As we were planning the design of our new fence and patio projects this year, I referred to this original design board I put together almost as soon as we moved into our house. We have a classic brick Ranch-style home with Neoclassical elements (symmetrical layout, pitched roof and evenly spaced windows) to which I am seeking to infuse just a touch of French Provincial character through landscaping and garden design. I find it hard to believe it was built in 1969 because there’s nothing in the layout or finishes that dates it. In addition to traditional, slightly rustic style, I gravitate toward cool-toned gardens with lots of lush greens, purples and white, copper and black iron accents, weathered wood and stone. I’ve found that sticking to a limited color palette and repeating a few, carefully selected elements adds grandeur and elegance to your home. Especially when it comes to garden design, it’s so easy to become a patchwork quilt. To me, the biggest impact gardens are those with the fewer, carefully selected plantings and colors. And when you start with great bones, as I feel we have with our house, it’s so much easier and more fun to apply your design vision to your home.
We prioritized this year’s big updates of the fence and patio over another curb appeal project like a new custom door with restoration glass sidelights, because those projects would change the way we live every day. We have two dogs that now have free range of a big backyard, and we now have a patio that we enjoyed nearly every day with morning coffee and evening fires in the summer and into the fall. Prior to this year, the biggest impact projects that completely transformed the look of the house were a new slate-style asphalt roof which also included adding new copper sheeting around the chimney, a bigger-impact copper lantern by the front door, painting the aluminum windows black, replacing the white guttering with black, painting the garage door black, painting the front door black, and lots and lots of landscaping. Half of these things I did myself with very little cost, yet as you can see below, the impact has been significant. I have plenty more things on my wishlist one day including replacing the siding on the back of the house with stucco and replacing all the windows with steel-cased windows, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the process. You can follow along all things design on our house’s Instagram.