"It was kind of our dream house," says Lucas Watkins of this 1952 Colonial Revival in Middletown, Ohio, which he shares with his wife and daughter. "It's obviously a fixer-upper." After eyeing it for two years, the Watkinses finally bought the place and then gut-renovated two baths and the kitchen without hiring any help. But when it came to the plain, one-dimensional facade, they were puzzled as to how to proceed.
For inspiration, we called architect Darren Helgesen, who encounters all sorts of Colonial Revivals in his Amagansett, N.Y., practice. "Similar two-stories here run the gamut from basic early-American styles to more embellished Federalist homes," he says. "This house can afford strategic touches of ornamentation."