Entry Exam

Dear Homework,

We’ve brought our mid-century home back to shining on the inside, but the outside is a challenge. Our front door is on the back, facing the pool. We have two driveways—the first goes to a side door and garage, and the second is the ‘public’ drive that leads to the entry on the back. Add to this the fact that the soft brick on the garden walls and chimney is decaying, and you have a mess. Any help you can provide to get people to our main door and increase our mid-century vibe and curb appeal would be a blessing.

—Entry Exam

Dear Entry Exam,
It would be a test to any visitor, providing a choice of driveways and hiding the front door as well! To make the entry as simple as possible, I suggest several modifications. First, at the curb, let’s build an entrance gate with a new brick wall to house the mailbox, coach lamp and address plaque. Then, let’s plant a bold, curving bed of Sunshine Ligustrum to draw the eye to a new wood trellis that frames an iron gate. A matching coach lamp and large flower urn help underscore this as the entry point.

Next, I would try to make the landscape a bit bolder and simpler by planting a continuous evergreen hedge finished with large, colorful grasses. I show a new brick planter below the chimney mass to add an additional layer to the architecture. I also would add three white dogwoods to draw the guests up the entry drive, and I would hide the service drive with informal plantings to minimize the confusion.

Personally, I like the current colors, but painting the brick and siding some sort of earth tone would be fine. I would maintain the difference between the brick and the siding colors because I think it helps the overall composition.

Thanks for an interesting problem,

Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, founding partner of The Lawrence Group. If you would like your home critiqued, contact us at homework@townandstyle.com.


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