Hello there! Dawn here, from DesigningDawn.com. I've had fun offering up my suggestions for reader submitted questions (in the form of a Photoshop mockups) here and here, and I’m back at it this month— this time with a curb appeal dilemma. (FYI, you can see all my moodboards and mockups by clicking here!)
If you follow Remodelaholic on Facebook, you’ve probably seen several of the reader questions that are submitted every month. As I've mentioned in the past, I love the helpful community vibe of these posts, so here’s my two cents on one reader submitted question and a mock up of what I would do if I were in your shoes! (Pssssst— you can submit your reader questions by messaging Remodelaholic on Facebook!)
First though, my disclaimer: While I can recommend ideas that I think look nice, I have never seen this house in real life and don’t have accurate measurements. I am also not an architecht or landscaper and do not know the planting recommendations for your area- I just like to make things look nice. I can’t guarantee that any of the items I put in my ‘virtual’ design will actually work in real life (or that they’ll fit your design style for that matter), and this is not intended to be a professional design consultation. So think of this as a just-for-fun rendering that hopefully gets your wheels turning and provides some inspiration!
READER QUESTION from Elise —
This is our new home that needs lots of work in and out! Give me your best ideas for curb appeal!
Well, Elise, first off, congratulations on the new house! It's so exciting to have a new space to make all your own. It can feel pretty intimidating too though. Especially when the exterior needs some work. I think your home has a beautiful Colonial style that you can really play up to get a big impact from the street. I have some suggestions for your new place, but first I think it would be helpful (and fun!) to check out some similarly styled houses for inspiration.
Aren't colonial houses so gorgeous? They're just so grand looking, which is why I was immediately drawn to Elise's home. There is SO MUCH potential here!
When I first saw the photo of Elise's, three things immediately jumped out at me, and I think addressing those would be a HUGE step in the right direction for the curb appeal of this home. Some of these are a bit bigger projects, but since you didn't specify if you were on a budget, I'll throw them out there and hopefully you can at least take some ideas away. Let's revisit the before photo, shall we?
ONE) Those windows! They are just so wonky. Haha. But really, the various sizes and shapes and styles of windows is very distracting. Not to mention the strange boxes below the windows. I'm not sure what's going on on the inside of the house with those, so you'll likely have to get a professional opinion here, but if it's at all possible, I'd say address the window situation first. I would suggest traditional double-hung windows with muntins (the cross bars dividing the panes of glass), which will work well with the style of the house. I'd also recommend adding extra molding on top of the lower windows for added interest. Get rid of the boxes and use that whole space to capture as much light as possible!
TWO) The entry… it's just so… bare. Colonial homes are known for an emphasis on the entry, and I have a couple of suggestions, and actually did two different mock ups, to show some options here. If you have the budget, adding a colonial style portico (option 1) would add a huge punch to the front of the house and give the flat facade some dimension. If, however, that is out of scope at this point (I know you said there were a lot of updates needed throughout the house as well), I think you could get a big impact from just adding some thick decorative molding to the door/porch area to make that the focal point of the front of the house (option 2). If you can afford to brick the steps and stoop, that would be ideal, but if not, a simple coat of paint for those front steps would be an improvement and your entry would really be the star!
THREE) Landscaping. The current landscaping seems a little sparse and scraggly and the front walk is not very visible. For the purposes of this mockup (since I don't know what area you live in or what plants will thrive there and am not a landscaper), I just used a variety of options for scale. However I would recommend trying to establish a symmetrical planting arrangement that balances the out the off-centered door (since most true colonial homes are very symmetrical) and hearkens back to that traditional colonial style. Emphasizing the walkway with plantings will also help to establish a more grand-looking entrance to the house.
So that's my take on Elise's colonial style curb appeal. In addition to the three main points above, I also selected a cool light gray for the house color, with white trim and black accents. It's a color combo that never goes out of style! A classic red front door would really pop and be the icing on the cake for this house, and although I didn't include it in my mockup, I think some window boxes on those bottom windows could also be really fun. Here are some similar colors if you're looking:
I hope this mockup has sparked some creative ideas. What would you guys have done with Elise's curb appeal?
As always, thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. If you like this post, and have a design dilema you'd like me to mock up some ideas for, let me know! Ask your questions by sending Remodelaholic a message over on Facebook.) Also I’d love for you to visit me on my blog, DesigningDawn.com, or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Have a great day, friends!