Curb appeal nightmare. How to hide wonky asymmetry?

Alana Barfield
August 11, 2019
last modified: August 11, 2019

Getting into full swing with a small cottage remodel. Interior is going nicely but the street view is giving us fits. Color is a no-brainer (going to go with

a light grey/white/black scheme with a new red door with windows), probably removing the railing and beefing up the columns, but how to balance the off center roof peak with wide set windows and the wide porch? crazy negative space above? Feeling overwhelmed. Disregard the Christmas lights! Haha Any ideas are appreciated.

Comments (27)

  • acm

    photo didn't load -- you can add down here in the comments. be sure it's turned to color before you submit

    Alana Barfield thanked acm
  • chiflipper

    I cannot wait to see what Exterior Wizards Extraordinaire (aka groveraxle and celerygirl) come up with!

  • kitasei

    A chimney on the left roof would provide the balance. How about installing a woodburning stove? Also a small fix - widen the bottom step to the front porch so it lines up with the porch columns. And put something - a pot or bench? - to the right of the door to fill that void. I wouldn't fight the asymmetry. Make it a feature. How about a seesaw in the front yard? Or at a different price point and level of sophistication, a Calder stabile?

  • Alana Barfield

    @kitasei Definitely can't fight the asymmertry too much, I like your ideas of distraction and going with the flow! Front step and porch are definitely getting a re-do in the future, but I think for at least the rest of the year it will be given a slightly better flow with cohesive paint to bridge the different sections. Widerning for sure! It's basically 2 decks up against a concrete stoop right now. Odd.

  • partim

    Can you give this an Atomic Ranch look? Those homes often have asymmetrical roofs. It would be good to see the whole house and some of the space beside it.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I like the asymmetry it makes the house interesting it is hard to get past the bepto bimal pink for sure I too would like to see the house from further back and get some idea of the style you like .

  • auntthelma

    What if the porch entry was below the roof peak instead of centered on the porch?

  • houssaon

    If you painted the trim the same color as the body, there would be less emphasis on the imbalance. I would paint the whole house white with a bright yellow front door. Paint the porch a light gray and the ceiling of the porch a light blue. Add a proper railing or remove it completely.

    Here is a pretty white house with a fun red door:

    West Side Single-Story · More Info

  • apple_pie_order

    Is there a kink in the roof line at the peak or is that just the photo?

    Will you be redoing the concrete porch at a later date?

  • Denita

    Agree with apple_pie_order. The very first thing I noticed was the pink, then the roof and that "error" - much more so than the asymmetrical look. I like the idea houssaon proposes to visually eliminate the imbalance but I also think fixing the roof will help tremendously.

  • PRO
    Dig Doug's Designs

    some ideas:

    Alana Barfield thanked Dig Doug's Designs
  • partim

    Embrace the asymmetry as in Dig Doug's designs. This is never going to be a cutesy English cottage look. It's going to be funky and cool.

  • groveraxle

    What's under the gable?

  • groveraxle

    Maybe white is better.

  • Alana Barfield

    As some requested, here is a slightly older photo further back from the street. There is also indeed a funky little kink in the roof line, and it runs totally from front to back. According to the inspector, it's structurally fine, just a weird choice of framing after a new roof post-hurricane Harvey. It's a ball of challenges!

  • groveraxle

    Or maybe board and batten with wider door casing.

  • Oliviag/ bring back Sophie

    love the steps that run the whole width of the porch, groveraxle. what a difference! brinhs the eye down.

  • Lidia

    Yup, love the steps all the way across groveraxle but prefer the horizontal siding. I realize it’s lots of horizontal

    line but perhaps if the steps

    are in stone, that could be pretty.

  • Alison Madrey

    Don't know for sure what you're going for or how much work you're wanting to get into, but I think something similar to Dig Doug's ideas would work, but with a more integrated version. I know this isn't exactly what you've got going on, but it might give you the idea of a fix. The angles are different, but you could center a second peak above the door and then have the existing peak extend along the same plane.

  • groveraxle

    If the siding is in good shape, you probably want to keep it and just repaint it. If you can open up that gable, that will make the biggest difference here. Could be expensive though, requiring some structural changes to eliminate the posts.

    Then I'd probably go all white--white siding and whiter trim--with a colored door.

  • Alana Barfield

    Gorgeous! Definitely need to get up in the attic to check out the structure in there. Crossing my fingers that the posts can go. Even if a few are needed, cladding them in the same wood that would line the ceiling and incorporating it into the front porch could look nice. Down here in Texas, it’s cedar all the way! Feeling so inspired, thank you!

  • decoenthusiaste

    Maybe color and cedar could draw the eye to the entry and porch instead. Centering the steps with the door would help a lot too.

    Casa Corbino - AIA Austin Homes Tour 2013 · More Info

  • jay06

    I'd love to see those awning-like, slatted hurricane shutters added to groveraxle's renderings. Functional side shutters would also look great. I mean, c'mon, it's Texas and it's a Hurricane Harvey survivor!

  • katinparadise

    If you can eliminate the gable vent and whatever is to the left of it, I think that will help stop the eye from getting stuck up there. Moving the posts so the door is more centered between them would help as well. Can you tear out the concrete and just re-build that section of the porch so it matches the wood decking? That would allow you to move the posts so the door feels more centered.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally

    Cute house : ) .

    Asymmetry and imbalance are not the same. The roof is asymmetrical, but the house as whole is fairly balanced, in great part because of the door placement.

    Sometimes, the more you try to hide something, the more noticeable you make it. I'd embrace the originality.

    Disregard the Christmas lights!


    Call me crazy, but I'd just remove them now. I think they're an unconscious reminder to you of the asymmetry.

  • jayapple21

    I really like Dig Doug’s design but would eliminate the chimney. It’s a great feature but too much to try to work out right away. In the from-the-street photo I noticed the two garbage cans. We have the same system, one for garbage, the other for recycling. How about hiding the cans behind an extended narrow wall, maybe 5-6 feet, that runs from roofline to the ground on the front door side of the house (on left in the photo). Paint it white like your trim and put large house numbers on it or use it as a backdrop for a hanging plant or some kind of art piece.

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