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A clean white exterior and orderly plantings allow this Golden home’s midcentury architectural lines to shine. Photo courtesy of Anna Hudson

Instant Curb Appeal: 5 Steps to Refresh Your Home’s Exterior

How designer Kelly Christensen of KC Studio revamped the flat façade of her midcentury Golden home.

Talk about a time capsule. When designer Kelly Christensen of KC Studio and her family bought this ranch in Golden, it was stuck in the 1960s. “We are the second owners, and basically nothing had been updated since it was built in 1962,” she says. But a peach-colored brick façade lined with pine shrubs wasn’t exactly what her family wanted, so she tapped her friend Chris Turner of Elevate by Design to update the landscape design and select plants. Here’s how this dream team pulled the home’s exterior into the 21st century.

Before. Photo courtesy of Kelly Christensen

1. Start again: “Everything was original, and we didn’t have the budget to structurally update the front of the house,” Christensen says. The solution? Masonry-restoration company BrickImaging stained the existing brick a pale-gray hue that looks white and matches the siding on the back of the home, which is painted Benjamin Moore’s Shoreline.

2. Dream up a new doorway: A Douglas fir door with five glass panels creates an on-trend arrival moment, with the added bonus of filling the foyer with daylight. A lush array of new plantings softens the entrance: Japanese red maples, winter gem boxwoods, and carex grasses, plus Manhattan euonymus hedges in faux-concrete pots from West Elm that flank the door.

3. Welcome the neighbors: In the backyard, a new cedar fence provides privacy, except in one spot by the outdoor sitting area. “[The fence is] 6 feet high except for right there [where there’s a 4-foot-high section], so that our sweet neighbor can hang out with us,” Christensen says.

4. Dine out: Placing a faux-concrete outdoor dining table from World Market on the patio created an instant hangout spot for all seasons. Above it, a nest-like twig chandelier from Bloom by Anuschka echoes the natural surroundings. “It’s so beautiful at night, with the perfect dim light, and in springtime little wrens try to make a nest inside of it,” Christensen says. “I’m sure they’re thinking, ‘Yes, we’ve scored!’”

5. Make a Starlight Lounge: The family discovered that the best view of the mountains could be found between two 75-year-old pine trees, so Christensen’s husband built a floating cedar deck over a small ravine to mark the spot, then stained it gray to help it blend with the surroundings. A white powder-coated sectional with cushions upholstered in tough-wearing outdoor fabric makes a cozy lounge area. “From the get-go, my husband stood down there and said, ‘This needs to be a place to get away and relax,’” Christensen says. And that’s an idea that’s always in style.

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