Before: Plain Jane
With overgrown landscaping and a disappear-into-the-background white paint color, this California bungalow was generally considered one of the least attractive homes on the block. Narrow, winding stairs and an overgrown trumpet vine and small tree that block the front door add to the home’s uncared-for look.
After: Colorful Cottage
To make the home pop, designer John Gidding chooses sunny yellow for the siding and cheery turquoise for the front door. The winding stairs are straightened and widened to draw more attention to the front entry which is shaded by an arbor, planted with fragrant honeysuckle. The homeowners aren’t big fans of mowing the grass so John eliminated the lawn in favor of a wide stone path flanked by low-maintenance plants.
Before: Haunted House?
The owners of this century-old San Francisco home are parents to five kids, including two sets of twins, so yardwork and home maintenance has taken a back seat to raising their family. This home is also, not surprisingly, a hub of activity each Halloween when the owners put the Victorian’s forboding looks to good use as the neighborhood haunted house.
After: High-Style Victorian
John learned that the home had been white since its construction (120+ years ago!) so in keeping with true Victorian style, he chose no less than seven paint colors to really make this painted lady the neighborhood showstopper. To complement the historic architecture, the Curb Appeal team replaced the front lawn with a parterre — a formal garden made up of symmetrical hedges and planting beds connected by paths.
Before: Blank Slate
The homeowners bought this home two years ago but with three young boys — two with special needs — all of their energy and finances go toward the kids, leaving nothing for fixing up the front yard.
After: Craftsman Cutie
The homeowners want to be able to relax in the front yard while keeping an eye on their young boys and chatting with neighbors. Designer John Gidding delivered by expanding their too-small front porch and adding new steps that lead down to a wide walkway flanked by a long curving bench. A low gated wall separates the front yard from the sidewalk and really makes the front yard feel more like an outdoor room.
Before: Overgrown Bachelor Pad
Fifteen years as home base to a bachelor with no time or interest in lawn maintenance has resulted in a front yard so overgrown that a family of deer once moved in and took up residence. Now married, the young California couple who own this home are ready to clean up their act but don’t know where to begin.
After: Manicured Zen Garden
Mixed in with the weeds were a lot of boulders and rocks so designer John Gidding decided to work them into the design. Ornamental grasses, pieris Japonica, loropetalum and other low-maintenace plants fit with the garden’s Zen feel while being easy to care for so the homeowners can maintain the garden’s good looks.