Hiding an Ugly Garage Door

16x7Got an unsightly or just really boring garage door that’s bringing the rest of your home’s curb appeal down and not sure what to do about it? Check out these suggestions from the New York Times:

“Curb appeal is everything,” said Ed Feijo, a vice president at Coldwell Banker in Cambridge, Mass. “When people come to the house, this is going to be their first impression.”

That could influence their perception of the home before they ever step inside.

As he put it, “You’re selling a lifestyle,” and potential buyers want to think they would be proud to own your home.

The simplest, least expensive solution may be to paint the garage door slightly darker than the rest of the house.

“You’d want to do it a few shades darker, in the same color,” he said. One of Mr. Feijo’s clients did just that, he added, and “we were all taken aback by how it really worked” to minimize the visual impact of the door.

Similarly, Ellie Cullman, president of the New York design firm Cullman & Kravis, suggested taking the emphasis off the garage door by brightening up the front door.

“You could paint your front door a wonderful color, so that it takes the eye away,” she said, noting that red is often a good choice. “You grab the attention.”

And putting planters next to the front door, filled with boxwood trimmed into geometric shapes like spheres or squares, could help to soften the facade, she said. But to really make a difference, she recommended tackling the garage door head-on. The best option might be to replace it.

“Instead of having a regular unsightly garage door,” she said, “a carriage door would look so much better.”

Or you could install a pergola in front of the garage door, with supports on either side of the driveway.

“It could be small and go two feet out from the building, or larger,” she said, covered with climbing plants. “The nice thing about that is that it would put the door into shadow,” she said. “And if you can grow things on it, it adds to the curb appeal.”

If budget isn’t an issue, “the most effective thing would be to do surgery,” Ms. Cullman said, and move the garage entrance to the side of the house.

“Then you would no longer have the door, and you could either have windows or a flat wall with ivy planted up the side of the building,” she said.

Ms. Cullman has done that kind of operation, she said, but she conceded it’s “probably way too expensive for most people to even think about.”

Speaking of grandiose gestures, she offered another idea. “Park a red Ferrari in the driveway,” she said. “That’ll add to the curb appeal.”

Posted in Home Ownership.

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