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Help for Tired Split Level

12 years ago

We just purchased this tri-level home. It has a fabulous floor plan and is in a great location, but lacks curb appeal. The home is currently painted grey with white trim, has brick that is primarily orange and an older cedar shake roof. My husband and I prefer a more traditional appearance, but with charm. Also, don't like that the home feels chopped up.

I would like to alter the home to create curb appeal, but lack the budget to make major changes (i.e. roof, driveway, additions). We plan over the next few years to replace the roof and to add a circular drive (we are on a somewhat busy street and need parking/turn around space). For now, my husband is pretty handy and could make minor changes (paint, larger columns, add porch railing, shutters, window boxes, etc). And, obviously we have lots of work to do on landscaping.

We have already taken out the majority of the plants in the beds as they were either dead or almost there. We are only left with ivy in the bed and two holly shrubs on either side of the large window. Apparently there used to be a large shade tree in the front yard, but had to be removed. We definitely would like to replant a tree (maybe decorative like a cherry).


1) Home Exterior - Should we keep the brick natural or paint the entire home one color for unity? Should we add shutters and window box to the large window? Would square moulded columns and some porch railings help draw attention to the front door? What color paints? I have purchased some new lantern style lights for the front door - black finish rubbed with a bit of copper showing through in spots.

2) Landscaping - Definitely plan to work on the grass once we've completed exterior changes. What plants for the long narrow bed in front of porch? Maybe some knockout roses? What kind of plants in the front bed? (BTW - Home is west facing slightly sloped with intense Midwest sun.) I enjoy lush green beds with repeat flowering perennials. There are two trellises - one next to the front door and another next to the garage door. Thought about some climbing roses or clematis. Also, what kind of tree to plant?

Any advice you have would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of Home

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