Monday, April 15, 2013

New Project …Updating a 50’s Rancher

Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile know that my husband and son are contractors and we have taken on a new challenge flipping houses.  You can read about the evolution of the last one here

This new project has it's own set of challenges. The first hurdle to tackle is it's curb appeal!


The biggest issue is this” big ole” blank wall.  I would love your input. Of course shutters are an option but the interior is going to have a more transitional/contemporary vibe, so I would like to keep the lines as clean as possible.



                         I have considered some sort of sliding barn shuttered “contraption” perhaps like this

Barbara Colvin


or this…


I know what you are thinking…it is not a barn…that is what my partner thinks as well…

There is always the option of a shaped window like this

…..or this


I did consult my architect/friend.  He had a great idea I am just not sure if it is in the budget!
We plan to get rid of or minimize  the concrete…enlarge the landscape beds close to the house.

I want to whitewash the brick so it will look something like this.

                                                              …or more like this

I know…I know there are some of you that will say don’t do it, but this I feel strongly about.  Holly over at Things That Inspire did an interesting post on Whitewashed brick here I am loving the color pallet on the left

This house in my daughter’s old neighborhood has a color palette that really appeals to me (sans the black).

As does this one from the master Michael Smith…note the painted brick…imagine what it would look like unpainted….dated…

I am thinking all the wood and trim should be the same color perhaps Farrow and Ball Hardwick White (like above)

Hardwick White

                                                            or…Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan…

I don’t hate the front door so it may stay.  We might wire brush it for texture and give it a driftwood wash? ….or maybe not?  I would love to hear your suggestions. Remember the budget is limited as it will be sold.  I know how talented you all are!. If you want to see more of the inspiration for this project go here  I can’t wait to hear what you all come up with!


  1. Transitional / contemporary is perfect for this house! I can't wait to see what you all do. For that blank wall, perhaps a wall trellis with vines?? That would soften the wall....and not cost too much. Look forward to following along, Cindy!
    Lots of luv,
    PS - I owe you an email. Have been swamped with my client's project in CT. Also unpacking a new shipment. Crazy! Crazy!!

    1. That is an absolutely fabulous idea...I don't know why I didn't think of that! Maybe something a little more interesting than the have me thinking!! No hurry on the garden stuff...there is no deadline!!

  2. just what i love to do! with painted brick and great landscaping alone great changes will stand tall. one of the aspects of these homes i hate is the wide overhang, deadly for plantings. noticed there is a sidewalk under the blank wall, maybe a large architectural feature?
    this will be lovely, can't wait!

    1. I knew you guys would have fabulous ideas...that was my thought as well Deborah...but what....anything interesting is probably out of the budget!! Don't you just love the planting strip!!

  3. For me, I think the front door lacks presence. I'm glad you're open to washing the brick with some color. What if you were to paint or wash the area of brick around the front door-it seems very nicely framed--with a contrasting or dramatic color to highlight the front door. And then two big planters flanking the door with trees or topiaries. I like Loi's idea too. But with a flip I know you want it to be as inexpensive as possible so I think you can do it with paint and maybe some interesting shutters at the front door.

    1. Another fabulous idea...the front door lacks presense alright!! The planters might be a viable solution! Love all the ideas!! Stay tuned...wait until you see the inside!!

  4. Cindy, This place has a lot of potential. I would totally paint the brick and the horizontal planks (which also look very modern), the same color. I personally like the creamy white over the Manchester Tan. Then I'd remove that bush, get two large pots flanking door with some tall plants. The windows are fabulous and I'd highlight them with some inexpensive bamboo type blinds, which would look great with the light color house. I love painted brick! It's so much fresher and pretty. Oh and paint the door a terrific color in high gloss. - Love the trellis idea above too!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do!


    1. All of that landscaping will go! I am liking the idea of a terrific color for the front door in high gloss! Open to any suggestions!!

  5. Cindy, I love a good renovation! I would not hesitate to paint the brick and the siding the same color. I used the Farrow & Ball color in my kitchen redo in Atlanta. My son's bedroom is Manchester tan—I have them on my favorite colors list. How about adding a large planter in a contemporary square design to that large blank wall? Plant it with a shade loving vine and your done. Instant curb appeal and it could soften the front wall.

    I can not wait for your next update. Still looking for another reno here.
    xo, Lissy

  6. Lissy I am going to email you for colors!

  7. How fun is this new project!!! I was thinking a lattice structure made of steel or rebar and then covered in purple trumpet vines. Your hubby could have this made in a snap. It might be fun to do an opaque glass door with a single panel or maybe a triple panel on the horizontal. I have a really cool house in mind and I will send you a link!!!!

    Have fun...I will follow along as usual!

    Cheers, Kelley

    1. If we get rid of the door your idea is exactly what I would do! thanks for the link!!! And a glimpse of her work!

  8. I am all about white washing the brick though I know it's not always popular. Loving this color palette. How fun that you are doing a new reno--exciting! Can't wait to see more.
    xx, Heather

  9. A very interesting object with potential. But in general - depending on the budget, depending on the neighborhood, the kind of other houses. I like when a house or building blend in to the surrounding or landscape without looking "strange" but at the same time standing out, being a bit of something special.

    My very first thought was a trellis - but Too bare for me if not with an evergreen. Also it would make the front of the house somewhat optically smaller....

    Sliding doors: As much as I like them - in my opinion they would be too "heavy" for this building.
    Painted bricks: Yes, kind of slightly white washed like in your first image of bricks, still showing here and there very lightly the original color. And then I would probably paint the entrance door in a kind of warm and faded terra cotta color to pick up the color from the roof tiles, or maybe a light seladon green, but all depending on the garden and surrounding.
    I totally agree about keeping the front of the house in a clear line. Would widening the beds somehow and would work with some evergreen shrubs cut in round and/or conical shapes.
    Would leave the windows as they are, no shutters, no extra round or so window, maybe some paint on the wood...
    As I said, Cindy, a lot of potential...could go on and on.....

    Now, looking forward to the outcome!
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord,

    P.S. working on "your G-post" :)


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