Curb Appeal Tips for Midcentury Modern Homes
Sometimes doing less makes more of a statement. Learn how to bring out the best in your midcentury modern home with these low-key landscaping and home maintenance tips.
When it comes to boosting the curb appeal of your midcentury modern home, less is more. The design aesthetic for this period of architecture (1945-1965) is best described as minimalist with clean lines, flat or gabled roofs, dramatic edges and large picture windows. Exteriors were typically constructed from natural stone such as unpolished marble and granite, concrete block painted white, red brick and finally redwoods.
If you are currently residing in a MCM or a house flipper, beware that there are lots of ways to devalue the home by messing with its exterior and thereby reducing the home’s overall appeal.
Photos: Midcentury Modern Homes With Killer Curb AppealView All 10 Photos
Don't Hide the Home's Architecture: “The worst possible
thing you can do to a midcentury modern home’s exterior is paint over
the original stone or put up vinyl siding or stucco over the wood,” said
veteran real estate agent Eric Benjamin of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. in Atlanta. “And
if you really want to see your curb appeal take a nosedive, replace the
front door with something ornate, or tear out those great windows and
stick in paned ones.”
Enthusiasts of the period will tell you
that other serious sins include cutting down the fascia and removing
original down spouts and installing gutters; installing picket or
wrought iron fences; covering up the carport; painting over redwood;
enclosing an outdoor courtyard to create another room; destroying
decorative concrete block walls.
Shop Around for Accessories: Skimping on exterior
accessories or buying new and shiny “off the rack” items can also
diminish the return of the midcentury modern cool curb factor. Patience,
grasshopper. Take your time and look around for the items that suit
your home the best. Etsy, eBay, Craigslist and garage sales are great
places to find reasonably priced items such as patio furniture, doors
and lighting fixtures. If your town has a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, tell them what you’re looking for and chances are they’ll find it for you.
“We get so many cool items every week that it is difficult to keep up,” Bobby Brabant of Highland Row Antiques in Atlanta told
FrontDoor. “We get a lot of great midcentury wrought iron outdoor
seating and even architectural pieces like sconces. You just can’t find
stuff that is so well made anymore. It’s worth it to shop around.”
Go Light on Landscaping: In terms of landscaping, again, think minimal; think sustainable. The midcentury modern design philosophy was to be in harmony with the outside. Thomas Porter of Everything Outdoors, a landscaping firm in Atlanta, recommends using plants indigenous to your region.
in the south I like using hearty plants such as the Nellie Stevens
holly,” says Porter. “The great thing about them is you can frame them
and shape the corners, which definitely complements a midcentury modern
And since Atlanta is known for its azaleas, Porter says
that they often use those for a pop of color, as well as pink and white
dogwoods and yellow bell forsythias.
Fixing up a midcentury modern home can be a lot of fun, searching for accessories and period pieces. The exterior of the home should not be garish, however. We know it’s tempting to stick a pink flamingo or two in your front lawn. If you live in Miami, we might give you a pass.
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