Need color help with raised beds / retaining wall

invadersmallApril 8, 2012

I am in the beginning process of adding some curb appeal and greenery to the previously neglected house I purchased last year. The only problem is that I am stuck on what color / material will be the best compliment to the brick.

The front yard is currently a mess with 3 small retaining walls made from different types / colors, none of which look great. The back yard is just a flat rectangle of grass which desperately wants some vertical interest.

This springs plan is to put a short retaining wall along the fence line in the back yard (flowers) and add a 4x15 raised planter against the garage (fruits n veggies).

I would like to use the same material next year to add to the front of the house.

any suggestions are appreciated. I love the color of the brick but I'm lost on what to do.

Posted are pictures of the house and garage colors.

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"This springs plan is to put a short retaining wall along the fence line in the back yard (flowers) and add a 4x15 raised planter against the garage..."

Be careful about adjoining a raised planter against a building. Moisture will seep through brick. If there is wood on the other side of the brick (inside the bldg.) it will cause damage. Weigh carefully whether the planter can/needs to be raised.

Regarding your main question about color... color for what?... trim paint... retaining wall? You have taupe trim now. It looks fine. You have white siding. It looks fine. Usually, if you want to build something adjacent and there are color choices available, you'd want to bring samples of the material home and compare them to existing materials to make sure it looks good. Talking about color NAMES is inexact.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 4:37PM
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The planter against the garage will only be 12" off the ground and will actually be set 6" from the garage to prevent damage to the structure.

Trim, siding, and brick colors are fine. I've brought home samples to match a retaining wall to these and have not been able to make a decision that looks right. I'm curious if anyone has an inspirational photo or suggestion for a retaining wall that matches nicely with my existing colors.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Why don't you post a picture of the materials available to you with your house in the background (as a starting point) and get feedback on it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:28PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

A couple of easy suggestions come to mind... If you build the planters out of wood, the side walls could be painted to match the wall color, and the interior faces of the raised wood walls could be backed all around with a waterproofing membrane in combination with a vertically applied drainage material product such as Mirafi. Which is a filter fabric backing applied to a plastic waffle drainage layer which provides quick drainage and also acts as an air gap helping to preserve the life of the wood and keep the painted surface more stable because the wood remains drier. This would allow you to skip the 6 inch gap at the walls of the house and still avoid moisture penetration. A wood and painted wall, perhaps replicating the horizontal lapped siding look would contrast ni sly against the existing brick. Perhaps using a matching brick for raised walls away from the house at the back yard would be an approach for the back yard. Alternating heights of walls and switching between painted wood and matching brick can also give a contemporary look for the back yard situation.

I'd not suggest matching brick at the front unless you prefer the walls "disappear" against the walls, rather than contrast them.

You could also use backerboard material for walls which is made for interior shower wall construction, and use a thick stucco-like paint on product with integral color added in lieu of wood and paint, there are several competing products on the market formulated to give a painted stucco look at less cost.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Brad Edwards

We will be going with nearly the same brick color, and white stone. So our color schemes are the same. I do like the neutral look, which will go with a lot of different plants. To me I would lean towards silvery leaf foliage plants to accent the grout but sense I don't know your zone its hard to say. Sago palms would look nice, a bismark palm, dwarf hollies look nice, small trees with brown bark really don't go on the brown brick well, unless they bloom for a really long time.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:21PM
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