Drab to Dramatic: 9 Ways to Rescue a Ranch Home

Is your exterior a little bland? Basic cosmetic changes and clever use of plants offered a sunny outlook for this drab, low-slung ranch. See how to create your home's best-ever exterior with these inviting curb appeal ideas.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Before: Rooted in the 90s

    A sand-color stucco exterior and some lofty palm trees rooted this southern California home squarely in the early 1990s. Beyond the drab appearance, the home was structurally sound and simply in need of an inspiring exterior makeover.

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    After: Room to Breathe

    Bright white wood siding, whimsical boxwood orbs, and a splashy yellow front door give this once-dated home fresh appeal. Although the new exterior is vastly improved, the transformation was relatively simple. Read on for the small-but-mighty updates that make this exterior sing!

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    Update: Friendly Front Door

    If your front door hides in the shadows, use color to bring it forward. Bold, look-at-me yellow instantly grabs attention and signals the point of entry on this refreshed ranch home. 


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    Update: New Hardware

    New hardware can dramatically change the style and function of a front door -- and if you find yourself wrestling with your lock every time you use the door, it's time to update. This lockset's sleek, simple shape lends fresh appeal to the yellow Dutch door. Coordinate front door hardware and lighting finishes for a polished look.

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    Update: Stylish Lighting

    Use oversize light fixtures to make an impact. This crackled glass and burnished-bronze sconce bolsters the home's modern-cottage vibe while providing light around the home's front entrance.

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    Update: Clear Walkway

    Make it easy for guests to find their way to your front door by designing a wide path that is clearly visible from the time they approach your home. Wide steps with integrated lighting improve safety.

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    Update: Mod House Numbers

    A playful mix of modern and cottage elements keep the home's exterior looking fresh and welcoming. These handsome house numbers pop against white-painted brick and are easy to spot from the street.

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    Update: Quirky Character

    A home isn't a home without a gnome! The front door or the area surrounding it is the perfect place to add character, whether it's a garden gnome, an interesting wreath, or a vintage sign.

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    Update: Simple Comfort

    Soften a modern exterior with a bench and patterned pillows near the front door. A mix of small pillows covered in bright outdoor fabric gives the entrance comfort and stay-awhile personality.

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    Update: Easy-Care Containers

    Ceramic pots are available in many colors. Choose your favorite and fill it with plants that have flowers and foliage in complementary colors for a restful combination. Or up the energy with a contrasting color combo. Contrast is the winner here.

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    Update: Better Greenery

    Less is more when it comes to types of plants in a front-yard landscape. Choose three to five plant species and repeat them throughout the space.

    Slow-growing evergreen boxwood can be sheared into nearly any shape. Here it is sculpted into round orbs, which are surrounded by succulent and drought-tolerant echeveria. 

  • Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Before and After: Home Exteriors

    Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
    Begin Slideshow »

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