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“We fell in love with its potential,” says Danelle Tarrant of the limestone cottage in Carlisle, PA, that she shares with her husband, Nic, and 3-year-old daughter, Quinn. So we asked architect Josh Dourte of Roost Architecture for ways to bring out the best in the 1953 house.

…To Cheery

Illustration by Drawgate Inc.

“The main challenge is the closed-off, recessed front door, so I wanted to announce the entry with a timber-frame porch,” Dourte says. He also finds the existing eyebrow windows, while charming, seriously undersized. “Creating larger shed dormers gives more daylight to the second floor and more presence to the facade,” he says. Additional upgrades, including a new cedar roof, half-round zinc gutters, lantern-style lighting, and a paneled front door, add to the cottage charm.

Danelle’s reaction? “It blew me away! The changes give the house so much more character.”

Personality Supports

Illustration by Drawgate Inc.

An entry porch offers protection from the weather. Its flared roof and timber supports add personality.

Finishing Touches: Door Color

Photo (paint dab) by Brian Henn

Cottage-style additions—from paint to plantings—freshen up a sleepy street front

A summer-sky-inspired shade—called Spa—on the new paneled door extends an upbeat welcome and enlivens the whole facade. From $48 per gallon; Sherwin-Williams

Finishing Touches: Wall Light

Illustration by Drawgate Inc.

A single sconce in antiqued brass helps balance the off-center door, and also warms up the stone. Columbia 7" Arts & Crafts Lantern Wall Sconce, $399; Rejuvenation

Finishing Touches: Foundation Plant

Photo (inset) by Nova Photo Graphik/Gap Photos

Bell-like blooms and rosy new growth give glossy, evergreen Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ lots of spring interest. $80 for a 3.6-gallon pot; Monrovia

Finishing Touches: Door Knocker

Illustration by Drawgate Inc.

Forged brass in a traditional ring shape is a handsome door accent. Solid Brass Ring Door Knocker with Round Bases, from $46; House of Antique Hardware

Thanks to: Josh Dourte, Roost Architecture, Boiling Springs, PA