Exterior makeover: Enhance your curb appeal
Classic updates to key details and a fresh foliage makeover create instant curb appeal for this suburban semi.Come June, it’s not just our rooms that are in need of summer lovin’. As birds and blooms appear in full force, what better way to welcome the season than to brighten up a seen-better days facade into a verdant, country-style oasis? That’s the question Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin asked herself when faced with the exterior of this suburban semi-detached house she refurbished into a striking home with curb appeal.
Every masterpiece needs the perfect frame and, as Erin well knows, a house is no different. In this instance, the west-end Toronto family home was in need of some serious TLC. A victim of benign neglect for several years, the home’s facade required some structural changes and a polished new paint scheme to best set off the re-energized yard.
Besides new plantings that provide a vibrant burst of colour all season, the list included a pretty Garaga carriage house style garage door. Erin wanted an electric door with timeless appeal, one that would give personality to the home, as well as a touch of old-world charm reminiscent of a vintage country estate. Garaga’s option has a panel of clear panoramic glass along the top, and forged iron-style knockers, which immediately set the stage for the look of the revamped exterior.
Windows and staircase
New windows were a necessity, both for aesthetics and energy efficiency. The pros at Ply Gem recommended their Energy Star-rated Elite Series Fusion casement windows to add to the classic country feel and provide a seamless match to the garage door. The roof was reshingled, and the existing rickety staircase and banister were replaced with sturdy constructs to bring them up to code. Shutters and mullions were added to the windows to complete the casual cottage-in-the-city look. The door was freshly painted for neat and trim appeal, while the stairs and porch were given a coat of Behr’s subdued yet stately Thorny Branch S-H-780.
Enjoy your space
A colourful garden bench on the porch creates a comfy space to watch the world go by.
Make your garden grow
Once those details were complete, Erin turned her attention to the garden. She selected vivid yellows, purples and blues in lobelia, verbena, petunias and phlox to highlight the more restrained, earthy shades of heucheras and hostas. A trailing sweet potato vine leads the eye down to a mass of abundant bright colour – a trademark of a flourishing country garden. “Ground covers anchor the space,” Erin says. “That’s especially important when the garden lies on a slope, as this one does.” Filling in the gaps are fragrant spearmint, lavender and lemon thyme, with a velvety dark brown mulch from Fafard.
Fresh pops of colour
Hanging baskets filled with geraniums and impatients are a bright contrast to the dark greens, blues and brick tones.