In Dire Need of Some Curb Appeal

I've got an old house built in the late 20's or early 30's. We recently learned that we would be expanding our family and will need a bigger home.
We are in serious need of ideas from exterior paint colors to even landscaping.
Could someone please look at the photo and give us some feedback? Your help is greatly appreciated!!!
q in dire need of some curb appeal, curb appeal
  26 answers
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on May 11, 2016
    First of all - I love your house! But, the brown trim does not look fresh, I would paint the trim in white or off-white and paint the door a bright color, like red. Update the house numbers, pressure wash the porch, steps, sidewalk, paint the lamp. Paint the chairs on the porch red to match the door. Add a potted plants to each side of the door. Can't see the porch light, but update it. Here is photo that I found that would work for your house too.
  • Jemma Dee Jemma Dee on May 11, 2016
    Plant some annuals in front of the bushes to add color.
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on May 11, 2016
    I agree with MarketingMomx4. Its a great looking house.
  • Alma V. Oliveros Alma V. Oliveros on May 11, 2016
    I agree the brown has to go. A cheerful color. Flowers in front I also agree.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 11, 2016
    Agreed the trim color and the door color needs to be changed. I would put a tall welcoming container planting by the door as well .From the photo it is difficult to see if there is enough room for annuals, but it would make a difference on the curb appeal.If there enough room on the two ledges going up the stairs you could put a planter box on both sides as well.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 11, 2016
    Your home is beautiful! It's a bungalow style so I would go with paint and trim colors from the Arts and Crafts movement. Behr and Sherwin Williams both have historic paint palettes available in store and online. Maybe drive through neighborhoods in your immediate area and see what other homeowners have chose for similar style homes. You don't want something outlandish, you want something that enhances the style of the home. As for flowers, I think anything red would be beautiful with your brickwork. Terra cotta pots for the flowers would lend an earthy natural feel. Two chairs and a tale would also look inviting on your porch.
  • Dawn Owen-Fannon Dawn Owen-Fannon on May 11, 2016
    I would take out 2 large hedges on right side, move the 3 all ones to be spaced out evenly, flowers in front of the 3 hedges, paint them a diff color, make the white part alight creamy color, large wreath on brick on porch, flower boxes on ledge by steps, window boxes for 2nd floor windows
  • Melissa Leach Melissa Leach on May 12, 2016
    Great suggestions already listed. I agree with changing the color of the trim. Be sure to paint the door a different bright color! Remove the large hedges in front and plant some small boxwoods, ferns and annuals for color. A wreath on the front door is a nice touch with a new bright welcome mat and pot of flowers. I would also paint and change the fixture on the light pole in the front if you can't entirely remove it. You have a cute home! Good luck!
  • Ryan Ryan on May 12, 2016
    We're definitely planning to change the paint color of the wood and possibly the stucco. All of the wood on the house needs scraped and sanded! Regarding the color, I don't think white is a good option for the wood trim though. We were toying with the idea of some shade of blue or maybe green. I've also considered staying with a fresh coat of brown so that it would match the gutters, downspouts, and aluminum drip edge. We would like to replace the screen door with something. My wife is a big fan of having a red door but I'm a little leery. The porch needs some work...several boards need replaced and a new coat of paint as well. I'm thinking 9 months isn't going to be enough time!!!
    • Kristi K Kristi K on May 12, 2016
      @Ryan I would stay away from green with the color of the brick. It'll really "date" the house. I like the idea of painted brick, but I'm also a fan of bare brick. It all comes down to personal preference. I would paint the front door & screen a contrasting color that's going give it a pop of color, maybe some hanging baskets, remove the grass where the bushes are & replace it with mulch. Maybe remove the 2 or even 3 bushes by the driveway (not the one next to the step, just trim it) and replace those with a nice Japanese Maple. You've already stated some very nice ideas yourself! I love this style of home & can't wait to see what you come up with! I'm sure it's going to be stunning!!
  • Louise Adkins Louise Adkins on May 12, 2016
    Put your Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper on HGTV glasses on...go to HGTV and find some of her redos of similar houses for inspiration. Paint the exterior brick and trim--brick white or ivory--wood at top a "historic color" trim white/ivory. Add shutters to the windows. Large shrubs date a house...remove all of them. The section by the sidewalk needs only low boxwoods with flowering plants in front for color. Remove house numbers and replace on left side of door with vertical large metal house numbers, repaint/refurbish mail box, repaint/refurbish light in yard (replace glass with clear or seeded inserts). It would be a huge undertaking so best of luck!
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on May 12, 2016
    Before painting that brick I would consider which way this house faces. Paint peels in to much sun. like south facing or west. These sides really get hit hard on my house. I have a lot of damage to fix. I'm not one for having to redo all the time. Front door pick your favorite color that might coordinate with your inside choices.. I like red but I have seen some beautiful doors. Check your local Lowe's or paint store for ideas. HGTV always has good ideas. I also agree on moving those plants on the right side.
  • Cathy Cathy on May 12, 2016
    Actually, I like the color of your house the way it is---the only thing I would do is paint the door a brighter color, maybe put a flower box with colorful flowers on the ledge, give that hedge by the steps a good trim, and plant a few color plants in front of those hedges. Maybe a pot or 2 on those ledges besides the stairs, nice lighting and a pretty bench or seating on the porch. A good idea is to put some kind of decorative house numbers should be attached somewhere.
  • A.L. Chynoweth A.L. Chynoweth on May 12, 2016
    You are SO fortunate to have such a lovely "old lady" to spruce up. It doesn't look like she's going to take much effort to do, either. The house style is absolutely iconic of the period, a gentle mix of Craftsman bungalow with Tudor influence. That golden brick though is uncommon and a real blessing. It keeps the deep porch from making the house look like it's frowning and forbidding. On cloudy days, it will absolutely glow and looks warm and welcoming no matter what. And it's pretty much maintenance free! As you can probably tell, I'm an old house/preservationist nut. I always advocate blending in with the house, which has a lot of time on it and maybe not a lot of money spent. In other words, when bringing it up to date, first spend a lot of time in the research section of your library, then work on a plan and a budget. I think if you butter up your local research librarian, s/he can help you find periodicals from the time with loads of pictures and columns that will show you what houses and gardens looked like THEN. Did you know Better Homes and Gardens, Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar were in print when your house was built? Also check Life, Look, and Saturday Evening Post. It's great inspiration that costs nothing. S/he can also point you to local information about the neighborhood and maybe even help you find photos of this house in the newspaper archives from way back in the day. If you have a preservationist group in your area, they can help a lot with resources and referrals. I can't think of many nicer ways to spend a leisurely afternoon than in the library... unless it's at the greenhouse. :) Check your county courthouse for information. You'd be amazed at the information the building permit people and the assessors have that nobody ever asks for. They may also have a picture of your house when it was new. Paint colors? Keep that stucco light, maybe going for a more buttery off white. Trim it in some version of a mossy green, or a muted, weathered looking verdigris blue green. High gloss lacquer-looking red brown/barn red/red ocher on the door to tie in the roof color. All of those will also make for a magnificent backdrop for any plantings you choose. (Those colors are in keeping with the vintage of your house, by the way.) I'm so happy you have this opportunity, and I wish you many wonderful years in your new/old home.
  • Leb5647885 Leb5647885 on May 12, 2016
    I think shutters would look nice, whatever color you choose. What someone else said, flower boxes on the 2 windows. It's a cozy looking house to start with!
  • Lynne Krywulycz Lynne Krywulycz on May 13, 2016
    I agree, paint the front door a brighter colour, add same colour large house numbers to the left brick pillar and plant a small round garden with blooms the same or complimentary colour around the lovely lamp post in the lawn. Depersonalise the inside and you will sell quickly - your house is so cozy looking.
  • Mickey Mickey on May 13, 2016
    Don't paint the brick. Paint & stencil a rug going up the center of your step, to the door, (very fun & easier than you may think).. Trim those bushes into shapes. Cut that lg. one, near the steps MUCH shorter, yet keeping it taller than the rest. Get urns. Place them on all your posts. Filled with flowers. Decide on 2 colors. Paint the white area above, darker, then use a coordinating color to go around your windows. And paint the door, or get a prettier, updated screen. Paint your light post, maybe even swap it out for a solar chandelier? Add some chairs & a sm. accent table on your porch. Maybe even a few hanging baskets. Boston ferns?? If it were my place, I'd plant a line of low growing flowers in front of the bushes. This is a LOVELY front porch for curb appeal. Post afters please?
  • Moni Batthish Moni Batthish on May 13, 2016
    Beautiful house 1. If you can make the walkway from the driveway to the stairs curved. A big curve, so the garden will become bigger and curved. The light post should be moved to the beggining of the path. If it is costly leave as is 2. Take the grass out on the left side of the walkway about 1 1/2 foot and plant box wood, Not beside each other leave 1 foot or so between one and the other and trim them square, and plant in between them a flowering annual plants 3. The big bush on the left and the smaller one beside it, take out completely. Replace them with a statue or fountain 4. The three round bushes on the right leave as is except the middle big one trim it square 5. Add a couple of perennial flowering bushes on 2 sides of the statue or fountain 6. Plant some annuals all around e.g. Geranium or impatience for sun etc. 7. Now we come to the paint job. I would paint all the trims including the Windows and main door dark brown 8. Would add a couple of urns on top of the stairs or on two sides of the door 9. A big brass and black number of the house 10. Between the door and the window on the wall in the center I would hang a colored metal butterfly or bird A nice colour wreath on the dark brown door would look magnificent If you put a lady statue in the front garden put around her neck a necklace made of silk flowers. Or if you go with a fountain throw in it some silk flowers. You said your wife would like to have a red front door, it is nice but you get bored of it so the best way is to go with red colour annual plants, red colour wreath, red colour necklace for the statue etc. etc. this way if you get bored of the red, the next year you change the colour by playing around with the accents. Good luck. If you have any more questions do not hesitate
  • A A on May 13, 2016
    Paint the lower half a very dark brick brown to contrast with the top if you want to highlight the house as a Tudor revival. Paint the trim a dark brown. Leave the top level white. Use feng shui as a guide in selecting a front door color based on the direction the house is facing. Don't paint the front door a stark color. Keep the hue slightly softer. Trim the taller shrub near the stairs down about 10 inches to a foot. Can't recommend any plants until I know what direction the house is facing.
  • Carole Carole on May 17, 2016
    Paint the front door to stand out, shutters, and stencil a rug going up the stairs to match the front door.....try to pull the eye towards the entrance. A pop of color in the garden with flowers.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on May 18, 2016
    Do not spend your money! The house will sell as it is to someone who will do what they want to it. I would paint the front door a nice robin's egg blue. Do the actual door only first The screen door in the house trim color may still work and the blue be a wink of color rather than a big scream. It needs to be inviting, fresh, clean and immaculately clean, It is the first thing the new owner will notice. and maybe add a few one color only, (red or white always work or match the new front door color. You can always mix in a white with any one color schema.) flowering plants out font. Declutter is key to the inside. All personal stuff off walls and floors. And kitchen and bathrooms striped down to bare essentials! Also keep your closets organized, everyone will open them). You can do all this in one weekend.
  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on May 18, 2016
    I agree with johnchip. Don't spend a huge amount of money on paint. Adding some flowering plants in the flowerbed and perhaps some urns or baskets with flowers to add some color. Make sure everything is in good repair and CLEAN and decluttered. If you think the paint will be a 'turn-off, offer $500 - $1000 as a "redecoration" allowance as part of the sells information. Many people will repaint interiors before they move in, even if you've already painted. The main thing is having things in good repair and clean and organized and not cluttered. You might even invest in having a professional"stage" your home before you show it, or do some research on what to do to add appeal. Good luck. . .hope it sells quickly for you and your "expanding" family!
  • Amy Sue Amy Sue on May 19, 2016
    I would definitely pull out the larger bushes. They make it hard to see the beauty of the house and you want the house to be the star! Then replant with smaller, dwarf bushes or other landscape of your choice. I found the following paint choices online (though the source was not listed) and thought they would compliment the light/medium color of your brick and the brown roof. I would paint your front door the rich red/orange color and use the grays on the window and roof trim. I do like the current white/cream on the house and would leave that color there. But obviously if you paint the trim you need to add a fresh coat of the white or the new trim paint will make the old paint look shabby and dirty. I think these colors (or something very similar) would update your house but leave it neutral enough to appeal to a variety of buyers. Best of luck to you!
  • Ryan Ryan on Jun 02, 2016
    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions! I should point out that this photo is a few years old. Not much has changed since it was taken...the paint looks worse, the porch floor needs some work, I need to do some tuck pointing, and I have planted an autumn blaze maple in the middle of the yard that is doing quite well. The smaller bushes have not lived the healthiest lives since the photo was taken and as a result, I removed them this past weekend. I've also trimmed the remaining larger bushes. I think we've decided on a dark brown for the wood trim (Valspar Shutter Brown) and a traditional stucco color for the stucco that is very similar to the stucco color in the photo. I'm thinking of planting a Japanese Maple in between the two Burning Bushes that remain and probably some colorful annuals mixed in. Also, to answer a question - the house faces the west so when taking the photo I was facing east.
  • Sue Ryan Sue Ryan on Oct 02, 2016
    I would paint the trim black and shutters, a carpet and some mulch. New light fixtures would be the way to go on a budget.
  • Linda Gillette Linda Gillette on Oct 02, 2016
    I disagree with not spending money on exterior. It is your 1st Impression. If you are trying to get the best price possible for your house then this will be money well spent. Most buyers today do not have the ability to imagine what a house will look like once it has been landscaped properly. I would NOT PAINT THE BRICK. It becomes a high maintenance item. If you don't have stucco board on 2nd story Iit would b a good investment as it will add more character to your home than flat board does. I suggest finding a trim color that matches color of your roof and paint your trim and window trim this color. I like the fiery Opal color for your front door. I would eliminate all the shrubs and start over. They obstruct view of your home with the beautiful front porch. A beautiful feature. I would add matching flower pots to the top of stairs but at bottoms. I would hang a cream color wicker swing from porch and add some rust color pillows to it. Buy large pressed metal numbers painted color of door or trim and hang. I would plant flowering shrubs like azaleas but purchase ones a decent size. Add mulch or lava rock in rust color. As said previously make sure inside looks as spacious as possible. On smaller homes I use love seats and chairs instead of large sofas. Furniture rental is $ well spent or find used furniture that looks new on craigs list or resale stores. Hang appropriate artwork at proper heights. I empty all my closets so they look spacious no matter how small. Have fresh baked cooks and pitcher of ice water available at showings. Aroma of fresh baked cookies adds atmosphere. Clean refrigerator, stove and oven, dishwasher and cupboards. U want whatever space u have to b maximized. You want each room
  • Linda Gillette Linda Gillette on Oct 02, 2016
    Oops. You want each room to look spacious. We have a 4 bedroom 2 Bath home we are currently selling. 2 bedrooms are small so we have a day bed in one and put shelving on walls for display (toys etc.) We built a bookcase on one wall and hung lamp on Wall near bed. Put small dresser and lingerie chest in room. Rooms have large closet and are set up with double hanging and shelves so what space room lacks the closet makes up. 2nd small bedroom is set up as mancave with queen sleeper sofa, chair and small desk. Looks much larger than if we had a bed in it. If rooms need fresh paint or u have wild colors on them, paint. It doesn't matter if they are going to repaint. Paint a neutral color. Gray walls makes a small home look smaller. So paint an off white. If kitchen is dated add new cupboard knobs and handles as an update. Add new shower curtain and towels to bathroom. Matching accessories. New comforters on beds, do not have to b expensive. Try ebay or home goods tj max, costco etc. Everything u spend 6 mtg b4 u sell is tax deductible.