spaces that could be enjoyed by the home owner and his/her guests.
  • vandaa
    7 years ago
    Keep the tree on the left as you look at the photo./ Thin it out and a lot. Do not shape them because it makes it too formal. To the right a tree/bush that is thin and colorful and maybe some grasses et.
  • Ennesa Dzyuba
    7 years ago
    Keep the tree's! They'll look beautiful with your doors! Check this house out, it looks great and very welcoming!
  • PRO
    Stage Coach Design
    7 years ago
    Have you ever thought of putting in larger windows?
  • PRO
    Bargain Backer, LLC.
    7 years ago
    We have a nice selection of gardening supplies that could help to design your front.
    http://www.bargainbacker.com/Garden_c_7.html
  • PRO
    Carolyn Choi
    7 years ago
    The trees in the photo above are further away from the house and are a different variety than the ones the homeowners have. From the photo it appears that Tonkasmom's trees are right up against the foundation. Thining out a tree and constantly trimming it is very bad for the tree itself .I worked at the largest garden center in Chicago in the tree and shrub section and we always advised to plant the right tree in the right place. If a treeis in the wrong place - right up against a foundation - it can cause problems if its roots gets in to the sewer system or it could crack a foundation as it matures. Best to try transplanting the trees which don't looks too mature at this point.
  • dogger
    7 years ago
    keep the one on the left, and trim it down. Remove the one on the right.
  • tsudhonimh
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Glad you are keeping the trees - ask the arborist what you have to do to keep them in good shape. Light pruning every couple of years is something a homeowner can do and keep them under control.

    If the arborist says "no can do", ask them what to plant and where.


    And on to the rest of the "curb appeal" ...

    1 - Widen the walk so it's as wide as the double doors, and make a mini-patio area as wide as the front porch extending out past the trees. Builders always wimp out on sidewalks and entry areas.

    2 - Remove that dated Charlie Chaplin moustache of pruned bushes.

    3 - Make wider foundation plantings of evergreens, perennials and things that flower ... whatever will thrive in your area without needing pruning. I'd bring the right side planting all the way out to the walkway
  • Jean Tuck
    7 years ago
    First project for me for 2 reasons is remove those trees. But be careful as they may have grown such that they damage foundation walls and expensive repair, just prepare for that as reason 2 is they will make your curb appeal reno be better to envision.
  • pgaither
    7 years ago
    You already have 2 mature trees. It is not an ideal situation. But why not first try and work with them. You have nothing to lose. Would you consider decreasing the scale of them by raising the canopy above the roofline and reducing them in width as well? You can do this yourself easily. Live with it through the season and if you are not convinced they can be relocated in the fall.
  • hoggbutt
    7 years ago
    Go for it. That will look awesome.
  • PRO
    Vidic Landscape Design & Construction, LLC
    7 years ago
    I would also create a more interesting walkway with a natural look paver or natural stone.
  • thickskin
    7 years ago
    Take the advice of everyone who said the trees must go. All your ideas are right on the button. Good luck
  • quixie
    7 years ago
    I'm curious to see what the trees will look like. I don't know about the process you described, and thus would have never though of it. When it's done post a photo. I suspect I will have new thoughts on the doors and Pergola once I see the new composition. Sorry, my comments are brief. Good Luck! I look forward to seeing your next photo post!
  • Dede Ward
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    I will post the pictures of the newly trimmed ligustrums. They have been planted since 1970, so I'm sure those roots are deep. Thank you again for all the comments! Will post back in a couple of weeks!
  • lake1114
    7 years ago
    I think the trees over power the house. They are too tall and draw the eye up over the house. If you keep the trees, I agree that they need a great deal of trimming, you should plant some color around the foundation to help ground the house and off set the height of the existing trees. I would also remove the storm doors and paint the existing doors a nice bold accent color to bring your eye to the front doors. Right now, my eye has difficulty finding the doors. All I can see is tree!
  • sevans3
    7 years ago
    I would give some thought to keeping the trees, thin them out so you see some of the limbs. Your double doors can become a single in the middle with sidelights. I agree on balance for the landscaping but remember a little surprise is always fun!
  • sevans3
    7 years ago
    Using up lighting under the trees would be dramatic at night!
  • norma208
    7 years ago
    I like the idea of keeping both trees and doing the lifting and lacing... excellent idea and they will look gorgeous! Even though the trees are symmetrical to the door, the landscaping around them doesn't have to be symmetrical, but balanced. Example: After the trees are lifted and laced, on the tree area on the right create a sitting bench area within the landscape with stepping stones and permanent ground level plantings and some multi-height large pots for seasonal plantings. Have a rounded sidewalk to curve gently around this sitting/plant area would be lovely! The landscaping for the tree on the left can follow the line of the house with interesting and complimentary plantings that balance the sitting area on the right. Can't wait to see your photos!
  • Susan L
    7 years ago
    I think you should just hug the trees, they are probably feeling pretty bad about themselves right about now.
  • moenna
    7 years ago
    Funny, Susan. I did a test, many years ago. I had two identical trees, which I planted on my back lawn. I watered and fed, each the same. One tree, I hugged and talked to a lot. I used to think kind thoughts when watering it. The other I did nothing to, except water. Interestingly, the tree I spent time with, talked to and hugged, really flourished. It grew better and bigger and obviously was doing a great deal better than the other. Don't know if I really proved anything, but sort of proved it to myself.
    Mo
  • lucky925
    7 years ago
    Glad to hear you're keeping the trees. These days, the planet needs all the oxygen producing plants it can get not to mention all the life that it sustains. Here in SF, I saw a house with a beautiful blue tile roof! It was gorgeous! The house was painted white with black trim and lots of green plants. Whatever roof choice you make, please try to avoid black shingles as black roofs and black roads are big contributors to global warming. Good luck with your home.
  • trolauemicol
    7 years ago
    Those trees look like they are too close to the foundation. While it's nice to save mature trees, if they are going to cause structural damage to your foundation, or if they are growing into the side of the eavestrough, you're going to have bigger problems down the road than worrying about what door looks best or pots. Just my opinion.

    I love your door choice though and I think a mix of junipers or cedars along with some Japanese maples (space them out please and give your plants room to grow... Trust me I made some badddd decisions with landscaping) and maybe some ornamental grasses??? (Depends on your zone i guess). Can't wait to see what you do!!!
  • lisianthus
    7 years ago
    Take out the trees, there is nothing great about them. If you could add a gabled roof over your doorway, it would bring interest to the entry and break up the horizontal lines of the house.
  • Mae Williams
    7 years ago
    Those trees are too prominent and look like pom poms... I would find a japanese maple that will be 2/3's of the ht.
  • lisianthus
    7 years ago
    I'm thinking something along the lines of these gables at the front entrance: http://www.modularone.net/w2/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Oakdale-Gable-Porch-e1325886003245.jpg or http://renewaldesignbuild.com/portfolio/images/curb-appeal/curb-appeal7/big_tn.jpg http://www.howtodiyright.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/frontelevation.jpg
    Not sure if houzz lets me put links to other sites. It's hard to find photos of normal homes on houzz, they are all humongous mansions, lol.
  • Susan Jacobs
    7 years ago
    The trees look particularly prominent because the trees in the back do not have their leaves yet. It will be interesting to see how they look, trimmed, etc., when the rest of your trees fill in...
  • qam999
    7 years ago
    If these are indeed Ligustrum, they thrive on heavy pruning and grow relatively fast. Very pretty trees, hope your solution works as clearly the spots chosen were not ideal.
  • lisianthus
    7 years ago
    If it's any help, here is a rough approximation of your house without the trees. Sometimes it really helps to visualize the possibilities. I had to guess what was behind the trees though, so not sure if it's precisely accurate.
  • chaski
    7 years ago
    16 Likes so far re my earlier comment vs chopping down the trees. It shows that many people cared enough to vote for keeping the trees and to make their own pleas to keep the trees.

    The house died without the trees as seen in the attached doctored image. Sooo glad you decided to keep them and to have a professional arborist prune them properly. I don't think you'll regret your decision.
  • lisianthus
    7 years ago
    Here's another pshop, I added the doors from your photo and a pergola, as you were saying you were interested in (I wasn't sure what shape/style of pergola you were going for so just grabbed one off the internet). I always find a picture is worth a thousand imaginings :-) Hope this helps.
  • Dede Ward
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Just heard back from arborists on my trees - they need to come out!!! : ( Roots are already starting to grow under the foundation. If I do not put in the pergola, what type of trees do you recommend, if any???
  • sevans3
    7 years ago
    We have a 15 foot crepe myrtle and had a guy come with a big cone shaped piece of equipment and move it to another place in the yard. Very glad we did!!!
  • PRO
    Carolyn Choi
    7 years ago
    Hate to say I told you so....but I did :-) Anyhoo glad to hear the trees are coming out. I once saw an ad for a house for sale and it was just one gigantic tree. Guess you were suppose to imagine what the house looked like, LOL. I would also research the pergola addition a bit more. I think the one in the pic above looks too heavy. Either painting out the brick or covering them with matching siding would do the most to unify your home's architecture. Here's a sample of a lighter looking pergola. I'm also not crazy about the landscape above -looks like a typical one that developers put in and is too traditional for your contemporary home. Just sayin'.
    frontpergola2.jpg · More Info
  • Dede Ward
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Thanks - a lighter pergola - like this - was what I had in mind!
  • PRO
    Carolyn Choi
    7 years ago
    You're welcome, tonkasmom. If you decide against the pergola, don't really think you need any trees in the very front of the house. Consider putting some nice small blooming trees on the sides of the house if you feel you need some height there. Don't know what gardening zone you're in or whether you have sun or shade, but google ornamental trees for your zone and try to get one that blooms or has some interesting texture or leaf color you like but that is not a problem as far as size and root structure.
  • Dede Ward
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Thanks - will do!
  • Marianne Scoggin
    7 years ago
    Is there a design identification problem here? The house is a ranch, mid-'50s or whatever. Some of the ideas are for Oriental looks, which I love, but not for this house. If I'm wrong, my apologies!
  • Susan Jacobs
    7 years ago
    Isn't it nice when you don't have to make a decision, because you have no choice! No more debating about the trees! Yay! When are they coming out?
  • Mike McGarvey
    5 years ago

    Chaski, you and I think alike.
    Photobucketmikebotann
    Mike


  • Carol Singletary
    5 years ago
    @tonkasmom, did you build the pergola or plant new trees further out? Can you post pictures of what it looks like now?
  • FernA
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Your curb appeal is beautiful. I think I see a stone steps too. You need to go bright on the flanks and with a header. Since you have a good space over the door and glass/metal outer doors to work with colour trim and on the side panels is your best bet. I see a warm brown on the roof and that your front door is shaded. That means you need to consider a colour which complements the roof and is brighter to offset being overshadowed. If you would like me to suggest the best colours, I will.

    Moenna and Lisianthus' structures and window trims work well too and add value to your house. But if you don't want to build or replace the door, the right paint colour and placing an arched cap over your door from the local home builder's store will do the trick.