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lidia_nonn

exterior entry needs something but what?

Lidia
8 days ago

Thoughts on how to make the entry more welcoming? It faces north so there isn’t any sun to support plants. I also don’t want it to look cluttered. I’m fresh out of ideas. The second photo is left of the first photo.

Comments (45)

  • suezbell
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Does the driveway turn toward where the photographer is standing or down that steep slope to the left at the corner of the house? IF the driveway turns toward the camera location, then consider recreating the left corner of the porch as a gazebo attached to and a part of the two porches. Make it more rustic than is shown in these links so it fits with the house style ... but this gives you an idea what I mean:

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/127437864428229933/

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/636907572286361735/

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26880928996556888/

    https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/220113500508488843/ 

    and furnish the porch with something more inviting and well placed-- a porch swing or at least a bench and a pair of small tables on each end or a small table and two chairs .


    Is that porch sloped or is it the driveway in front of it and/or camera angle that makes it appear that way?

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @suezbell thanks for your questions. The driveway is back by the photographer and goes uphill to the right. We are working on getting a retaining wall and garage built into the slope that faces the house. To the left of the wrap around porch is a steep slope and will be home to a lavender garden. The wrap around porch on the left goes to a mudroom door and further past it the deck widens out and is connected to French doors of the kitchen.

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  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    And there wouldn’t be enough room for a gazebo and be able to maneuver vehicles as needed. Cute idea though!

  • suezbell
    8 days ago

    You might also consider adding brackets to the porch post on which to hang decorative wind chimes.

    If you're not adding a gazebo corner to the porches, consider adding decorative railing to the porch/ramp


    https://www.google.com/search?q=decorative+wood+railing&client=firefox-b-1-d&channel=nus5&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=5sm9JZdT8BE9rM%252CcZOz3Ftf-L1grM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQZw1-5Zgz0cHQI1024GvGhe-YbYA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiE_v_GifvyAhVaFlkFHf9VDlgQ9QF6BAgFEAE&biw=1366&bih=615#imgrc=5sm9JZdT8BE9rM.

  • suezbell
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Could a gazebo sitting area be added mostly to the side porch yet visible from the front and add a couple of steps leading down to the driveway from it?

  • suezbell
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Or a pavilion (or gazebo) on posts entirely off the driveway ... also creating a shelter for downstairs, accessible from steps beside the pavilion -- between pavilion and side porch.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/121737996147654651/

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @suezbell interesting thought but I don’t think there’s enough space. The side deck is covered from the port cochere section where the car is. Maybe I need to add a couple chairs there as you suggested.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    I like your idea about adding hangers for chimes but perhaps flower baskets instead. I could do low light flowering plants which would soften the stone/wood. Thanks for the idea!

  • decoenthusiaste
    8 days ago

    Is there another location where you could stack the wood? It makes the port cochere look too utilitarian and it will get messy once you start to use the wood. I don't know what the item is that is hanging from the beam above the wood, but it makes the home look somewhat like a commercial facility. Could you take out some of the gravel right in front of the wood and make an evergreen bed? Wouldn't have to be too large, and would soften things for you. Seasonally, you could add some potted annuals for color and interest.


    Transitional Elegance · More Info


    Chateau Exterior Porte-Cochere · More Info


  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @decoenthusiaste think you for your comments. Yes, there’s a lot of vehicle space because we don’t have a proper garage and probably won’t for another year, so difficult to get stuff built these days. We live in a part of TN that sees about 80” of rain a year so we wanted to have the cars be under a structure so we wouldn’t be in the rain or have our guests in the rain. Once the garage is built the port cochere is another covered exterior gathering place, like a pergola. The sign above the wood pile is for the name of the house/property and we like it there. As for the wood pile, it’s location works for us since we have 2 large wood burning fireplaces right past the front doors and a fire pit just past the left side of the house. The overhang keeps the wood mostly dry and it’s in the shade so less likely for snakes to make it a home. I really like your idea of making the area between the posts an evergreen bed! I’d probably do that as well to help drainage, I’ll need to talk to hubby about that. He likes the lodge look with the wood there and we don’t have to go far to restock the fireplaces. The woods in the mtns of TN can be spooky at night, we have wild hogs, bobcats etc,…

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @little bug zone 5 Missouri I see yours and Deco’s points. The home isn’t lived in full time yet and probably reflects that. I can’t be there to tend to landscaping all the time so planning ahead to make it cozy when we finally retire there. I’m thinking the wood pile will stay unless we plan to make a shelter for it near the detached garage that will hopefully get finished next year. We wanted the wood close to where we need it, out of the sun (so snakes don’t home there, easy to unload and stack once our place is really remote and difficult to get firewood delivered. Thanks so much for the photo ideas! I really like the first one, it echoes deco’s comments and doesn’t take up too much space since we are very limited on driveway turnaround space.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    8 days ago

    Too much stacked wood, too much paving, not enough plants. None of this can be addressed with little moves right now, when you are planning the garage reduce the paved areas by the house and create a secondary wood storage area. Until then two pots by the door with annuals are about all you can do.

  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Hanging baskets with light green foliage, lighter porch furniture [light wood or painted? The current table (?) seems to disappear] and some soft lighting in the ceiling would help. It all looks very dark and "stylishly gloomy" if you get my drift.

    It just seems to me that there is a lot of "hardness" in what appears to be a very wooded area. Incorporating more plants and landscaping would help make it feel "embraced" by the area...

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @HALLET & Co. I totally agree about the plants! We are only there a handful times of year now so until we are there full time to water, we can’t pot anything. I’ll tell my hubby about the paving as we are adding much more, all the gravel is very messy especially since it rains a lot. The area by the garage will also contain a retaining wall we plan to plant in front of and on top so that’ll help a little. We are also planning a koi pond in front of the right side of the house and will add emergent macrophytes for greenery and vertical interest. Geez, we really really like the stacked wood there and it is so utilitarian! If we put it by the garage it will be further from the house and in the sun where the snakes will like it better. Ugh, the consensus of y’all means I might need to discuss with hubby who really loves the wood there.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    This is what the area currently looks like facing the other way. We are waiting for the retaining wall and detached garage to be built…hopefully this decade 🙄

  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)
    8 days ago

    Can you build a little wooden shelter against the stone of the house (behind the car in the picture) for the wood?

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    I could but I wouldn’t want to since we’ll have a little raised koi pond planned for that spot.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @Anna we do have recessed lighting for the left side, didn’t have them on when hubby took the picture. We can actually get it super bright under the port cochere but we like moody LOL. We’ll add potted plants when we move there full time. I’d add seating but it’ll just get dragged to the fire pit area off to the left side. Current.y I’m using cream fabriced directors chairs which are folded against the left wall. There’s no table, those are cement plant containers I’ll fill with winter greenery (pine and holly). Would love to have potted fig trees as well but I think they need full sun and the house faces north. Thank you for your ideas, they fall in line with what I’m missing.

  • suezbell
    8 days ago

    The firewood is located in a very practical place and I would NOT not move it for "looks" to suit the taste of some "city slickers" that likely have never NEEDED firewood to be in a practical place on a cold winter night or put practical low on their priority list.

    You appear to have a sign or piece of art hanging above the firewood. Unless that is necessary for a home business or has sentimental value, consider removing that at some point after you find a replacement piece of "art". Ive seen some really large outdoor lanterns -- a single metal pole could hold brackets for a pair of them with battery powered lights -- something that could prove useful in a power outage.

    Don't hang just anything though ... find something you and your husband particularly like.

    Begin looking for a replacement "art" item (or a pair of them) to hang high over the wood -- but definitely not against the roof -- have it "hang" centered or just above center of the open space -- placed to not be in the way but yet to "catch the eye". Instead of hanging and swinging in the wind, once you know the size and shape of the "art", you could hang a vertical bar or a horizontal bar on which to hang the item(s) you choose or use both horizontal and vertical wire to hold it into place.

    This art could be a pair large outdoor lanterns or metal sculpture(s) or wood sculptures -- something you particularly like that reflects your interest -- even a bicycle frame from a bike you keep for the memories but no longer ride and painted your favorite bold color.

    There are a lot of larger "pressed metal wall sculptures" available for exterior wall art used in patio areas, particularly in popular items -- "sun" and "tree of life" . You might google those and any other subject that interests you.


    https://www.etsy.com/listing/667708204/mountain-and-trees-scene-metal-wall-art?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_a-home_and_living-home_decor-wall_decor-wall_hangings-signs&utm_custom1=k_EAIaIQobChMI0Oj93bL88gIVgYTICh0FTw_3EAQYBiABEgJ91PD_BwE_k&utm_content=go_12570712527_123240194807_507439092197_pla-305562556246_c__667708204_469716585&utm_custom2=12570712527&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0Oj93bL88gIVgYTICh0FTw_3EAQYBiABEgJ91PD_BwE



  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @suezbell thanks, YOU get it! I do appreciate the other comments, I didn’t describe the area initially so they wouldn’t know we are remote, lose power frequently and the firewood is more of a necessity than a design feature. Originally we were going to have gas hurricane pendants from the port cochere area but do to our remote location, wasn’t the best idea for home owners insurance standpoint. I think we may hang (upside down) a very large wooden canoe. Love your bike idea though, my Dad was a Schwann salesman after his heart attack and couldn’t do car maintenance anymore. Because of what we named the property, after a popular Rush song that describes the river and dell we have, the sign is very sentimental. We also are old crows so maybe a large metal feather would work on the stone wall. Thanks again!!!

  • decoenthusiaste
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Hey, you two! No city slicker here! I live on 5 acres in the country and heat the entire house with wood which is stacked on the deck, but only in winter. I don't want to go down the icy steps to fetch it. You can still stack the wood there, adding an evergreen planting bed for year round interest, Then put in a few bits of color like mums right now.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @decoenthusiate. LOL…so you get it! And I love the idea of evergreens on the other side of the stacked wood and adding in pops of color! I’m thinking that’s exactly how I’ll present it to the hubby. And by the way, I was raised in Chicago…hubby dragged me to the county with my four inch pumps making grooves in cement…now I love it. Perhaps I was trying to hard to be too rustic LOL

  • Sarah
    8 days ago

    Your home looks beautiful! I think the wood stack is gorgeous and perfectly sited. Love the idea to plant some evergreen nearby. You can also do foundation planting with evergreens to soften the space. Would you consider having a lighter front door color? It would instantly brighten the space. In lieu of that, you can hang some seasonal wreaths in lighter colors.

  • decorpatti
    8 days ago

    Well, I thought the placement of the firewood was a great idea...incorporating function with form, but I'm just a suburban girl, so what do I know. I think your lodge-like home looks very inviting, rustic and lovely. Though I live near the Pacific Ocean, my favorite landscape has always been forests, mountains, lakes and rivers, so it looks great to me! I have no wisdom to impart, but it seems to me that all of the decisions you have made have been well-thought out, taking your current situation into account. Good luck!

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @Sarah geez, thanks so much! And thanks for your evergreen vote! Each one counts when I approach hubby about not concreting in that area 😬. The front door is Adler and was very light, I almost didn’t stain it but we did. The grain is gorgeous so we wouldn’t paint. I am all bout wreaths and have been contemplating how to hang them without putting holes in the wood doors. Thanks for confirming that is really the thing to do!

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    Dear @decorpatti hey thanks, we thought it was too and made the place feel more like a mountain home. We do function then form, so great minds…thanks for your positive and kind words, I really do appreciate them and you!

  • homechef59
    8 days ago

    While I appreciate the desire to avoid snake homes, that wood is placed in such a fashion that it will attract termites. Firewood stacks are notorious for this. Wood should never be stored touching a structure.

    I suggest purchasing a couple of those wrought iron racks designed to hold firewood. It gets the wood off the ground, they can be placed near doors and they make covers for them to keep the wood dry. It's always a good idea to bang around the wood pile before you reach to take anything. Black widows, scorpions and our friendly timber rattle snakes come to mind.


    It's not going to look lived in until it's lived in. Make certain you know some full time neighbors and have their phone numbers. You will also want to hire a handy man to come by and check on things during the winter. Strangers have a way of "camping" in resort homes.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    @homechef59 great idea, we’ll work on getting racks. And yes, those little scorpions are annoying and creepy! Correct, it on,y looks lived when it’s lived in. Yep, we are at the very end of a cul de sac, only one way in and one way out, we know and have some great neighbors, they watch out for us and the house. The local deputy county sheriff stops by once a week and we have an alarm system. We are truly blessed.

  • suezbell
    7 days ago

    Wood touching stone is not going to be the same problem as wood touching wood. Racks anywhere near the house, especially if uncovered and exposed to elements and over dirt, could attract the same pests ... or more.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    @suezbell. Yeh, there’s no way I’m putting firewood near or against the house and I’d rather have fire dry out the wood a little than be surprised by anything when I remove a cover 😲 because if a critter wants in, it’ll get in.

  • Olychick
    7 days ago

    I love your home! Good ideas for you already. I'd love having my firewood that close and be able to carry it under cover into the house. Even though it warms my heart to see a nice firewood pile, aesthetically, it's not that attractive. I was wondering how it might look to have a stone wall between the pillars, with the wood hidden behind? You could even make it a stone planter (not too deep) with a place on top for trailing plants or annuals/planting boxes, etc.
    Using your matching stone, of course.





  • Sarah
    7 days ago

    Another thought- you can place large planters with the rain chains going right into them. Instant watering! Talk to a local nursery for ideas of good plants in pots- plenty of evergreen shrubs work well in large pots.

    And your wood stack IS attractive! In fact it’s beautiful and appropriate for a mountain home.

  • suezbell
    7 days ago

    "And your wood stack IS attractive! In fact it’s beautiful and appropriate for a mountain home."

    Sarah is entirely right. Other things to consider is if you rack the wood elsewhere, would it be on a different level than where it is needed and would there be shelter all the way to it for the person retrieving wood in the middle of a snow storm -- compared to now. Seriously, would not move the wood to a less convenient place. Atop pavement and between stone pillars where there is auto traffic -- critters are much LESS likely to want to be a part of that pile of wood than the racked wood on the dirt edge of the yard exposed to weather.

  • suezbell
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Ferns are low light and though they would die back in winter, they'd likely recover and grow again in the spring. Can you transplant small ones from the nearby woods so you know you have ferns that grow well in your location / climate?

    Ferns could be used in pots on the ground or hanging planters.

    How deep you need your planters to be would depend upon the plant(s) you choose. What style -- how rustic -- do you want your planters to be/ If you want hanging planters, I'm pretty sure there are fancier planters but this came up w/one search:

    https://www.amazon.com/ShabbyDecor-Galvanized-Hanging-Planter-Storage/dp/B07SL58M25/ref=asc_df_B07SL58M25/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=366338097076&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7464123869627230642&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011052&hvtargid=pla-796106140980&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=75139008446&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=366338097076&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7464123869627230642&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011052&hvtargid=pla-796106140980

  • suezbell
    7 days ago

    IF you have room -- (porch/ramp) doesn't appear to be very deep -- if you add a railing to any part of the porch, you might consider a black metal railing planter box intended for porch and deck railings into which you set other (plastic) planters:


    https://www.hooksandlattice.com/deck-rail-planters.html


  • Lidia
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    @suezbell thanks, those are really good is\deals and even better points! @Sarah …thanks so much for you kind words! Great idea about the planters and rain chains! I’m so totally looking into all your ideas!

  • homechef59
    7 days ago

    I can only relate the experience of a friend with a lake house that wasn't occupied year around. She hired a retired gentleman with a little business as a handyman to come and walk through the house on a weekly basis. He had a weekly round of homes and went more frequently if there had been a storm. He did find a water leak in the roof that wouldn't have been seen before it did some serious damage. He was a local man who looked after a series of these homes. He would send an email if there was a problem or he would call if it was an emergency like a fallen tree on the roof. He would show up if there was break in and secure the premises or meet a workman to make a repair. Lots of value to having a regular set of eyes inside and out during the off season.

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    @suezbell. I LOVE the rail planter idea and the link you shared! That would be great! I actually think it’s the perfect solution! THANK YOU!

  • Lidia
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    @homechef59. That’s a good idea to hire someone and we’ve been thinking about hiring a house cleaner to prep the house before we arrive. Trouble is we are in the middle of nowhere and it will be difficult to find anyone. It’s worth the effort of looking and finding such a handyman. Thank you for sharing.

  • jayapple21
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Your home is beautiful and will give you years of enjoyment making it 'just right'.

    What about setting a tall planter at each end of the stone roof support (with the wood pile in between). This wouldn't interfere with the driveway access but it would soften the look of the exterior. You could put a small evergreen in them, or some other plant that lives almost untended.

    Here's an inexpensive option from Wayfair which somewhat mirrors the look of your columns. I'm sure there are many variations available for all price ranges. Weather- resistance would be your biggest concern.


    If you decide to hang a wreath on the front door you can easily do it without marring the door by using the metal wreath hangers that hook over the top of the door and hang down with a curved hook for the wreath at the end. I have metal front doors and these work great for me.

  • mnmamax3
    6 days ago

    I love your space - including the wood! I think you are on the right track with some planters helped out by some irrigation. I recently planted some tiger eyes sumac and they would look amazing up against your dark exterior.


    sumac

  • Alicia
    6 days ago

    Your house is beautiful, all you need is some shade loving plants and maybe some accent lights edging the driveway.

  • Maureen
    6 days ago

    I think the facade is lovely and until you are there more than a few times a year, I would just leave as is until you add the garage and get a sense of your needs from a maintenance perspective. Other than evergreens and planters I think wood or metal sculptures would be a great addition in the right place.


  • homechef59
    6 days ago

    You just need to ask around. Ask fellow homeowners. Ask tradesmen. Ask at the hardware store. Someone will know someone.