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allison_fultz

HELP: MIDCENTURY RANCH EXTERIOR

last month
last modified: last month



Hi! My house is a midcentury ranch and i absolutely adore midcentury style and have had a lot of fun playing with colors and furniture inside.

HOWEVER, the exterior is another story. It is lacking dimension and character and I don't know where to start. I definitely prefer midcentury funky over classic.

Here’s what I have thought about:

1. Painting the door. The issue with this is that weird detail around the door… like I need a color that will look good with that stone AND the brick… I’m so bored of white, black, blue, and green doors… I was thinking marigold? But at the same time I just don’t think that will look good either. Like do I try to match the shade of stone around it?

2. New light fixture and mailbox, and then maybe like a house number/planter combo?

3. Flower boxes.

4. Re-designing the railing to be sunbursts.


I would appreciate any ideas!!!

Comments (14)

  • last month

    First of all, I think that the white railings are fighting the MCM look. If you really need a railing, and you may not, since the pad is low to the ground, then replace the current railing with something sleeker, like slim black metal, very minimalist. If you hate the light brick surrounding the front door, then paint only that decorative brick a deep rich gray color. That way whatever color you choose for the front door will pop. Then the marigold could look great! I'd probably remove the storm door too....but that's a personal preference-I hate that you spend all the time and energy to pick out a really great front door color, then the storm door ruins the wow factor. If you keep the storm door, consider painting the frame the same color as the door. The brass hardware on the storm door and the kickplate fight with the black hardware on the door. Remove or change to black. Consider some taller plantings on the right side; the height of the tree on the left is not balanced with something larger on the right. Definitely replace the light fixture with something larger and more modern.

    Allison Fultz thanked superip
  • last month

    I would take the tree on the left down or if it can be, trimmed down to a shorter height. I would grow clematis on the fronts of the stoop and on the white rail instead of window boxes. I think a door the same color of the limestone would make the door look bigger. I’d add color with pots on the stoop and in the beds rather than on the door.

    Allison Fultz thanked Claudianne Young
  • last month

    Get rid of the railing. It looks so much better without. Get rid of the stone boarder abround the plantings. Move the bush that is right up against the house to a better location or just get rid of it.

  • last month

    Remove the tree on the left, it's too close to the house. Remove the railings and either leave without any or sleek ones just on the sides, do not close the stoop in.


    Remove the little wall around flower beds and deepen beds. Plant something with some height to hide the meter.


    Not sure marigold is the color for the door maybe a periwinkle. Maybe a color person on here will chime in.


    Larger light and numbers.

    Allison Fultz thanked jck910
  • PRO
    last month

    NO flower boxes, a new front door in a MCM style the railing is all wrong if needed for code then a simple black metal. Landscaping is where you can beef up the MCM you love. This is one of my faves for inspiration for landscaping and also front door and garage door style. Your brick is beast left alone for sure .No curve in the walkway either


    Allison Fultz thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • PRO
    last month
    last modified: last month

    House is not really MCM. If you wish to push it toward MCM then:

    No Railings

    No Flower Boxes

    No Brick edge flower beds. Select plantings that complement MCM architecture.

    See examples below of MCM homes that have better steps to the front door.














  • PRO
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I absolutely agree with Beverly. It is not mcm style at all.

    Some visual for inspro




  • last month

    I'm sure the house was built circa 1956 so it is already midcentury style. Since she didn't say she was looking for Mid Century Modern I took it as style 'of the era'.... but then I'm very literal.

    Allison Fultz thanked Paul F.
  • last month

    Landscape: I'd remove daylillies and plant all one type shrub scross house front: Azalea (white bloom) or Indian Hawthorne (white bloom) for instance. Trim tree and removce growth from stems so tree is more "leggy". New black mailbox and lamp. Remove nunmbers from house - place black numbers on top of door area + change door hardware to black - keep door white. Inspire photo for front door: https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-exterior-traditional-exterior-surrey-phvw-vp~22508855

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Thank you all for the time you took to give feedback and help!

    Paul, I love the idea of accentuating the original design around the door by updating the pathway.

    Never even thought about the fact that I might be able to safely get rid of the railing, so thank you to everyone who suggested that!

    I absolutely understand that my house is not midcentury modern, but it is midcentury (built 1960)! I live in the midwest and we do not often see the MCM atomic ranch style here (which i honestly love and prefer), BUT I am trying to be a good steward of my home and preserve and play up the midcentury character that is there.

    Thank you all again :)

  • last month

    Along with taking down the railings and improving the flowerbeds and walkway, I would for sure widen the first step to the full width of the porch. It's a gorgeous house!

    Allison Fultz thanked Olychick
  • last month

    Paul F., I love your idea about the staggered front walkway that mimics the door trim. It really draws your vision from the front of yard to top of house. I would also suggest putting wide-ish trim around windows. If you get a new front door, I would consider matching the window trim with the color of the front door. Or you could make a double layer window trim that includes two colors (a wider plank with one color, and a less wide plank close to the window, a different color).

  • last month

    Here are bigger slabs for the staggered walkway and @olychick's idea for wider first step.