• Erin McGinnis

Design Inspiration: Curb Appeal in the Presidents Neighborhood

I love when I see people improving their homes, and I especially like projects that improve a home's appearance from the street. It is a win-win for everyone: not only for the homeowners who get to enjoy the changes, but also for everyone in the neighborhood. When homes in a neighborhood are well-kept and updated to reflect current design trends, it helps raise everyone's home values.

Our neighbors nearby recently gave their home's exterior an amazing face lift that transported it from the 1970s (when it was built) to today. Maybe you can find some inspiration here if you're looking to improve the look of your house.

Here is what the front looked like before:


The home sits on a very nice lot with a big lawn and oak tree in front. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice house as it was! But just not updated. The house had a color combination that is no longer current (cream with brown trim), plus a lot of lava rock siding that was popular in the 1970s, but isn't used today.

The homeowners also felt the posts were too skinny and could use some attention.

They hired a reasonably priced contractor, and here's the finished product:

home in Presidents Novato

Here are the two photos side by side:

home in Presidents Novato

The home looks current and the value improved by many tens of thousands of dollars.

Here's what they did:

1. Painted. The homeowners said goodbye to the dated dark brown trim and welcomed a crisp white trim that is fresher and more cheerful. Several years ago, they installed new white vinyl windows, so I suggested white trim to help the white window frames relate to the design. The problem with dark window trim is that the white frames really stand out, and there wasn't any other white on the house.

To contrast the white trim, the homeowners chose a dark tan body color that worked with the brown roof.

When choosing a house color, you need to look first at your fixed finishes (the things that aren't changing). This includes the roof, any stone siding plus features like driveways and paths. Your body paint should complement the undertones in your fixed finishes.

front porch in Presidents Novato

2. Removed lava rock. There was rock siding next to the garage doors, plus all along the front of the house under the eaves. The homeowner had it all removed and replaced with a very pretty stacked stone with tans, grays, light rust and off whites.

The homeowner loves orange, and it just so happened that a muted dark orange went really well with the new stacked stone. They kept the original front door, but with a new coat of paint, it looks great.

home in Presidents Novato
The orange flowers repeat the orange of the front door.

3. "Beefed up" posts. The homeowners felt the four front porch posts were too skinny and needed more presence. So, their contractor built a base around the bottoms of each post and covered each one with the same stacked stone. The results are gorgeous! The scale of the posts is so much better now.

post with stacked stone in Presidents Novato

If you have posts in front of your house, but no stone on your siding, you can achieve a similar look with painted wood. Here's how an original post is wrapped:

4. Replaced garage doors. The original doors were tired looking and in need of replacement for safety reasons. The new doors came via Costco and they look sharp!

new garage doors in Presidents Novato

5. New light fixtures. Oil-rubbed bronze, in the brown family, goes well with the beige/browns in the exterior color scheme.

light fixture in Presidents Novato

Thank you to the Lonson family for letting me share their home's amazing transformation!

The homeowners are thrilled with the results. They fixed up the exterior for their own enjoyment, but if you are thinking of improving your house for resale, please give us a call and we can help guide you, free of charge. 415-725-1911

If you know of a great Novato home transformation we can highlight, we'd love to hear from you, please call or email us!