Landscaping and painting tips to draw more attention to a concealed façade.
Q. We have just bought a house, built in the late '40s or early '50s, in an established area of Halifax. It is a white clapboard bungalow with a light grey front door, nestled in dense bushes. We are on the corner of two quiet residential streets — you enter the curved driveway from one street and exit on the other; there's a curving walkway from the driveway to the front steps. Could you please offer us some painting and landscaping suggestions to give the house more presence and curb appeal?
A. Your charming house, snuggled safely in the trees, already has loads of curb appeal! However, if you're in the mood to make some changes or additions, here are a few suggestions. You might consider paving the driveway with light grey cobblestones or flagstones. You could also create a sweeping walkway from the driveway to the house, using the same stones, allowing it to taper as it nears the front porch. For the soft effect of an informal English garden, plant some small white flowers such as alyssum (an annual plant that grows to about 4 inches in height) between the stones. This look is entirely suited to the cottage prettiness of your house. You could also line the driveway and new walkway with creeping thyme, a perennial plant with tiny, dark green aromatic foliage and purple flowers that bloom in early summer. Both of these plants are grown easily from seed.
As for the front door, try painting it in a more dramatic shade than light grey. Burgundy or plum would contrast with the foliage in the spring and summer and blend with the changing colours of the same foliage in the fall. Benjamin Moore's Hodley Red HC-65 is a great choice. You could also paint the door a soft heather green, which would suit the abundance of trees and the understated sensibility of the house. Consider Benjamin Moore's Spring Meadow 486. Beyond that, we wouldn't change a thing.