May 11, 2012

Improve The Dark, Dingy Carport

Wide-spaced trellis planted with vines creates psychological wall, adds interest


Here lives a beautiful young family. I chose this house mostly because of its carport. People don’t quite know how to improve this dingy space. Aside from the obvious option to convert it to a garage, a less-expensive alternative is to close off the right side and the back with horizontal stained wood planks leaving a door for the backyard. My option is to build a widespaced trellis from ceiling to ground all the way to the back.

Stained white and decorated with one natural climbing vine, these psychological walls will provide a perception of privacy while adding ornamental value. A white enclosed ceiling would complete the newer and cleaner area. Adding two hefty square posts on each side of the carport will redefine the structure and give it visual strength. I’ve also incorporated two similar posts right under the floating triangular shaped roof, giving it a sense of solidity, depth and interesting architectural detail. The screen door has to go. A tall wooden flower box stained the same tint as the bricks would bring a different texture to the facade. A smaller, shallower one also could do the trick just fine if respecting the width of the window above.

If, in the future the roof requires replacement, using a colour similar to the bricks would give the optical illusion that the house is taller. A very dark chocolate brown for the roof could be appealing if the front door also is painted the same colour in a semi-gloss finish. A walkway from the street is a good addition to the one near the driveway. Two big, square slabs would be placed side by side to form a rectangle. They would be repeated all the way but leaving in between a gap of about one-third of the size of one tile. To soften the lines, tiny mosslike ground cover would spread throughout the spacing and bloom with miniature white flowers in June. A hedge consisting of lovely white Campanulas perennials would greet their guests to their lovely home.

On the left half and in front of the foundation, the lawn will be removed to form a rectangular-shaped flower bed. Three evergreen shrubs could be planted to furnish the new area under the triangular roof area and, at the same time, hide the awkward brick transition. On the left corner, three pyramidal evergreens frame one side of the house while making it look wider. A handsome shrub on a stem is at its best when displaying its snowball-shaped clusters of flowers. Any small ornamental tree with white flowers would do.

For a different and more dramatic look — budget permitting — an evergreen Juniperus scopulorum (Tollenson’s Blue Weeping) would steal the show.

Special to Postmedia News

If you’d like some inexpensive ideas on how to improve the appearance of your home, send a clear photo of your house with your commentary to: Suzanne Rowe, Designer, Because of the volume of email she receives, it is not possible for her to individually reply to each correspondent.


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