Photoshop Redo: How to Rework a Ranch
Adding front and side porches and changing the roofline give a basic box a lot more appeal
"The outside of our house is just not pretty," declares Marco Leal, who has lived in this Idaho ranch with his partner, Eric Wride, for about a year, focusing on interior upgrades. To help them reimagine their home's plain exterior, we asked designer Richard O'Leary for some curb appeal suggestions.
The big challenge, points out O'Leary, is the house's shoebox-like shape. "Additions that modify its form will give it a lot more character," he says. Front and side porches do the trick nicely, without altering the home's brick shell. Matching gables on either side of the front door would make the entry more prominent and appealing, while also taking away the house's flattop look. Wider front steps, a curved walkway, and low-maintenance, drought-tolerant foundation plantings extend a warmer welcome to guests.
"I can't believe how much better the brick looks with these changes," says Marco. "I wish my house looked like this right now!"
Divided-light double-hung windows give the house a handsome, traditional look.
Wooden latticework nicely disguises an unsightly bare foundation.
A gray roof and white trim make the home's light yellow brick feel more contemporary.
A red entry door pops against light yellow brick and white trim.
The curved front walkway creates a sense of welcoming that the home lacked before.
A porch makes any house feel like home. No-fuss materials and fun furnishings lend them charm.
A porch swing makes the space feel more inviting and cozy.
Flanking the porch steps with container plants offers an instant (and cheap!) curb-appeal boost.