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House facade help

HAPPY CANADA DAY to all of our Canadian readers! Hope you all have a fun day off work, partying it up and enjoying the festivities. I'm hoping to get out in my front yard at some point and attempt to snap a photo of the Snowbirds as they fly around the capital. (Last year I just missed them).

Today I've got a few things to blog about - the first is a request for some paint ideas. Later I have a book review, a new store to share, and a request for guest bloggers.

So to start, here is a request from Nataliya:
"A few weeks ago you did a wonderful post of someone's house exterior with reader comments on how to improve it. I was wondering if I could get so lucky as to have my house get the same royal treatment :) It's a Minto home on a Minto street and I'm looking to make it extra special and fun. I would love to paint the trim, front door, garage door and storm shutters, but not sure what colours to choose. Currently I love white, black and red. However, a red double garage rood scares me a bit! :) Any comments would be very very appreciated."

Minto is a very popular builder of suburbs here in Ottawa and this home is very typical of what you'll find here. (I grew up in a very similar home). So Nataliya needs help making her home stand out from the rest because as is typical of the burbs here where all homes are built by the same company, every house looks the same - which is one of the main reasons why I am staying out of the burbs. So if you guys have any suggestions for Nataliya, fire away.

Reader Comments (18)

You could try a light grey or white color on your brink and siding... Black for your garage, trim and shutters... And then use the red for your front door. That way the red will pop and the black accents will help to frame out the shape of the house!

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

My first inclination is to replace that vinyl on the dormer - there isn't much there and I think a vertical corrugated metal in white would be simple, modern, and somewhat unexpected. I would go with a carmine red on the front door and a deep chocolate brown on the garage door, with white trim everywhere else. Also, updating the porch light and mailbox with modern eye-catching alternatives and adding some fun house numbers. planters, and/or doormat would be a quick and easy update. And have fun! When we started remodeling our exterior there were some raised eyebrows - but now passers-by always tell us how lovely (and unique) our home is :)

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Can Nataliya paint her brick (homeowners association rules or anything?)? I'd paint the brick and siding the same color, maybe a soft tan. The shutters black (since she's into that right now and it's classic), and the front door a deep, deep crimson (no fire engine red). Can the top panel of the garage door be switched out for a solid one? That alone would update the house quite a bit. And if a new more modern front door isn't in the budget what about covering the arch window with a rectangular panel of wood surrounded by moulding. Then carry that same shape and moulding to the area above the garage door where there is currently that dated moulding. All of the windows on the house have great clean lines, but then it starts getting muddled with all those dated arches. The landscaping already looks pretty good. It's a cute house waiting to happen. :)


you can hire an architect to help you choose the ideal colors. he will know what the best shade, as the lighting changes the color

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE

First: I would box in the pillar, to make it match with the shutters and siding. Then I would paint the shutters and garage door white. Change the front door to a full window with inserted blind. Add a suctions cup on the door to attach a breezy wreath. I would paint the light post white.

make some ajustment with the landscaping and add a tree.

Your house is pretty.

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLilianne

Canadians always know how to celebrate their heritage :)

xoxo, T

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

Thank you Kim for posting this! :) and thank you all for your comments. Unfortunately for us, we have 6 months of cold dirty winter so a lot of white will not work as it will get very dirty very quickly. And I kinda like the arches on the front and garage doors. That's not to say that I wouldn't change them out in a heart beat if the budget allowed! :))) I have been toying with the idea of painting the brick and actually got the DH on board! again, thank you all for your comments.

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNat

How about instead of painting brick, which always just looks like 'painted brick' have you considered staining the brick? Even like a smoky gray would still give it an updated modern brick look.

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndi

What a beautiful home! Ooh, I do like that red + grey idea suggested at top -- definitely a red front door! Before I'd read that, I was thinking that the area above your garage door could be painted a lovely red, also, and your garage door could be black or white (or grey!). The upstairs nook-area jutting out would look lovely in white, with black trim + shutters -- it might be a bit much, but that area just under the roof (that underside part) could possibly go red, as could the casement around the windows -- but that might be a bit much, yes? Good luck!

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered Commentercara

Hi Andi, yes, I've read about staining brick!! Hubby is actually doing research on that as I type. And gray just happens to be my fav colour :)

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNat


Try some curb appeal - use paver blocks along the driveway. It'll clean up the edges and look fab. Border the flower beds.. put in new mulch. Not sure what seasonal flowers are in your area, but they're a quick way to add some color.

Add some funky house numbers vertically on the brick. Swap out the mail box for something bold like red.

Not sure what your garage door/front door are made out of. Front doors are not too expensive. You could remove the pattern on the garage door so it doesn't match your neighbors.

As for paint color - don't paint the brick! You can buy samples of paint to see which ones you like best. Don't go for something overly bright (I'm sure it'll stick out in a look-at-that-crazy-house) in the snow.

good luck

1 Jul 2010 | Unregistered Commentertasha

You can change out those windows on the garage door for simple, more modern rectangles (those fan style windows might just pop out) - and change out your front door for a opaque glass full light door. You can paint the entire house - trim, shutters, garage door, brick - everything - a charcoal gray, with a red front door. Then change out all lighting for something like this: http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=1566&cid=5 (you can find cheaper versions). Finally, re-landscape - make it look a little messier - put some big pots in celadon greens or reds at front door and around the walkway.

2 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I'd have a builder skim the brick with cement then paint the walls and cladding the same color and the window frames, shutters and garage doors in a complimentary color to the walls. Keep in mind the color of your roof when choosing the colors for the walls etc.

Cute house!

2 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCiska

again, thanks for comments! we have 5 more weeks before we take possession, and we're so excited to make changes! :) interlock would be the 1st thing to go in. Also, LOVE the all gray idea with red door (not sure however how that will work with the brown roof), i guess that would heavily depend on the gray we choose. in any case, thank you again so much for all the ideas!!

2 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNat

I loathe faux-shutters, so I would remove those entirely (since none of the other windows have them they are especially faux)!

2 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLB

This may not be the most helpful answer, but my advice is to appreciate what you have! I've never understood why we've convinced ourselves that anything popular can't also be good. The outside of her home is absolutely lovely. It makes me want to pull into the garage with a carload of Christmas presents, or spend a Sunday afternoon planting herbs.

Good luck making your home whatever you want it to be.

3 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNoel

Please paint everything the same color, either smoke grey as suggested, or something slightly green-grey, but dark. There are too many different materials going on on one facade. Definitely get rid of the arches on both front door and garage door. A glass front door and new door hardware would be a big improvement. Remove the fake shutters upstairs. You can bring in color with garden plantings---fuchsias and pinks. The object should be to unify all the different and disparate elements on the facade, NOT call them out with contrasting bright colors! I would also resurface the driveway when you can afford it, using cobblestone edging or something else to tidy up the border with the grass. And, I would put in a lot more planting so that the house seems more screened.

4 Jul 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRaumkunst

Ola conhecemos o site fazendo algumas buscas pela internet e encontramos esse excelente site que nos ajudou muito, as dicas ficaram muito bem elaboradas nos dando novas ideias e projetos Obrigado.

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