This past Christmas when we were putting up decorations I realized that our curb appeal was really sad. Really sad. So what does an Architect do? Take a pic of my house and start messing with it to see what might look better. Our house needs some help. We have only done minimal stuff so far. Two summers ago we painted the front door a bright green and it never felt quite right. We had planned on painting the house at that time but we never got around to it. Someday we will paint the house. For now the green door just doesn’t work.
Everyone thinks that if you are a designer you should be good at designing everything. That’s just not true. For me curb appeal has always been tough. Ben and I both tend to be minimalists so adding decorations or decorative items doesn’t really work for us. It’s really hard to get curb appeal to be balanced between permanent landscaping, annuals, material colors, textures, and decorations. There always seems to be a lot of stuff going on at once. When we were repairing our front door threshold, I noticed that there were a few small things that we could do to increase the curb appeal that were easy and inexpensive.
Business in the front. Party in the back. Increasing curb appeal is kind of like that. Traditional house floor plans like ours tend to be a little more formal in the front and relaxed in the backyard.
Our house is a 1954 rambler/ranch with some cool midcentury accents. We have a really awesome built in planter at the front door that serves as a spot for annuals in the summer. In the other seasons it tends to feel really barren. Our neighbors use their planters as a spot for fall/winter decorations. I am going to try and think of ways to use the planter year round using birch logs, evergreen… I think I need to do some more pinteresting.
We also have a little recess at the front door. The recess has a different and unique wood detail. It looks like the midcentury version of dentil molding. Along with painting the front door I want to paint the recess an accent color that compliments the rest of the house. This will accentuate the front entry space and give it more prominence. I am still undecided if the door color should be the same as the recess or different. Stay tuned.
We also have 2 exterior sconces. One on either side of the front door. The current sconces would work great if you had a craftsman or Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house but they really don’t work for us. Our house is more Midwest Mad Men. Replacing the sconces with something a little modern that goes with the era of the house is going to enhance the curb appeal a ton.
Last year we added a wood panel with house numbers to the left of the door. I noticed that the wood stain is fading from the sun so I plan to tape off the house numbers and take a tiny tiny paint brush and re-stain and seal the wood around the numbers. I would take the whole thing apart but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get it back together again. Sometimes…you just have to know your limits.
Ben and I really wanted to purchase house numbers designed by Richard Neutra from DWR but they are pretty spendy.
We found similar modern numbers from Home Depot that were more budget friendly. These turned out great without the budget breaking price.
Last but certainly not least is the storm door. 99.9% of our neighbors have storm doors. Some are done very tastefully, some not so much. Right now ours is in the not so much catagory. In cold climates if you have a cool vintage wood front door like we do you need some additional protection from the elements at your entry. I was hoping we could find a way to remove it forever but I have come to realize that the storm door protects your entry from a lot of the cold winter wind and snow. We are going to replace our current door and find something that is more modern that has a full glass door panel. I am determined to find a modern handle, the standard handles have a swoop in them. One of the things that bugs me the most about the current door is the two panels that bisect the front door. It’s weird. Oh, and it’s white with a brass handle. Not pretty.
When I started this research I really had no idea how I thought our front door should look. I started pinning houses with curb appeal that I liked. When taking Penny and Molly for walks Ben and I discussed the curb appeal of houses we liked and tried to determine what made those houses work and how those principles could apply to our house.
After finding a ridiculous amount of inspiration on Pinterest I started playing around with what our front door might look like. I tried different combinations of lighting, recess paint, door paint, and storm door colors.
I am still not sure which way to go. The dark recess with an accent colored door looks the best I think. When we repaint the whole house I think black accents could be really nice as well.
When the weather gets warmer this is one of the first projects we will start. Here are the steps.
-Give the siding and brick a good wash so we can see what we are working with
-Paint door and recess
-Install new storm door
-Touch up address numbers with stain
-Add some accessories
Comment below or on our Facebook Page if you have an idea for which one you like the best! Stay tuned for the finished project when the weather warms up again!
Check out the house tour for before and current house pics
If you didn’t read the threshold fix that started this front door curb appeal journey check it out here.
For more curb appeal ideas follow me on Pinterest!