The big challenge, points out O'Leary, is the house's shoebox-like shape. "Additions that modify its form will give it a lot more character," he says. Front and side porches do the trick nicely, without altering the home's brick shell. Matching gables on either side of the front door would make the entry more prominent and appealing, while also taking away the house's flattop look. Wider front steps, a curved walkway, and low-maintenance, drought-tolerant foundation plantings extend a warmer welcome to guests.
"I can't believe how much better the brick looks with these changes," says Marco. "I wish my house looked like this right now!"