patinthehat

Landscape and Paint Color HELP!! new house, what to do....??

patinthehat
February 4, 2013
we just bought this mid-century cutie, and I am stumped as to what to do with the landscape and possibly the TRIM. it is just .....boring.... right now! House is in Florida, the front faces EAST, it is currently Taupe color with white trim and black door. I love the open cut-work trim in front of the carport. ANY and ALL ideas welcome!! I have somewhat Eclectic taste, leaning towards Cottage. Should I do the door red, or....what??
Thanks to all of you for your ideas & thoughts. :)

Comments (95)

  • patinthehat
    LOVING the charcoal grey, with white accents and either TURQUOISE or CITRON door. succulents and spiky landscape, here I come... :)
  • Susan Lawson
    Being as it's Florida and a mid-century modern house, I'd go for some turquoise trim.
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  • aniluap2
    I vote for citron - its so much more unexpected and is definitely a WOW color!
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  • chimay
    I found this link because some of my photos were used as examples in the postings above. I haven't felt the need to sign up for an account and contribute (until now) because most of the advice you were getting was very sound.

    However, after seeing "Everything Beautiful Home Landscape"'s posts, I had to jump in. I'm sure they mean very well, but they clearly don't understand or appreciate mid-century modern architecture because those renderings are completely inappropriate for that beautiful modernist house you've just bought.
  • 4resas
    Here are some MCM palettes.
  • chimay
    I haven't figured out how to embed photos into my posts without uploading them on this site (I've tried BB Code and HTML - please help if you can, thanks!), but I have hundreds of example images on my flickr account if you're interested in seeing them. Check out the Eichler homes, in particular: Here's the link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/88017382@N00/sets/72157632745341435/
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    studio | FORMA
    Agree with Chimay!!! "Everything Beautiful Homes Landscapes" that was very generous of you to render those images. However, this house has a particular historical reference that would be a shame to ignore (decorative blocks). Elements like the window panes and the palladium window above the front door as rendered are also historical references but from another architectural style all together.
  • chimay
    As a rule, houses will always look and feel MUCH better when you embrace their original style, design, architecture, and historical reference. If it's a mid-century modern house, go mid-century through and through! If it's a craftsman cottage, go for that! But when you try to make something into something else, the results usually end up looking confused and silly. Like putting greek columns and a portico on a ranch home.

    Also, as you may have noticed from just about every TV series, film, and television commercial on the air these days (from pizza to dish soap to automobiles), authentic mid-century modern homes are really gaining in appreciation and will likely retain much more value than a mid-century modern home that somebody has tried to convert into something else.
  • tallship
    You live in Florida and you need some Florida colors for your home. One idea is salmon for the house with the white trim. Also, some shutters, window boxes and a front door with a darker color to offset the salmon. Also, some native plants that grow no taller than 18-24 inches. Make beds both in front of the home and carport and use mulch to combat weeds and give the beds a professional look.
    I am a real estate broker in Florida and bright colors are what are most favorable. I would not use grays or browns in Florida anymore than I would use salmon in New England.
  • ikwewe
    I agree about the colors. Charcoal is so dark for Florida and it will really heat up when the sun hits it. Who needs extra cooling costs? I love the pallettes posted by 4resas above. My house is close to the aqua on the lower right with the pale gray trim shown top right. The accent color is coral. Your decorative blocks should stay white, so that would be your trim color.
  • patinthehat
    THANK YOU, all, so very much for the input!! I have come to a very appropriate revision to embrace "The Modern" ! we lived in our 1921 Craftsman Bungalow for 18 years, and i enjoyed its' history and style, but this new (to me) Mid Century Modern cutie is my new love. YES, one has to stay with the style of the bones. @tallship, while i appreciate your expertise and suggestions, i"m not sure shutters & window boxes are the right direction for me. Coral/salmon is intriguing, tho, and white trim is STAYING. !
  • alwaysdesigning
    Try going into Sherwin Williams website color visualizer; choose the Historic Collection and choose the Suburban Modern exterior for colors; click on any color to get to the visualizer.

    Go to the exterior collections box and choose HIstoric, then scroll through and click the Suburban Modern for the color choices. and choose a ranch style home and try out the selected colors, just drag over and drop to the specific place (door, trim or wall).

    I chose Westchester Grey for the walls, Holiday Turquoise for the trim, and Peace Yellow for the door. It looks really good. Try out other combinations. I think you will be really excited to get started painting. Good luck.
    https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer/#
  • patinthehat
    @chimay, THANK YOU, THANK you for the link to Eichler images! that is the direction i've been wanting, and i have enjoyed your work where i have seen it on the net. i FULLY agree, and i am embracing MCM. Eichler "seems right" for this home.
    I had difficulty with embedding images on this site as well, and ended up saving whatever i wanted to share on my desktop, then when i click on the "Attach Images" link below this dialog box, I was able to "choose File" from desktop & was successful. i am admittedly a dinosaur, but it worked for me.
    thanks for helping 'grow me up' into modern. enjoying it....
  • patinthehat
    This is where i am headed, http://www.flickr.com/photos/88017382@N00/5772917798/

    thanks chimay and libradesigneye and studio / FORMA and all other Houzzers. Diversity IS beauty, and i greatly appreciate the comments & suggestions!
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    Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
    This is more in line with MCM vlues with a splash of clolor howerver some homes incorporate brick , stone and other none traditional materials and still look good .I do agree with the groups comments on keeping the homes traditional / historic value . When ever possible restore.
  • chimay
    Glad to help! Look forward to seeing the results!
  • chimay
    Oh, and thanks for the tip on the photos... I was just hoping I could post them without uploading- guess not. Thanks!
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    studio | FORMA
    Please do post progress pictures!! Glad you are inspired.
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    crestviewdoors
    Patinthehat, your home looks absolutely gorgeous. if you do decide to go with a Crestview Door in the future please, please, please send us photos!
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    Showcase Gardens
    I'm in love with your breeze block carport. (It's the one thing missing from my MCM "California-style" Florida home.) And while I like charcoal, it's TERRIBLE idea in Florida. Think of your A/C bill!

    We're in South Florida, and our back yard is mostly aloes, agaves and yucca. They'll do just fine in Central Florida, save you a fortune on your water bill, and the aloe flowers have a very "Sputnik" MCM feel.
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    Showcase Gardens
    Not sure if you want to go with the "authentic" original Florida MCM colors... They were probably white house with pink or turquoise trim!
  • nstrong
    Maybe I'm the only one to say paint the open brick work the color of the house. It's beautiful but my opinion is to blend it to the house and not have it stand out so much. It would certainly update it more. Also, you'll never have money better spent than professional landscaping. You can have help with a long term plan if you don't have the $$ to do it all at once. It makes all the difference.
  • Peartree
    One more vote to embrace the MCM style of your house!! If charcoal is too dark maybe a light grey? Then do a fun bright color on the door like others have suggested. Check out Atomic Ranch magazine for more inspiration.
  • ovalle
    I would advice, have your two front windos opened a little lower, that would give your house a contemporary look and plant some bush plants, different sizes and colors, bellow them,that will help make your front wall more interesting. And paint the brick wall the same color as the house.
  • hparks74
    Wow so jealous!!!
  • hparks74
    Maybe adding some cedar wood elements could add drama.

    http://houzz.com/photos/1291463
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    The Color People
    Why go to such great lengths and expense to make the house look great. Paint woks wonders. The main problem beyond the color is that the block screens divides the house. You have the house and then you have the screen. paint the block the same color as the house or a couple of value steps lighter so the whole house make a statement. The color really is up to you. A lot of different colors would look great. And a fun door color would give the house a central focus. Again color is up to you.
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  • bprince300
    If you wade thru this far - consider allowing your carport to be the central focal point and background 'art' for a native garden, eliminating the need for a mower and using the HUGE front yard space for a nice walking entry garden with a number of 'stopping points' within, some hidden, some open - including a great place to sit and enjoy the morning sun.
  • patinthehat
    bprince300, i absolutely LOVE the fretwork carport screen!! having it as the focus, to me, makes sense, and white or libradesigneye's concept of pale pale shade of the dominant wall color are at the top of the list. Your idea of mower-less lawn , as well as ispeakwhale's idea of echoing & repeating the circles throughout the landscape & hardscape speak to me. I am focusing on xeriscape & succulents & at least SOME non-grass groundcover for the front yard. MCM seems to CELEBRATE the low horizontal planes & lines, and that is part of what makes this house so attractive to me. Grey for main house color, be it charcoal or a lighter version, is still the top contender,with a Turquoise or Citron or Yellow or Orange frt door . I lived in a PeptoBismal Pink house for 5 years.....i'm OVER that as the dominant wall color.
    WHEN I CAN AFFORD it, Crestview Doors (Pasadena door) is a definite!

    No more Cottage for me!
  • patinthehat
    and THANK YOU, any and ALL who were so generous & helpful with the suggestions! Even if they are not all to my taste, i am DELIGHTED & SO HAPPY to have all of these creative thoughts aimed at me. We live in an amazing world and I am blessed to be the recipient of all these gifts of suggestions.
    **** THANK YOU *****
  • PRO
    Karen Johnson Landscape Design
    Hi 'patinthehat', I'm feeling your excitement and just wanted to share our MCM dream with you! We're in heaven in this 1954 house on the north coast of Tasmania, Australia. Having the same conundrums re: colour. Think this has been the colour for some years, but need to research original colours. Only structural change will be replacing the concrete verandah (the house was so run down, verandah's about to fall away) with a larger deck.
    Big plans for the garden...local coastal plants (banksias, wattles) for structure, and lots of grasses, strappy leaves (poa, lomandra, pennisetum, dipplorena, agave), greys, grey-blue, yellow-green (stachys, euphorbia) maybe some succulents in concrete pots sitting high in metal frames. It'll be all about architectural, drought tolerant planting.
    Hope you're having as much fun with your project as we are with ours! Enjoy!!
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    EasyTurf
    @patinthehat - you're welcome! houzz provides a great venue for idea exchange - i'm constantly impressed by the ingenuity and creativity found in houzz members.
  • mdamron61
    Go with a light gray color on everything even the trims at the carport. Paint a darker gray accent color below the 2 front windows on the left. Then a red front door would awesome! Install some landscaping.
  • ikwewe
    Gray is certainly the color this year. What colors are the other houses in the neighborhood? If there is a lot of gray, I would lean another way.

    @Karen Johnson, your house is the same color as mine is now. I would change it somewhat if it has been that color a long time and needs refreshing., even though I love that color. New paint always looks better.
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    Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
    Would you like to see what the crestview door looks like on the drawing? Whitch one
  • alwaysdesigning
    I always love grey for an exterior color; try a light to medium grey. Also, plug in Eichler into the Houzz browser bar for Photos and you will see more pics there. Good luck
  • patinthehat
    LOVING the Crestview Doors "Pasadena", Thanks, Everything Beautiful Home Landscape. This charcoal & green color scheme wants me to have it..... i can hear it crying for me ;)

    @Karen Johnson, i love your roofline feature/pergola thingey! the turquoise looks fun, but fresh paint is a magical thing. we are aiming the same direction for our gardens.... i can't wait to put in the front.....I have a LOT of crepe myrtles needing a new home, and masses of Kalanchoe for the front. a fire pit & hopefully some squared, long low terraced patios in the back. Breaking my old need for curvey organic shapes is TUFF! but the more I sketch rectilinear & visualize it, the more i love it. I've been a slave to my lawn for eons....would love to do chamomile or some kind of ground cover between most of the stepping stones in the back. I understand pebbles and gravel are wonderful with MCM, but theres something about the soft green of turf that is so cooling in the Florida Summer.

    @ikwewe, We are 1 of abt 6 houses on our little cul-de-sac, the rest are lite yellows, white, beige, pretty low key. the Neighbor house 3 blks away is similar to what I want (see picture), but don't want to copy him TOO much - different style, tho, thank goodness. We seem to be one of VERY few MCM's with a flat roof, and NO other fretwork homes around.
    Can't WAIT to get at the front yard & landscape. THANKS again, Houzzers!! :)
  • patinthehat
    Oooh, @alwaysdesigning, THX for the Eichler que!! found some goodies on there!!
  • aniluap2
    If you want a green cover between your stepping stones that is drought tolerant and likes poor soil try wooly thyme or some other low ground cover types of thyme.They have the added advantage of smelling good when stepped on!
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    Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
    I Think your going to have the best house on the block . Enjoy your project.
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    Stardust Modern Design
    Mid-century modern wall lights should be a nice touch without a big investment! http://www.nova68.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=nova68&Product_Code=MCMS
  • patinthehat
    @Stardust Modern Design - LIKE LIKE LOVE those outdoor lights! this is becoming THE most fun house i've played with in years!
    And @Everything Beautiful Home Landscape, the 2nd rendering (top Right) with the staggered blocks HAS to be used somewhere on this lot - really like it!
    @Analuap2 - I've been looking into wooley Thyme & others for back OR possibly front area between the stepping stones. Great minds, and great idea. Thanks for the suggestions :)
  • hazeldazel
    @patinthehat - Thank you soooo much for posting the link to Crestview doors! Just what I was looking for! My midcentury work in progress has a contemporary country door from a box store, that doesn't fit at all, and these doors are GREAT!

    To the OP, here are some links I found for some color palettes (I have painting in my future too):

    http://retrorenovation.com/2009/03/14/original-eichler-paint-colors-for-your-ranch-or-contemporary-home/

    http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-collection/historic-collection/suburban-modern-exterior/

    http://dunnedwards.com/Homeowners/ExploreColor/ColorIdeasInspiration/DesignStyles.aspx
  • patinthehat
    hazel, You're Welcome! but thank @libradesigneye, for the Crestview Doors idea - aren't they gorgeous!? Libra is my new crush.....i'm so lovin' the ideas and designs! Tracy Penner, Landscape Architect and Studio / FORMA also have my heart with these door photo beauties. LOVE your RetroRenevation.com site with the Eichler colors ..... Post some pix of your MCM, before and after??? I'd love to see what you're doing!!


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  • hazeldazel
    I'm thinking of doing the Sherwin Williams Powder Blue for the body, the Sycamore Tan for accents, and I would love to do the door in the Pipestone Red from the Eichler page. Our house has a lot of rectangle elements (for example on the original wood roll up garage door), so I'd love to get the Ledgestone or the Romeria. That will take some time though, right now I'm still getting rid of all the 80's renovation crap. Tacky brass & glass mixed with country honey oak as far as the eye can see! Gak.
  • Tracy Penner
    Glad to hear you have embraced the modern, horizontal lines and simple detail of your new home.

    Definitely like the idea of emphasizing the fretwork wall....it is bold, as is the circular driveway and centre bed. Your landscaping will need big gestures to balance this. Mass plantings of 6 - 9 shrubs, or two dozen yuccas/grasses in staggered rows.

    If the budget is tight, start with just one area. I would likely start with a long rectangular bed under the the two bedroom windows -- planting this will balance the boldness of the fretwork wall, as others have mentioned. This is also a good area for shrubs as the shade will be your ally, so I would plant fragrant evergreens like Mexican mock orange or jasmine in groups until you get a massing that balances with the fretwork.

    Save the drought tolerant yuccas and agaves for the fully sun-exposed desert-like areas next to the driveway to minimize irrigation and maintenance. This will also give greater impact from the street view and will delight you every time you drive up!

    Finally, the rectangular slab ideas would be best in the back yard. That front curved driveway is plenty bold and provides enough paving for the scale of the house. Any more will give a strip mall effect. Leave the garden areas created by the driveway for soft landscaping of one kind or another. Lawn is better than concrete, definitely lowers urban heat island effect and will cool the air at night.

    Please post some pics when you get going. And have fun! (sounds like you will)...