Curb Appeal for a Timeworn Cottage
In this Photoshop Redo, a proper entry porch plus new dormers enliven a basic facade
Brian and Diane Turner appealed to This Old House to reimagine their cottage's front view, and we called on designer David Heide of Minneapolis for help. "To give the owners a more substantial entry, we extended the existing gable roof above the door to create a new front porch," says Heide. Its period-appropriate details—minimally adorned columns, a square-spindle railing, and a stout fieldstone foundation—completely transform the visitor's approach.
Concrete steps don't extend the warmest of welcomes, as the couple knows all too well. "The whole entry needs work," says Brian of their 1920s Cape Cod–style house in Willis Wharf, Virginia.
The chimney and side windows got reproportioned.
A new cupola adds charm.
Two shed dormers funnel in natural light and provide a little more headroom in the low-slung upper bedrooms. Gabled dormers would have been the period preference, says Heide, but shed roofs won't visually compete with the large gable in front. "No question the porch is a really nice enhancement," says Brian. "And I like the idea of a brick sidewalk, too."