Melissa W
Melissa W
  • Hometalker
  • Middletown, OH
Asked on Jun 26, 2013

1952 Cape Cod.

Jessica Serrano-GreggMrs PGalen W. Yoder


I need some advise on what I can do to improve the looks of my house. I need door, window and landscape suggestions. The house will remain white as I am on a budget. But the roof will be replaced this year and I can change the color of the shutters. I do like the black and white but the door has be puzzled. There is a white wood crown molding trim around the outside of the door.. not the black trim, that is the storm door., not sure if I should paint it white or black and then the door white or black.. or some other color. I really love the awnings on the house.. but some family and some friends think I should have them taken off. Myself, I love the retro look of them. I'm just stuck on some details.
q 1952 cape cod, curb appeal, diy, painting
30 of 144 answers
  • Andrea Baylen-Terlunen
    on Jun 28, 2013

    I would add color to the Doors and siding life Brick red, add flowering shrubs and rose bushes for color Fpring thru Fall add someflower boxes under the windows to put Petunias for added color ( they do well in sun or partial shade). Make a flower bed along your walkway. Most of all have fun doing it make it your own.

  • De Cardin
    on Jun 28, 2013

    remove the awning you ha shades on the windows so I can't see that you would need them. Color your landscaping would make it wonderful not that it isn't already that flowers can do wonders for any home.

  • Jan C
    on Jun 28, 2013

    I'd make the front door bright red, and the area between the sidewalk and house make into a small flower bed. Then possibly running a flower bed up the other side of the sidewalk about 1 1/2' - 2' wide. That would give you some color for very little money and painting. Leave the house white, with black trim. That way you would have lots of color on a budget!! Good luck and please post photos after done! If you like the awnings, keep them. YOU live there, not anyone else. They see occasionally, you see every day. Have confidence in what you like and keep it!!!!

  • Jean Mutschler
    on Jun 28, 2013

    First I would add black larger elegant "coach light" on either side of the door. Electrician can make new hole etc. I did this and it made a world of difference and more light security. Don't paint the molding around the door black. White is the traditional cape cod look but door can be painted.

    q 1952 cape cod, curb appeal, diy, painting, There are different sizes Yours need to be the next size larger Not to big not too small Home Solutions by Feiss OL590 Martinsville Outdoor Sconce 112 00 a piece this is a Lowe s company You may see others at Lowe sq 1952 cape cod, curb appeal, diy, painting, Lowe s has these Severe Weather 2 Pack 15 in x 55 in Bordeaux Red Raised Panel Vinyl Exterior Shutters 46 00 Or you may want to keep your old ones and add antique looking hinges I love this color tooq 1952 cape cod, curb appeal, diy, painting, Online site called Look in the attic prices are good here 20 30 May see others things for your home for the inside as wellq 1952 cape cod, curb appeal, diy, painting, You are not far behind having a gorgeous Cape Cod No photos had awnings But the larger one over door would give you cover for the porch and the small ones up top would be fine Or keep them all till you get the other things added
  • Diane
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Easy spruce up. Dark green shutters and a red front door would look great!

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Build covered porch across front. Make retaining wall to level out yard.Remover awnings over upstairs windows put shutters on them with planters boxes.Change the angle of the steps off porch making them wider and bring them to join a sidewalk that comes out farther down the driveway

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Keep house colors the same make the new door red with big window in it.

  • Kenya Romero
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Flower boxes under the windows, would add a glorious pop of needed color and charm!

  • Debra888
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Needs some color other than the black and white.

  • Liz
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Very cute home!!! I don't think it needs much! I'm with you I love awnings, but how about changing them to canvas? Paint the door a third color, your interior color or favorite color. The landscaping looks healthy!

  • Sandie
    on Jun 28, 2013

    You know my front is similar to yours, except I have a much smaller stoop and I have a covering over it. I do not have awnings, alas, but I do have the white house and door, open glass storm, and my shutters are black and white. Since you're on a budget and you like the awings - presumably they are there for a purpose - I'd add one over the front door, if you can find one to match. Or, you might elect to replace the awnings with a different color or even striped. I've been wrestling with the front door question, too. Someone here said a brass kick plate and I would agree, regardless of what color you paint the door. My neighbors have a white house and they painted their shutters and front door black - and it looks absolutely hideous. I would go with white, red/burgandy or hunter green....or grey. There's another white house on our street that is white with slate blue (gray/blue) trim and it's quite lovely. Especially if you put some bold colored flowers to offset the blandness of the white. I would NOT get rid of the wrought iron. I would put either plants on the stoop or planters on the railings with lots of colorful flowers. Since you do have awnings, I'm guessing the front of your house gets lots of sun, so keep that in mind when choosing flowers. You might also opt for some taller, more colorful bushes in the front of the house and along the walkway.

  • JAB-NC
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Are you overwhelmed with the number of responses yet? :-) Many excellent ideas for a delightful little traditional cape.. 1.) I agree with the majority, make the door red, anywhere from bright scarlet to deep burgundy. 2.) If you are replacing the door, go with a similar style with perhaps somewhat bigger lights at the top, it's appropriate to a classic cape like this. A half glass one would look out of place. 3.) I like that the storm door leaves most of the door visible; I would not replace it with a half solid one, the house desperately needs the bright door color. If the door is in good shape keep it, otherwise replace it with a similar style. You can leave it black or paint it to match the shutters. 4.) Dark roofs absorb heat. This sounds like a good thing for the winter except that it is frequently covered with reflective snow pack when you need it. And it will make the house hotter in the summertime, increasing your cooling bills. I would go with a subtly variegated light to mid-grey color; using the slightly different shades of gray would add a bit of textural interest to the roof and make it less slab-like. 5.) I agree with putting half width shutters on the dormer windows, it looks unfinished as it it. Not too wide, you don't want the dormer to look crowded. 6.) Black and white is a traditional scheme but it is too stark. Lighten the shutters a bit by painting them either hunter green, as suggested, or a dark charcoal to stick with the monochromatic palette, or perhaps a very, dark greenish blue. 7.) I also think that the roof/corner molding and door and window trim should be painted for contrast but it should not match either the shutters or the door, the house is too small and a dark color will make it look tinier. Use a neutral very light putty color as the roof will be gray and your gutters are already putty colored. It will make the lines "pop" without closing them in. Paint the molding of the garage to match, The garage door can either match the molding or the front door but not the shutters. I can't say quite why but it wouldn't work 8). If you can do without the awnings, I would say yes, remove them. They are dated, do not match the house's style, and tend to overwhelm the house's small facade. If you are fond of them or need them for functional reasons, I agree the narrow stripes will help;.black and white is best being the simplest and least overpowering. 9.) Do NOT add a porch or portico. The roof line is too low and the dormers too overpowering so that either would look utterly out of proportion to the rest of the house. The wrought iron handrails also do nothing for the house; if you don't need them for functional reasons remove them and place a couple of tall bushes in pots or boxes on either side of the door. Otherwise hang flowerpots on the outside to widen the profile. Fill in the rest of the excess width of the stoop with flower pots or boxes to add color and textural interest. 10.) If your budget will run to it, the entire front stoop should be replaced or rebuilt; it is too short. The trim below door that adds a step up into the house only emphasizes the low roof line. It would help a lot if you could face the whole thing with brick. and bring it up to just below the door so that there's just enough to comfortably open it. This includes the stairs. A narrower stoop would help make the out-sized dormers a bit less overwhelming. 11.) Removing the cement walkway and putting in a brick one would freshen it up also. You can also make or buy decorative cement stepping stones and either paint them or leave them natural. Change the direction so that it runs at more of an angle, meeting the driveway further down toward the street. But make it curvy and meandering, you want to avoid straight lines if at all possible. If you have to leave it you could add a brick edging to tie it in to the brick stoop and let that merge into mulched flower beds with wavy edges. Plant perennial grasses or low, small bushes in them. Add solar lights to delineate the path and make it safer. If you can't do any of this, paint it the walk an unobtrusive color, probably a dark gray a few shade darker than the roof. 12.) I'd also suggest painting the foundation. It sounds trivial but makes the place look subtly tidier and more "finished" and helps seal it against cracks and erosion. Use the outdoor concrete paint they make for driveways and patios, it wears very well. 13.) Again, yes I agree with a previous suggestion, you need larger light fixtures beside the doors and yes, a pair, not a single light, and yes, the black "coach light" style is classic and will match the style of the house. 14.) And also yes, new house numbers. Make them LARGE. The current size cannot be easily read from the street by many people making the useless for their intended purpose. Not above the door, there's not enough space. Either the center of the door, next to the right light fixture (where you can see them at night) or to the right and somewhat above the doorbell.

  • JAB-NC
    on Jun 28, 2013

    Sorry my previous post was so verbose. I have too many ideas and no autoOFF switch.. One last piece of advice? Do whatever remodel you think will make you happy. If you like a black door, keep it black, you want it half glass, or even purple with polka dots, it's your door, and if the awnings make you smile, that's a good reason to keep them. Life is too short to worry about having a perfect house, it's much better to have a happy one. :-)

  • Debbie Siler
    on Jun 29, 2013

    An easy fix would be red awnings, a red front door, and window boxes. Have fun.

  • Linda
    on Jun 29, 2013

    My God that almost my House!!!! I'm thinking of puttting a front porch on mine

    • Valmuse
      on Oct 6, 2014

      @Linda did you ever put in the porch? I have a cape cod that I'm thinking of adding a front porch to. Would love to see your result

  • Norma H
    on Jun 29, 2013

    For me.....I would paint the door red, then get some big flower pots the same color as the door for the porch for nice flowers of choice.

  • Wanda Rebeca Ramos
    on Jun 29, 2013

    I'd remove the awnings or punch up the color a bit. But definitely paint the door or replace with a contrasting color. (not black or white) A more vibrant color. Perhaps dk green or red. The railings I would replace with wooden or something a bit more weight.

  • Pam Park
    on Jun 29, 2013

    The gov't has an energy rebate, or tax credit, or something like that for those who use an energy efficient roof color with is white/light gray which saves you money and energy. !!!

  • Pam Park
    on Jun 29, 2013

    Also, I like the awnings, also saves air conditioning in the summer. Like you, I'm not sure what to do with the difference of colors of the front door and the storm door... I doubt I would like them both painted black for your sake.... There is such a thing as having the storm door electrostatically painted which costs a bit, but does finish nicely. A warm friendly door color for [matching] both doors would be a wonderful contrast to the strong black and white colors of the rest of the house. Make you happy - not we commenters

  • Kandee S
    on Jul 1, 2013

    Ok maybe take down the awnings, remove the shutters, make covered porch over bottom windows to end of house. get a water recycling tub for rain run off. and make your walk way gp across whole front of house so you can sit out there. Some yellow pots with herbs and a red door. now for top window flower boxes with roll up shades.

  • Ginny Sargent
    on Jul 17, 2013

    If you are going to replace the roof, what I would suggest is put a full dormer on. The awnings really should be replaced as they look dates. I would get TWO lights to go one each side of the door. If you are replacing the door are you planning on keeping the screen door? If not there are really lovely doors out there that have a glass design panel that would look lovely. The door is white, but the the upper half has the glass design. It appears to let in loads of light. My next door neighbor has it and it is really nice. We are in desperate need of color! I would get window boxes for the main floor. Also, put some around the bushes. Maybe run a flower bed right along the walk way.

  • Kathleen Long
    on Jul 6, 2015

    I love the symmetry of your house! Either remove the shutters or the awnings. Having both is overkill. Whichever you chose, use a vivid color and paint the door to match.

    on Jul 6, 2015

    These ideas will beautify your walkway:

  • Laurie Mwakanandi
    on Jul 7, 2015

    I think your door should be painted a bright deep color that pops and then paint the storm door white to frame it! I would also extend the door color to the shutters and the railings on the porch. Then I would yank out the bushes on the far side by the neighbors (opposite of the driveway side) and a maple, oak or even a redbud tree out from the corner of house and put in a curved landscape edger and put some complimentary flower plants at the outside edge of the curved landscape edge. Maybe even put a couple of hanging pots on each side of door!

  • I love a white house with black trim and a bright red door. I would remove the awnings and I have no ideas for the landscaping as I personally am terrible in that department. Thing is you know what you love regardless of well intended friends in real life or on the internet think. You do you and I am guessing you will be the most happy with your lovely home!

  • Alesa Holden
    on Dec 3, 2015

    I love the awnings. It's your house, do as you like. I'm not much into yanking out things. I think the shrubs are beautiful. Maybe a border of something nice along the walkway or even a flower bed in the area between the house and walk. A bright color for the door and shutters. Paint the trim around the windows a dark color to make them pop and perhaps some divided panes for the dormers. Maybe architectural shingles when you reroof? Sorry, I got carried away!! LOL

  • Elizabeth
    on Jul 31, 2016

    Paint the door a bright color and take off the awnings to highlight the windows and let the light into the house. It will also give you a more modern look.

  • Galen W. Yoder
    on Aug 1, 2016

    I have never understood why some house were built without overhangs on the gables or eves! You mentioned the roof was going to be replaced at some point, Consider having overhangs of 14" or 16" incorporated into the new roof, with varge rafters. The overhang will help protect the rest of the house in multiple ways, it will protect the edge of the roof and the existing gable trims, helps protect the walls and windows from the elements, and takes away the BOX with a roof on it look, Shadow lines will help it pop!, especially on the dormers., The overhangs could be even wider and use knee braces of a decorative nature to go with the era of construction. If the roof is being stripped for replacement it would be the most cost effective time, and with a nice Architectural Comp. roof, with the right color you"d be amazed at thge transformation! It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn,t depending upon who you talk to about the work.

  • Mrs P
    on Sep 11, 2016

    I also have a cape. One thing you should think of FIRST. You said your doing your roof. We just did ours finished this past weekend. You need to decide what color roof/shingles you want first before you change the black / white look. My husband has been a carpenter etc for 35 years. We picked out a specal brown mix for the roof., we will be redoing the siding to a dark beige., which will match the roof. All the trim is white which will pop. We did a peak covered roof and porch with pillars with stone on the bottom., also rock/stone facing on the cement steps., You do have enough room to do that and if you hubby is handy it wouldn't cost that much., just make sure you use water and ice on roof for ice dams. The bushes you have in front of the house are nicely shaped I would keep those and put all of them along the driveway. You do have a slow incline of a side walk. I would rip the cement out and do large stone steps., doing all the rocks will get it a country cozy look. In front of both windows I would make gardens., maybe a white birch tree off the left, with a blooming bush, some hostas., right side., soft pine type tree., maybe a hostage., some lavender., check out local nursery a see what you like., creat highs and lows., the pine tree is beautiful., I also have one of those., we cut off the limbs on the bottom., went up 8 ft and put boulders around 1/2 of one side for a design., bird house hanging under the canopy with a bird bath. The shutters can be spray painted., nice sage green., front door darker green. Window/ flower boxes on the dog houses above., flowers boxes paint same color as the shutters. Re-seal the driveway., will make it look brand new and last longer. Do all this and it will not only look really cozy it will bring up the value of your house. Would love to see pics when your done! Have fun !

  • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
    on Sep 14, 2016

    Wow! This architecture must have been all the rage in the 50's everywhere! My husband grew up in a cape cod compound and I'd never seen such a thing until I moved to CT from Kansas where the style is not as prominent. When I asked him wth and why are there Neigboorhoods everywhere in Connecticut with the same house? I was confused!!! He told me that in the 50's they just made cookie cutter houses and marketed them as all the rage, the newest in innovation and it was actually a huge deal if you were able to purchase one of these homes as it said " you've arrived" hence the birth of the middle class being able to afford brand new housing. It took me forever to finally identify his childhood home only after his parents put on a new roof and coat of paint. Growing up he told me people actually went into the wrong houses because they all looked the same! Painted white with a tan roof. Yard layouts all the same. People slowly started to paint their doors different colors if they couldn't afford to paint or add siding to their homes so that was the quick fix! I still wouldn't be able to pick out the house if they hadn't painted it a very nice shade of yellow and put on a hunter green roof! It's really weird but it reminds me of the military housing where I'm from where all the houses are the same, cookie cutters were the most cost effective, high profit, low building costs for labor and prefab layouts. They practically sold themselves because they were the "it" house of the 50's modern family! Yours actually has the windows up top but these here ( original ones) just had the sloped roof and the upstairs 2 bedrooms had only one window facing the sides. Very small but cozy! I'll have to take a pic of just how many are still original but I have a friend that actually built inbetween your two windows creating the look of an actual 2 story raised ranch, added full front porch and pillars and it's the best house in that huge ( I think There's like 250 capes in this one area, I nicknamed the neighborhood "codzilla" lol but her house how sticks out like a sore thumb so you have to be careful on What you do lol l, she got hate mail for all her hard work and investment to better the area. These people freaked on her about modifying the exterior so much that now it's not a cape therefore should be moved lol because it doesn't fit in anymore. Lol these people were creepy about it. Oh no they even tied her up in zoning hearings stating that the area was zoned only for the "cape cod" residential architecture and by her design of creating a faux front of a second-story (which technically is already there it's just the design looks like a single-story home from the front and of course looking at the back and sides, you can clearly see the second story)but said she compromised the integrity of the neighborhood and the history of the Cape and adding a porch with pillars? Ohhhh no!LMFAO I'll have to send you a pic of this place but now a lot of these capes are run down and now her house is bringing up property values! Just a funny story. Are you also in a cape Neigboorhood? Also, Please don't take personal offense but those awnings are awful Hun. It truly dates the home back to the 50's. If you took those off, you'd actually create the illusion of a bigger home because your eyes are immediately drawn to them because they are so big and metal. If you must have awnings they have updated ones that will modernize your home but I don't think you need them! Open the front up, paint the door and plant a flower bed! I'll get you those pics of this creepy codzilla Neigboorhood that is like going back into The 50's . Your house looks brand new compared to these homes! I think they're a cult lmfao

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