Before: Period Details, Please!
“We love our Folk Victorian, but we want to give it more of a period look,”
says Benjamin Terrill, who lives in this west-facing, 3,600-square-foot house in Wichita, Kansas, with wife Holly and daughter Madeline. So we asked Chicago architect David Raino-Ogden what he’d do to increase its appeal.
Built in 1880, with a couple of additions tacked on later, the house has good proportions, Raino-Ogden notes. “But the porch feels heavy and disconnected from the style of the house,” he says.
After: Reclaim Home Heritage
To remedy the issues with the exterior, and reclaim the home’s heritage, Raino-Ogden suggests swapping sturdy porch columns for slender wood ones with paneled bases. Disguising the foundation with low shrubs also lightens things up. A rebuilt second-floor captain’s walk would give the Terrills a spot to enjoy sunset views of the river across from the house, while details like roof spires, porch-post finials, and a spandrel are low-cost ways to add character. A blue-gray color scheme makes the style-appropriate, monochromatic palette feel fresh. “We can implement many of these ideas. Thank you!” says Benjamin.
A dormer with stained glass balances the existing gable on the house’s left side.
Sturdy porch columns were swapped for slender ones with paneled bases that are more in keeping with the home’s Folk Victorian design.
The Right Rail
Adding a spandrel rail with turned spindles gives the first-floor porch more definition and detail.
The rebuilt second-floor captain’s walk allows the homeowners to enjoy views of the river across the street from their house.
Half-round shingles on the façade (commonly known as “fish-scale”) are a classic Victorian design element.
Soften Stone Foundations
Low-growing shrubs disguise and soften a stone foundation.
A walkway lined with plantings feels a lot more welcoming than the typical “asphalt ribbon” to the front steps.
Finishing Touches: Paint
Shades of blue create an unfussy vibe.
Benjamin Moore; About $32 per gallon
Finishing Touches: Address Plaque
Wood ornaments like these were first mass-produced around the time this house was built.
Victorian Woodshop; About $35
Finishing Touches: Spandrel Rail
Turned spindles in cedar harmonize with the porch columns.
Vintage Doors; From about $17 per foot
Finishing Touches: Shingle Siding
These weatherproof half-rounds are Victorian classics.
James Hardie; From about $5 per foot