Updating raised ranch facade

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We all know that curb appeal is important to the look, feel, and resale of our home, but changing our home’s exterior is easier said than done.

The right side is the “phoenix” side – lower to the ground here, please. Finally here, note the use of the fence at the left – the trellis at the door – and the trellis at the far right.

I kind of also works in the west because we read left to right. And of course, that structure at the front door is so welcoming, and the brick planter makes a nice addition. And notice how the stone trim under the bay also is that nice warm sandy brown. These are nice hardscape touches that add interest to this exterior (and the others shown). Looking left to right, notice how the bedroom window is edged and “sectioned off” from the shingle siding…that little bathroom glass-block window with three horizontal trim pieces? and of course the stone makes a nice horizontal statement then rising to create a flower box. In fact, it’s important to pause and underscore the use of materials that running horizontally along ranch-style homes.

I use this dragon/phoenix principle in decorating on the inside, too. Not exactly shown here, but one other principle for exterior landscaping that I picked up when I did my house two summers ago and was doing extensive research: If you can (and it makes sense visually for your house), bring the beds along the house out the full height of your facade. If you have a house like this, stay with the wide clapboards. Thoughtful exterior touches elevate this house, which otherwise could have been a forgettable ranch box: 8. Note how they are sized vertically to also encompass the trim underneath the window. Your eye dances right along this house horizontally because all these colors are linked. Consider using the front gable to introduce another trim color and another material. Hard to see, but there is dentil molding along the cornice of the bay window. My goodness, I’ve seen this house everywhere across the country! Ranch homes are long and low to the ground…they have a horizontal profile.

That is, if the facade of your house (not including the roof) is 9′ high…bring your beds out 9′. Don’t have shrubbery covering them and if you do, trim it back. Notice how the window treatments contribute to curb appeal. The rule of thumb for width is to take half the window width – as if the shutters actually could be used. And while this may really seem obsessive – this illustrator has imagined that the linings on all the draperies are lined in the same fabric and orange-y color, complementing the gable. Adding “footwalls” or “kneewalls” of brick or stone are a great way to emphasize the horizontal profile.

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