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Facade Decoration For A Very Plain Wall

What facade decoration options do I have for a 'white box' extension?  (Reader question).

House with white cladding>

Hi Renate,

I have a white bungalow with red furniture on my porch, and a red door.

We added on, and to make a difference in the blank white wall I think I need some facade decoration suggestions.

  • Window boxes?
  • Shutters?
  • A fence?
  • Partial stone?

I'm thinking deep grey shutters, or a French blue with a touch of burnt gold accents? (I already have some vintage French blue shutters.)

The facade makeover is badly needed - I'm just not sure how to pull it all together. Please help!

Sandy (USA)

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for sending photos of your extension! I'm going to use the one at the top of this page to illustrate two facade decoration solutions for you.

The first one is more expensive but immediately useful as a 'facade design pattern', and the second one is fairly inexpensive at the outset but will take longer to provide exterior wall decor.

Facade Decoration I:
European-Style Shutters & Windowboxes

This solution is based on some of your own ideas, which I think could work beautifully:

  • deep grey shutters
  • windowboxes (for color accents)
  • partial stone (to tie the extension in with the rest of the house, and to divide the bare facade up into different color/texture segments.)

House with white cladding and grey exterior wood shutters

About the shutter color:

You're saying that you already have French blue shutters. I'm not sure the color wouldn't look slightly out of place next to your red door & porch furniture. If you were to use the shutters as they are, I'd match the door and the porch seats to that French blue.

On the other hand, you could match the shutters to your red porch furniture; then it would look something like this:

House with white cladding, windowboxes and red exterior wood shutters

It seems to me that both the red and the gray would look more 'at home' than French blue in this setting.

windowbox with red geranium (illustration)

If you were to go with the gray shutters, red flowers in the windowboxes would be nice.

In the winter / holiday season, you could replace them with

  • conifer garlands wound with red ribbon, or
  • trailing ivy and glossy red baubles, or
  • bunches of holly.

Facade Decoration II:
Trellis & Climbing (Evergreen) Plant

My second idea for exterior wall decor is a lot less expensive, but it would also take longer to realize:

Start with shutters, and then add ...

House with white cladding, grey exterior wood shutters and trellis

... a trellis to the space between the windows, to grow a climbing plant.

If you live in the appropriate climate zone, I'd pick a hardy, deep red climbing rose, or maybe a clematis with red blossoms (it grows so much faster than the rose!)

On the other hand, you could just go for an evergreen climber, and then 'pepper' the trellis with a few geranium pots, in the style of Mediterranean facade decoration.

Good Luck with your facade makeover - I hope it looks great!

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