Illustration: Katie Duncan
Question: I live in a newer development and my short driveway makes a straight shot to the garage from the street. How can I make the driveway and garage doors less of a focal point?

Answer: Two-car garages facing the street have become an all-too-common feature of contemporary houses. But there are many ways to fight their overwhelming prominence. Paint tricks, architectural details, colorful plantings, and creative paving designs can do a lot to mitigate an overbearing garage and driveway while creating new focal points to attract the eye.

1. Bring out the house
Start with some changes designed to shift attention away from the garage and put the focus where you want it—on the front door and entry. Architectural structures, like a vine-covered trellis under the eaves, can soften the boxy lines of the garage and make it fade into the background. You can also dramatically improve the look of the garage front by upgrading to doors with windows or ones with an interesting style, such as carriage doors or Craftsman panels.

Paint is another way to camouflage a garage. A dark color on the house and garage door will make them recede and appear less prominent. Add lighter house trim and an accent color on the front door (red, blue, green, or black), and you've created a brighter entry to catch the eye. If you have a plain front door, consider switching it for one that reinforces the house's style—say, with panels or sidelights—while drawing attention.

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