Looking for design ideas/help

Old 02-11-17, 07:14 AM
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Looking for design ideas/help


I am looking for some design ideas. We live in ND so summers can get warm but winters brutal cold. This is the north side of our home.

This is our front door and you can see it is not welcoming and really needs some updating we feel. Our garage is on the far side of the house and does not face out to the street on this side as you can see. People always tend to park in our garage driveway which is fine, but how do we get them to come around to this door vs using the side garage door. If they want to park on the street too that would be fine and I know we probably need some path from the street to this door which we also do not have to aid in this. Perhaps.

Some things we don't like about this area.
1. not welcoming as we mention
2. The windows seems small for the place the occupy. How do we fix this without replacing the windows?
3. This is the North side of the house and in summer we do use this area as you can possibly tell for relaxing when the days are hot. We would still like for this area to allow for this but solve #1 in addition

We are open to any ideas and we really enjoy a mountain sort of look. (even though we are in ND and we can dream right. )

What do people think? if this isn't the right forum or we should hire someone to come design us some ideas who does one call to do this sort of thing?

Thanks for the assistance.

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Old 02-11-17, 08:03 AM
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Are you just looking for tweaks to improve the factors you mentioned, or are you open to more significant changes?

If the latter, I would consider an addition that brings the whole setback area out from the house to a little behind the plane of the garage side wall, or even a ways in front of it.

Being the north side, I understand why they minimized number and size of windows, but some substantial trim around them, perhaps even shutters would reduce the "plainness" of the front elevations. Perhaps some window boxes would help as well.

I'd move the sidewalk a lot farther away from the house and add some high quality landscaping, again to diminish the plainness factor. Taller trees or shrubs would act as a windbreak as well.

I'm guessing that's vinyl siding, but if not, painting the trim a different color would be nice. I would even consider using vertical siding on one or two of the faces.

There may not be a lot you can do to encourage folks to use the front entrance, short of a little sign. But adding some pathway lighting along the relocated walkway, and making sure you have inviting lighting at the main entrance (maybe some side carriage lights) could help folks get the idea at night anyway.

If you are just looking for tweaks, a designer could be a great help.
Old 02-11-17, 11:50 AM
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For the house I agree shutter would add some detail. Here is a picture of the shutters I made last summer to replace the vinyl shutter the builder installed.

I always hated thoes vinyl shutters but didn't realize how bad they looked till after they were replaced.

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Old 02-14-17, 05:50 AM
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Thank you both for your response.

A few things and many questions.

@PMCarbideTipped in adding the addition I am not sure i see how that would change the front aside except for making it flush with the garage? Perhaps that is the idea so that is not set so far back?

I am interested in the wrapping/shutter idea as I think that would help make the windows look a little more like they were meant for the size space. When you say substantial trim what size do you mean? Also, is this a vinyl 1x6 board or something that you buy and cut like you would any wood but solid vinyl or pvc or something? Perhaps the color of the gabble shakes might be appropriate? which yields another question. Whatever material this rap is do you paint it or can you get it colored to match?

Also, the vertical trim idea too. Where were you thinking would be nice to do this and would it be a similar color to what we have on the house current like the gabble or something different perhaps? Our house is vinyl you are correct. Do you have an examples of the vertical siding you mention as well?

@Marq1 thanks for posting your shutter pictures and they do make a big difference. In addition I am handy and enjoy these projects so am glad to see they are something you can do yourself as well.

The planting idea we are wanting to do some of that as well for sure. As you can maybe see we have tried numerous bush types and plant types on this side of the house. We have been challenged with our weather and the side it is on to find much that makes it a winter or 2.

Last, when you say a designer are they a person that comes in and could say, move this wall, add this plant or whatever and show you what it might look like after the change?

A lot of questions I know and thanks so much again for the assistance.
Old 02-14-17, 08:02 AM
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The issue of designer is that you usually use a landscape designer for the outdoors and more of an architect/builder for the building design. Sometimes you would be able to find one that can do both but understand the strengths of the designer that you use. In terms of the front walk, if you actually use more of the lawn space and curve the walkway around and make it more inviting, then that will naturally draw more people towards the front of the house. Also if you plan some shrubs, flowers, trees on the side of the walk opposite the house (ie more Northerly), then you will gain some sunlight on those plants which should help. Otherwise use shade plants like Astilbe's or Hosta's which should work well in your zone.

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