Curb Appeal: A Sprawling, Cheery Exterior in Dorchester

Bright hues create a warm welcome for this home in historic Ashmont Hill.


Photo by Danielle Ossher

A sunny tone-on-tone palette—complete with a vibrant pop of color—transform a typical, sprawling exterior into an enticingly street-friendly Dorchester home, located in the historic Ashmont Hill neighborhood.

Strong lines and symmetrical details define the large exterior, which boasts a rambling front porch and an oversized, covered entry. Two cheery shades of yellow expertly combine to set the sunny tone: a saturated hue serves as the base, blanketing all the horizontal siding, while a lighter, dusty accent color highlights the edges and trim. The soft yellow plays up the linear elements and also coats the front porch railings, columns and door frame. The subtle shade-on-shade dimension establishes the entry and draws the eye to the brilliant orange front door.

A robust hanging pendant light and dark ceramic planters (and, of course, a Thatcher Dairy cooler) offer a weighty contrast to all the brightness and pair effortlessly with the doorway to create an imposing yet casual entry. Lush greenery and budding flowers line the porch, and the stone-and-brick walkway further extends the welcome by leading  from the street to the porch steps.

Give your exterior a welcoming disposition with a simple selection of paint. Pick a hue that speaks to your style. Rather than typical white for the accents and trim, complement with a similar, less-saturated shade. Establish the front door as the focal point by selecting a rich, vibrant tone that is sure to stand out. Then, affix a large glass-and-metal hanging pendant (pictured below) for a formal touch. Place a few low, dark planters, like the one below, around the doorway for added dimension.


Lantern Ceramic Planter