Photoshop Redo: Cottage Style for a Boxy Cape
An over-the-entry addition and decorative millwork add style to a plain facade—and space upstairs
"The entryway just looks like a box, but I'm stumped as to how to improve it," says Tyler Wille of his 1920s starter home, in Norwalk, Connecticut. To give him some ideas, we turned to designer Keith C. Bigelow of nearby Ridgefield.
"In old neighborhoods like this one, space is tight and people try to get extra room however they can," Bigelow says. "In this case, the entryway might have been an open porch that was later enclosed." The bumpout gives the house a much-needed mudroom and coat closet, but it detracts from the home's charm.
Bigelow suggests building a gabled addition to soften the entryway's boxy look while boosting the size of a second-floor bedroom. Stick-style elements, including an open truss in the gable and flared eaves, add a major dose of personality to the facade.
"I would have never thought to build up," Tyler says. "But I love the idea of claiming a little extra square footage upstairs.
Replacing the wrought-iron railing for one made of low-maintenance PVC draws more attention to the entryway. The bright white railing pops against the blue-painted cedar shingles, and its classic style complements the facade's other white architectural details.
Existing and new gables are the same height to marry the old and new parts of the house.
Dressing up the windows with extra trim helps restore the home's vintage charm.