View real reader’s homes with real problems and provide simple solutions to boost curb appeal.
1 of 10Illustration by Barney Davidge
When I showed pictures of my house and it's sad landscaping to my friends at work, they laughed," says homeowner Stephanie White. "I think it looks like a gingerbread house; it just needs a little makeup to get noticed." Architect Hoyte came to the rescue with rustic adornments and finishes that affirm the Tudor Revival roots of the White's home.
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White’s Home (Before)
Transforming simple Tudor home with good bones is easily accomplished with layered detailing and color. Timbers in the front gable stay true to the Tudor roots and adorn the home with visual interest. Don’t hide your front door, light the way with a large lantern. A rustic arbor and new shed dormer on the right side help balance the large gable to the left.
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It's Your Turn
We receive hundreds of requests from readers looking for help with exterior makeovers. We’ll get the conversation started with basic ideas for improving their homes, then turn to you for neighborly advice. Click to the next slide to see home photos submitted by readers and look for the comment link on each slide to add your ideas.
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Farmhouse with Good Bones (Before)
This symmetrical dwelling is a classic I-style folk farmhouse. I understand the need for porch screens in the South, but the clunky bracing for the screens detracts from the simple beauty of the home. The subtle details on the house are also hidden by the all-white paint scheme.
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Farmhouse with Good Bones (After)
A new board balustrade brings some charm back to the front porch and colorful planting beds around the foundation connect the house to the landscape. Trimming the windows and corner boards in a light pastel adds a little makeup to the oh-so-practical farmhouse.
The landscaping and exterior details on this home are so small, the roof and brick walls look out of proportion. Adding mature hedges out front and changing the tiny porch light for a larger version on the other side of the door will bring balance back to this cottage. Take the next step with two dormers on the roof to bring out the Cape Cod lines hiding in this home.
The spindly little poles on the front porch look as those they could barely hold up the porch roof. I’d replace the poles with some substantial wood posts. Nothing kills curb appeal like aluminum window awnings. I’d also paint the steps dark green and tie the porch into the drive with a porch-like seating area.
The massive addition on this home dwarfs the front entry. This wing of the home isn’t going anywhere, so you have to play up its features. Stained wood carriage doors will add some charm. Connecting the second floor balconies and painting the brick the color of the siding will go a long way toward unifying the front exterior.
The enclosed front porch and chain link fencing on this summer home aren’t welcoming to the neighborhood. Replace the chain link with wooden pickets to warm up the entry. Welcome visitors with a new front door and paired double hung windows in place of the dated shutter windows.