How can we update the look of this?

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will you please help me with a updated look for this project

q how can we update the look of

I need help bringing this little beauty up to date... Will you please show me a new look for this project? What color paint and trim?

q how can we update the look of

What should we do for this? Thank you

  21 answers
  • Cute house! Just needs some personality and landscaping. Is the house stained? Or painted? I like the body of the house but the trim needs to be brightened up along with the front door.

    The lighting is far too small in scale and needs much larger fixtures. Resurface or repair the driveway.

    Tear out the non existent lawn and install some sort of irrigation system and think about Xeriscaping for a colorful, yet low maintenance yard.

    At the entryway add some large colorful pots with a small tree or ivy or trailing vines hanging down. Update lighting. Stencil, paint or resurface walkway to front door. Add visible house numbers for easy identification.
    • See 1 previous
    • Ok, that sounds good, and would certainly brighten things up. I just would be concerned that such a modern style paint job might be out of place for the location?

  • John Mauger John Mauger on Jul 23, 2018
    What about adding a pergola, either covered or uncovered, out to the left-hand side of the first window near the door. Use the same angle as the boards and bring it out level to the front edge of the path. The area in front of the window could be concreted and waist-high lattice or other screen added at the front. Repaint all of the trim in a charcoal or a gunmetal colour to add a statement to the red-brown. A white flowering climber like a white banksia rose would brighten it up when in flower. Paint the front door a light grey to compliment the trim and lighten up the entry. Hanging baskets with white flowers would also give it a lift. Lattice or screen could also be white.
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Jul 23, 2018

    Garage door first ... 'too' white' --would NOT recommend anything 'dark' ... but if you lighten the shutters and window treatment -- to say a medium sage green .. include the garage door with that color change; the other comments are spot on-- just need 'lightening' and 'brightening' ...

  • Pamela Pamela on Jul 23, 2018
    Paint garage door and shutters colors. Emphasis on front door, it doesn't even show. Landscape with some color.

  • Dma2228382 Dma2228382 on Jul 23, 2018
    If you have the ability to go big on your budget I would pull your front door forward so it's not set back into the entrance so far. Give yourself a sweet little front porch by adding a small roof over the front door at the same slope as the taller part of the house. Add a cedar pillar to support porch roof with a stacked stone base. Follow the stacked stone base around to the front of the house and garage to pull the porch into the design. Finally add a neutral siding to the home to reduce all the angles of the current siding by installing the siding horizontal. Finish this home off with some evergreen landscaping with ornamental grasses and boulders placed within the landscape. Cedar shutters, stacked stone, evergreens and a brand new entrance will give this sweet home an awesome make over! Good luck!
  • Hgmartin.pa Hgmartin.pa on Jul 23, 2018
    Great lines on this house ! Great suggestions too ! I would remove the shutters as well as paint the front door and the garage door. if in the budget I might even replace the garage door. The panels on the garage door are all wrong for this house ! I would replace the outside light with a bullet light that is open at both the top and bottom which would accent the lines of the house.
    Pressure washing the sidewalk and driveway would help and then you will know what needs replacing. Landscaping is a must !
  • Melanie Melanie on Jul 23, 2018

    VERY cool house!

    I think you could update for a fairly low budget and bring in a more modern vibe.

    Painting the siding gray-light or dark; trim in bright white, make the door stand out with an unexpected color like light blue or orange, you’d get a real mid century modern beauty on your hands. Paint the entryway white to lighten up and make the front door pop.

    Nix those shutters and the trim above the windows that add neither form nor function. On the inside of those 2 windows, use either white Roman shades OR bamboo shades (especially if you use wood on the next suggestion).

    Build a slightly raised planter under those windows with stained wood (think railroad ties or telephone pole looking wood) or plain rectangular concrete pavers or rectangular limestone and add some landscaping there with succulents and long/tall spiky ornamental grasses. If you are into flowers, add colors that compliment (not match) the front door color choice; reds, yellows, oranges for an blue door; blues, greens, purlples for an orange door. Make sure you do large scale planting’s and not 5 silly pansies in a straight row. The front elevation of your house is so massive that you need a lot of a few things, say a grouping of 2-3 coral yuccas which get large, 3-4 ornamental grasses which will expand, 3-4 salvia in a group... you get the idea but use what’s indigenous to your zone (xeriscaping).

    Don’t tear out the lawn and replace, but do love what you have by watering!

    In the area that is dirt (probably because used as a walkway) directly in front of door out to street, add huge rectangular concrete pavers out to the street (parallel to the driveway) with about 6” between the pavers to let grass grow between to give it an even more modern vibe.

    Powerwash the driveway.

    Add larger light fixtures on the scale of 15-18” each and get 6” modern house numbers (a sans serif font, look on amazon) and place those about 3” apart over the garage and update the front door hardware to something sleek and modern.

    Pots at the doorway would not give enough walk space so add tall modern/ straight lined pots, in a color matching the front door, flanking the garage door. I would put small citrus trees in those if your climate allows, otherwise add a mix of tall and trailing flowering plants or plants with colorful leaves.

    And don’t forget the garage door: it needs to be painted as well, probably same color as trim.

    Again, Great house!

  • Lag12289812 Lag12289812 on Jul 23, 2018
    Come out over top of garage and the two windows on the front of the house with a partial pergola then from the front walk at the front door entrance make a semi large semi circle that comes out in front of those two windows to make a courtyard sitting area. You could even put up a short pony wall to the left of the windows following the curve of the courtyard patio. Add furniture some potted plants and some solar accents in the planters and enjoy!
  • Danielle Danielle on Jul 23, 2018
    This house has super clean lines and would lend itself well to a modern industrial vibe. I would take off the shutters to embrace that simplicity, add some MUCH larger lighting in the front. Replace the front door with a Frank Lloyd wright inspired glass front door (you could even diy it with a plain glass door and paint or translucent contact paper), pressure wash that concrete then paint or acid stain it. Paint the garage door black (yup, I said it, black. It will make it recede and look more a part of the house. Get rid of the grass and landscape with paths, decorative grasses, shrubs that have unique shapes and large rocks. A pond would be great too, something square and kind of mid century modern meets zen. Extend the concrete entry to a patio that spans the front of the house and put in a "railing" in that's only about 2' high and is wood and conduit or wire to make a backdrop for the front yard plantings. Bring brightness and color with patio furniture, planters and the color of the light fixtures. Here are some inspiration photos I found as well.
  • Judy Judy on Jul 23, 2018
    Super cute house, needs painting as suggested before, doors and shutters; bare spots in lawn need some tlc; then landscape with what you like, to heck with the neighbors as long as you don'the have a jungle in your front yard. Also put a cute wreath on that door to make it pop!! Put some new lights on the outside of the house, after you determine what colors you are using to paint. Don'the forget your driveway, put something at the curb to add to the appeal of the home. Happy house!!!
  • Karen Karen on Jul 23, 2018

    Paint brighter colors. plant shrubs and flowers and paver the walk instead of that cement. make the doorway more inviting.

  • Carol Sybrowsky Carol Sybrowsky on Jul 23, 2018
    The front door should ALWAYS be the most important feature and people should be able to find it easily and safely. With that in mind, eveything you do should be focused on this.

    Great suggestions from others that support this:
    1) Move the front door forward.
    2) Paint the front door a contrastingand interesting color
    3) Widen the pathway to make it obvious where the front door is located
    4) Change color of the garage door to make it blend into the house. It currently competes with everything else
    5) Get rid of shutters. They are too small and don't compliment the architectural style
    6) MUCH bigger light fixture by the front door - maybe 2 to 3 times larger. Lights on the garage can be smaller than the one by the front door but need to be larger than what you have now. By the way, you do NOT have to have high wattage light bulbs. We have neighbors who light the entire street with their porch lights and probably blind anyone who might be visiting at night. I use 3 - 7 watt bulbs in each of my lantern fixtures. This provides a soft, friendly light for guests to have safe passage to our front door and uses minimal electricity.

    Finally, not sure I would paint the exterior gray. The "Gray Trend" is almost over. In another 2 years it will look dated. However, it depends on where you live and the colors of the other homes in your neighborhood. Unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb, be a good neighbor and choose a color scheme that looks like it belongs.
  • Cynthia Shafer- Hoag Cynthia Shafer- Hoag on Jul 23, 2018
    Unique house! I don’t know what kind of budget you have, but you did ask for opinions. 🙂 One of the first things I would do is replace those windows. No shutters. The current windows are not proportional making the house darker than is already is, a large window(s) will bump the curb appeal while also allowing more light inside. If possible bring your front door out it’s deeply recessed and dark (kinda scary) replace wood siding and go vertical. A soft sage green with cream white trim would look fantastic and new landscaping.
    In the future you could install a glass block hip wall in front starting on left side making a cute patio with a small bistro set for morning coffee and colorful planted pots and decor.
  • I love the ideas you've received about adding a pergola, bringing the front door forward, redoing the driveway, repainting the garage door, front door, shutters and trim (look for faux 'window' painting on garage door ideas, those are cute). I would redo garage in stone, or stone-stamped concrete and carry this over to slab under patio. I would also consider covering the siding areas above/below windows and to left of garage door (where the paneling slats are horizontal and not angled) with stone siding t hat matches or complements the re-done driveway and front patio, walkway to house, etc. Or, is there already a brick chimney somewhere? Mimic the brick on those horizontal siding slats. To me they seem to clash with the angular siding elsewhere.
  • Caroline York Caroline York on Jul 23, 2018
    You really don't have a major problem. I worked up a photo that may give you a very simple solution. This is a matter of painting your front door, changing your garage door to a contemporary smooth material with windows and then adding sod and re-paving or topping your drive way. Then just add a small tree or something with a little color. The colors may not be correct but the idea is all that I'm trying to share. The texture in your home argues with any texture in the garage door. The windows would add balance with the left side of the house. Good luck its a lovely home!
  • Lisa Redmond Lisa Redmond on Jul 23, 2018

    If you don't want to replace the garage doors, you could purchase magnetic faux garage Windows and hinges & door handles from Amazon by Giani. Very inexpensive way to update garage doors.

  • Kristi H. Kristi H. on Jul 23, 2018
    Love your 1970’s Contemporary home! I agree with @Caroline York garage door suggestion. Definitely play up those lines in your landscaping as well. (Also lose the shutters) I’ve included some potential inspirational photos:
  • Debbie Debbie on Jul 24, 2018
    I would not lose the siding. I think it adds so much character to the house. It definitely needs color. Whether you do it with paint on the trip, front door and garage door. Get rid of the shutters. Use colors to brighten up the house and trim. If you have a favorite color, you could use the
    color in different intensities to add interest. (ie different shades of blue or green.
    Add flowers and bushes under the windows and use colorful pots with plantings. Give the house some fresh personality. Have fun with it and enjoy the process.
  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Jul 24, 2018

    This is a lovely mid century modern home. Please don't paint it unless you truly hate the color. A major feature of mid century modern was to blur the lines between outside and inside, so painting it would go against the entire design concept. Instead, enhance the beauty of that simple period.


    1 - Get rid of the shutters. They are an unnecessary distraction that is not in keeping with the design.


    2 - Minimize the impact of the garage door. If you can afford to replace it, replacing it with two doors that swing out and that have visible hardware with clean lines would be lovely. If replacing isn't an option (or you don't want to have to get out of the car to open and close the garage), a standard roll down door, but in a smooth finish like someone else suggested would be nicer. If you need to keep the current door, paint it an unobtrusive color so it blends with the house better - perhaps a nice, natural color of green...


    3 - Bring attention to the front door WITHOUT changing the entry. Power wash the sidewalk and then seal it. Add low solar lights along the walk, maybe some crushed stone or river rock borders. Put in some nice greenery under the window (but don't plant bushes too close to the house). Brighten the front door with an unexpected pop of color - orange, a golden yellow, bright red, a retro shade of turquoise - so that it stands out as a feature. Install lighting that highlights that color - perhaps a low wattage spotlight hung in from the corner where the overhang above the door meets the side wall, but pointed toward the door.


    4 - Change the light that's on the side of the house. Someone earlier suggested using a bullet style light that throw light both up and down to highlight the siding. That would be perfect.


    5 - Seal the driveway. It's a relatively inexpensive update that makes a BIG impact.


    6 - Deal with the dead parts of the yard. New sod or grass could be lovely. The tree someone else suggested would be nice as long as it doesn't grow too big and hide the house. A series of raised beds with green plants surrounded by pebbles or something as paths with occasional sitting places and pieces of sculpture tucked in unexpected corners would be fun, too, and would be pretty low maintenance.


    You have acquired a beautiful piece of historical architecture. Do a bit of homework to highlight the best features and the ones you most enjoy. It is always heartbreaking when someone buys a beautiful home that has a particular style and then DIYs the style into oblivion trying to make it look like what they have seen on HGTV.


    Enjoy your special gem. And post some photos of what you end up doing with it, please.

  • Ccu33958676 Ccu33958676 on Aug 17, 2018

    I faux painted my garage door on a mid-century home I had in Salt Lake City. I watched a video on how to faux paint a garage door. I had a painter that wanted to learn how to do it as well. He sprayed the base coat saving me tons of time. Then using a brush we top coated the darker strokes into the base coat. I ended up with a really cool looking light walnut wood looking door and saved myself tons of money not having to buy a new one.

  • Ccu33958676 Ccu33958676 on Aug 17, 2018

    Plant some cool grass and create a neat contemporary pattern, repeat it over and over. Keep it simple, using the same grass plant. Don't get too close to the house so that it stays opened up. Don't get shrubs too close to the house or they will shrink the house.


    Could change the shutters to some more contemporaty type of Bahama shutter with big slats. Could be painted in a bright color, or make them monocromatic which is neat too.

    You've got great bones in this house, and it wouldn't take much to really create a "show stopper!"

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