Copy the Curb Appeal: Detroit, Michigan

HGTV Magazine found eye-catching houses loaded with inspiring ideas.
By: Jaimie Dalessio Clayton, Jennifer Berno DeCleene and Laurel Benedum
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Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Peter Baker

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

About the House

Built in: 1947.  Bought in: 1999. Size: 3,750 sq. ft. “This was the old, ugly house on the block when we bought it," say homeowners Karen and Kevin O’Keefe. "The brick was painted bright orange! We did a total reno and changed the colors to match a cute home we spotted while visiting Mackinac Island up north." The U-shaped driveway helps showcase how far back the house is set from the street, and it offers plenty of room for parking.

Hydrangeas, Window Box and Windows

Cone-shaped white blooms that turn pinkish are the signature of the peegee hydrangea that’s pruned into a tree shape. Every spring Karen fills the 7-foot-long flower box outside the large upstairs window with white and red geraniums, which thrive in the partially sunny spot. The O’Keefes replaced all the windows and purposely chose different sizes. The focal point: an arched center window, which mirrors the shape of the portico ceiling.

Light Fixture

For this stately home, a puny porch light wouldn’t suffice. So the O’Keefes chose a large, beveled-glass, lantern-style pendant to hang above their front door. Quoizel Newbury 26 1/2"H x 16"-diameter 4-light hanging lantern in Medici bronze, $399, lightingnewyork.com

Front Door

The O’Keefes installed a new steel door and sidelights when they bought the home. To make the door stand out, the couple painted it classic red. ReliaBilt 6-panel steel entry door, $168, lowes.com; Paint: Red Delicious by Glidden

Paint Colors

House: Cottage Yellow by Glidden; Trim: Antique White by Glidden; Front door: Red Delicious by Glidden

Doorknob

An ornate knob and backplate in a gleaming brass finish emphasize the historic feel of the 1940s house. Belmont keyed entry set in French antique, $168, emtek.com for stores

Doormat

They don’t look it, but the mat’s wrought iron–inspired flourishes are rubber. Threshold Home Marquis scroll rubber and coir doormat, $25, target.com

Shutters

Black raised-panel shutters on five of the windows contrast nicely with the yellow exterior. Vantage raised-panel vinyl shutters in black, from $30 for a set of 2, lowes.com

About the House

Built in: 1942. Bought in: 2001. Size: 3,195 sq. ft. “Our favorite thing about our home is the color—it shakes up the neutral neighborhood," say homeowners Katie and Jason Blazek. Jason painted the house’s HardiePlank siding over five weekends using a 2-inch brush. “Although we updated the house’s architecture, we wanted it to look like it was painted by hand in the 1940s,” Katie says.

Portico and Flowerpots

Cedar shakes, which the Blazeks recently added to the front of the portico, are a charming touch. Green planters to the sides of the front door are filled with yellow zinnias that match the yellow pansies in the flower beds.

Landscaping

High-impact plants—including ornamental fountain grass and pansies in a mix of colors—fill the front flower beds.

House Numbers

Jason made the address plaque as a gift for Katie. On a piece of wood, he mounted sleek metal numbers between small red tiles from a grocery store that the couple used to own. Great River Co. 4"-tall aluminum numbers in bronze finish, $29 each, moderndwellnumbers.com

Front Door

The Blazeks chose a door with a large glass panel to give their small foyer more light. A combination of clear and marbled glass not only looks interesting but also adds privacy. Greenwich exterior door in Douglas fir, from $1,100, simpsondoor.com

Ligth Fixture

The blown-glass porch light –– a purchase inspired by Jason’s sailing hobby—reminds the couple of bubbling water. Organic blown-glass 13 1/2"-diameter pendant, $169, westelm.com

Mailbox

Hammered copper looks naturally weathered, keeping with the cottage feel the Blazeks wanted. QualArc Provincial horizontal mailbox with hooks in hammered antique copper, $238, hayneedle.com

Paint Colors

House: Awning Red by Behr; Trim: Ultra Pure White by Behr; columns and porch base: Scotland Isle by Behr

Doormat

All the cheery colors in the home’s exterior palette come together in one fun mat. Coir doormat in medallions, $38, garnethill.com

About the House

Built in: 1885. Bought in: 2013. Size: 2,900 sq. ft. “It took nearly a year of house-hunting to find this Queen Anne beaut," say homeowners Wendy and Dennis Richardville. "The porch, which has a cool stone foundation, is our go-to place when we want to relax.” A mix of bridal veil, spike plant, variegated ivy, sweet potato vine, and pink impatiens burst from the urns that flank the path. Red and pink geraniums hang in planters from the porch ceiling.

Stone Wall and Landscaping

Built from fieldstone, the short wall out front serves as the foundation for the wrap-around porch, beefing up the house’s old-fashioned charm. The front yard features subtle pops of color: pink-and-green-tinged peegee hydrangeas on both sides.

Historical House Plaque

A metal plate mounted to the porch wall lists the year the house was built. “Our home is in a historic district, so I think passersby like that they can place it in time,” says Wendy. Date plaque in black and gold, $69, whitehallproducts.com

Front Door

The wood door is original to the house. The Richardvilles admit it lets in a draft, but they love its paneled design. This modern version is airtight! Steves & Sons Craftsman 6-lite stained mahogany door in hickory, $1,112, homedepot.com

Paint Colors

House: Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore; Trim: Oxford White by Benjamin Moore; Shutters and Trim: Aura by Benjamin Moore; Porch Floor: Comet by Benjamin Moore

Doormat

Its floral pattern fits right in with the home’s lush landscaping. Kosas Home Milan coir doormat, $36, wayfair.com

Bench and Pillows

Blue-and-white-striped pillows soften the X-back bench and tie in with the house’s navy siding. Classic stripe indoor/outdoor pillow in ink blue, $29.50, potterybarn.com; Hampstead 48"W x 23 1/2"D x 35 1/2"H mahogany bench frame in white, $437, potterybarn.com

Doorbell

Like the door, the bell dates back to the house’s construction. This new look-alike shares its antique appeal. Historic Houseparts Windsor doorbell in antique brass, $55, doorbellfactory.com

About the House

Built in: 1941. Bought in: 2013. Size: 2,109 sq. ft. “We were practically sold on this house before even stepping inside," say homeowners Kelley and Scott Foess. Charming touches like the brackets, the shake siding, and the glass front door make it feel incredibly homey.”  The Foesses overhauled the yard, reseeding the lawn and trimming the overgrown boxwoods along the walkway into small mounds.

Window Boxes and Urn

The windows flanking the front door are outfitted with planters. Sweet potato vine spills from the one on the left, while the one on the right is filled with purple sweet potato vine and red salvia. Pink begonias bloom from a lattice-pattern stone urn on the front steps.

Front Door

The etched-glass door is one of the Foesses’ favorite features. “It’s not the original, but it’s definitely unique on our block,” says Kelley. Steel door with oak park glass, $729, jeld-wen.com; Paint: Lounge Green by Sherwin-Williams

Paint Colors

House (top): Dover White by Sherwin-Williams; House (bottom): Perfect Greige by Sherwin-Williams; Trim and Front Door: Lounge Green by Sherwin-Williams

Light Fixture

A small lantern hung from a stake in the flower bed to the left of the door illuminates the front steps. Dabmar Lighting copper hanging lantern path light, $160, lampsplus.com

Door Handle

Its slight curves and satin nickel finish fit the front door’s delicate look. Camelot single cylinder exterior entrance handleset in satin nickel, $124, schlage.com for stores

Rocking Chair

A high-back rocker in hunter green stands out against the paler green of the trim and front door. Dixie Seating Company adult rocker in green, $174, bellacor.com