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Old 03-22-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I can't take it anymore! The front of our house needs help. We are saving up for all new windows and a front door, but I'm also looking for other ideas of what to do.

The house faces north, and also there is a gigantic maple tree at the corner, so the front of the house ranges from very shady to super-deep shade; planting a nice row of shrubs (or anything) in front is probably not going to work. But it seems like something needs to be done to soften the edge of the concrete slab porch. I just don't know what.

The slab porch is only 7 feet deep, and from the porch to the curb is only 14 feet. We are really close to a busy road. And a lot of runners/walkers use the sidewalk daily.

Also, the front door is not the entrance that we usually use, as the door opens onto a stairway that shoots straight upstairs to the bedrooms. There's a driveway off to the left of the picture, and we use the side entrance into a porch and kitchen. So that is why there's no walkway from the front door to the main sidewalk. It was removed by the previous owners.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!
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Help for old farmhouse curb appeal?-house2011winter.jpg  
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
1,268 posts, read 2,382,868 times
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I would pressure-wash the front porch, add 2 window boxes in both windows and fill with colorful annuals. Buy 4 rocking chairs (2 on each side). Paint them red. Can you add shutters? That would really dress the house up. I would paint them either a dark navy blue or black. I would also remove the storm door and repaint the front door in an accent color. Red, navy, or black. I also think a potted topiary on each side of the front door would be nice. Or, forego the window boxes and hang ferns between each of the columns.

But, definitely furniture, a pop of color, and some greenery.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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I agree with adding the potted topiaries around the door, and would look at putting up a railing around the porch for at least the illusion of privacy. You may be right on the road but that's no reason to invite everyone walking by right up to the door.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
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I would remove the large shrubs on either corner and add a porch rail around the porch. My first thought is a rail with small spindles and add the sidewalk back to the public sidewalk. Remove the storm door and paint the door a dark blue or black. Agree with adding furniture. Rockers would be perfect. Two small ones on each side, with of course plants added to make it feel comfy and warm. Since it faces north, Impatients would be perfect.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
41,314 posts, read 38,479,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneSA View Post
I would remove the large shrubs on either corner and add a porch rail around the porch. My first thought is a rail with small spindles and add the sidewalk back to the public sidewalk. Remove the storm door and paint the door a dark blue or black. Agree with adding furniture. Rockers would be perfect. Two small ones on each side, with of course plants added to make it feel comfy and warm. Since it faces north, Impatients would be perfect.
My first thought too. Second thought - a low white picket fence up to the sidewalk, going around each side of the house. Flowers and garden beds to frame. Since your porch is not that far from the sidewalk, this should be a big deal as far as cost and material.

Something like this, but maybe a little bit fancier fence style;

http://dc.urbanturf.com/images/blog/...Custis_Ave.jpg

Porch spindles;

http://theheartoftheseahome.typepad....91b9970c-600wi

Fence and spindles;

http://www.charlestonhomesforyou.com...1103211-1.jpeg

Love this one;

http://images.travelpod.com/users/je...cket-fence.jpg
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:23 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
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They have these cute picket fences now that are made from recycled milk bottles and they last forever - you don't have to worry about repainting or anything. They come in different colors, if you're keeping your current color scheme I'd prolly go with white.

Hanging baskets would be cute. Ferns would go great and don't require a lot of sun.

Some Adirondack chairs for the porch would make it feel more welcoming and give you a nice comfy place to relax.

Two potted topiaries - perhaps lighted with white solar lights - on either side of the door would spruce up the entry.

Some shutters or windowbox planters for the upstairs windows would be cute.

You need a stone path or mosaic walkway from the porch to the sidewalk. It's actually pretty easy to do yourself. There are online tutorials and books at the library that show you how. Or get some large flat stones and lay them out and allow moss or grass to grow inbetween them, or pour a contrasting color of gravel down... something. You need some kind of walkway there.

If it were my house, though, I'd start with paint. I'd probably go darker. There are a lot of fun shades you can play around with. Life in a Little Red Farmhouse: Picking exterior paint
There's a beautiful photo on that blog of a red farmhouse - it's so simple. No landscaping or anything... just paint and a few rocking chairs. Love those glavanized tub planters, too!
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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Where is the house- City/State?
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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I once had a front porch that was a concrete slab and we didn't use the front door often. I used concrete stain and painted the concrete a terra cotta color. It needed to be repainted every few years but really improved the look of the house. I like the railing idea. I might put a bench under one of the windows. Also a potted plant or a big earthen pot with nice flowers.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Paint the house white, put in black shutters (hi gloss). Paint the door red (hi gloss). If you have any extra $, replace the roof with a green metal roof.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,718 posts, read 59,596,711 times
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POrch furniture and plants. I suggest a glider or a swing. Great place to sit and watch people walk or run by and say hello. You are lucky to have a porch.

You could put a wood floor on your porch. Some white lattice around the sides might look ok. It is cheal and easy to instal. Put in a flower bed with low white wire or wood fence.

That plastic picket fence stuff made from milk bottles is amazing. SOme of it you cannto tell from wood unless you feel it. They even put in grain patterns. It is not cheap though.

Are the windows replacements? Are they wood or plastic, metal? I cannot tell fromt he pitcures for certain but the center muntin looks too small and out of porportion. Are these solid windows with glued on muntins? Be careful if you do replace the windows. Putting modern cheapo vinyl windows on a house like that can look incredibly stupid. Marvin makes an appropriate replacement window called the Marvin Ultimate double hung window.

The worst part looks wise is that storm door. Remove and paint the front door. If you must have a storm door, have one made that looks appropriate for the house. It will cost more, but not outrageous ($300 - $400).

Red doors were very common on old farm houses. I am not sure why. It must have meant something. Maybe it just looks nice. Your house was probably white originally, but that does nto mean that is has to be white. It just needs a more creative and pleasing color combination. Architectural shingles would make a big difference too, but that is expensive.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 03-23-2011 at 10:23 AM..
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