Making tiny stucco house more 'modern' pics

hosenemesisDecember 16, 2012

Hi there remodelers,

My dad is moving into the tiny one bedroom house next door, and he wants to make it more 'modern' looking. He has purchased some brushed nickel lighting and installed can lights indoors, and he is laying a 24" black tile that looks kind of like old rusted iron plates indoors.

The main problem is the outdoors. It's got that 'Spanish-style' stucco (in great shape) on the walls, and he would like to keep the Olympic Stain Oxford Brown wood eaves and trim since it has held up for so many decades and goes with the new asphalt shingle roof. The metal windows are 'bronze' colored. He is buying a nice single-paned fluted glass door for the front door, and he is thinking about laying slate tiles, 36"x36", over the existing concrete patio, to blend with the large black tiles indoors.

He's also considering a wood fence around the front of the property- stacked 2"x8"x8' with gaps. He has removed some of the slats in the patio roof, it now goes 1 piece of wood, a foot gap, 2 pieces of wood, a small gap, 2 pieces of wood, a piece of wood, a big gap, and so forth, and that looks nice.

Can you think of any other cosmetic changes that might give this little box more of a modern vibe? Paint colors? Wall removals? Facades? Thank you for putting your talents and imaginations to work.





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If the chain link fence is at the front of the property, I would replace it with a nice wrought iron one. I would consider repainting the house in a creamy (or pale terra cotta) color which would compliment the wood and roof. I would plant some pretty shrubs and flowers around the parameter of the house too so that the wall doesn't feel like a barrier. Small houses can be quite nice!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:11PM
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How much work is he willing to do? One thing that would help is to make the windows larger. At the very least, trim them out with a simple, but not small trim.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Thank you for your ideas. Indeed, the window in the back of the house was replaced with one much larger, and the air conditioner is gone. Trim around the windows would certainly help, or maybe something more dramatic?

The wrought iron and the chain link will be replaced with wood or ? Perhaps corrugated metal?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 7:49PM
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NOT corrugated metal! It would make the lot look like a junkyard! If the house were fully modern, you might get away with it, as long as everything was always kept absolutely immaculately maintained. But with this home, it's just going to look like you tacked up whatever you could find by the side of the road.

Go with a nice simple wood or iron fence.

The problem is that the basic shape of the house is not modern and without totally rebuilding it, you cannot make it so. But you can freshen it and give it more character. I'm not sure what you mean by more drama. Keep the window trim simple, but wide. Maybe buy a couple of short lengths of trim in various widths and have someone hold each one up to the window, then stand back and see which you like best.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Hahahaha- it would blend into the neighborhood better with the corrugated tin, Chibimimi!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:08PM
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No comments, other than that your dad sounds like he has a great sense of style!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:16PM
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What part of the country is the house in? The aluminum gate is very nice, would continue the same instead of the chain link. Chain link reminds me of a school.If this is a tropical climate the plant inside the gate would look nice as a bougevillia fuscia. repaint the house a clean cream, replace that plant with something more manicured if not bougevillia. Clean out the plants from inside the privacy wall. Use stacked stone on the two privacy walls and repaint the front, add a new window as that is the only window seen, make it a nice one. The driveway is a keeper. Don't forget to post pictures as this project moves along.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:20PM
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(This might be crazy but ...)
When I think of modern exteriors, I think of unexpected rooflines. Remember the deconstructed farm house in Beetlejuice? With this, I would build a bronze color metal pergola-ish slatted shade thing right over the middle section of the house, following the roof pitch. It would lend height and presence, and reduce a/c, and add a modern touch. Maybe three feet above the roof, and extend out over the yard. You could echo it somewhat with an awning over the front window.

The lawn is a little old fashioned, but the tree is so nice. How about this - put a few square concrete pavers against the house, with an irregular outline, sometimes two thick, sometimes one, sometimes three or four. Use a few different sizes, but multiples so they make a strict grid. Make the edge zigzag. Then outline the edge with a stripe of black pebbles, before the grass.

Then on the patio wall, echo the zigzag shape with tiles attached to the stucco.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Southern California, Sofla. The plants have been removed :)
I think stacked stone would look great at the front of the house- will recommend. lyvia- your ideas are exactly what I was hoping for- outside the box. Disguising the roof line was something I have been trying to figure out. The lawn will go, but the tree will stay. I would love to see some large pavers put in- rectangles or squares. Another planter/low wall somewhere might help. I was thinking of a putty color on the stucco.

How about the top of the stucco walls, if stacked stone surfaces are not in the cards? Would stone or concrete tops look better than the wood?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:58PM
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