Photoshop Redo: Cottage-Style Makeover
Architectural details and an inviting half porch put a fresh face on a tired one-story
The outside of Vicky Close's 1980s ranch, in Des Moines, Iowa, looks the same as the day she bought it—nearly 20 years ago. "I'd love a porch," she says, "and my husband wants a different color." But the couple get cold feet every time they try to make a change. So, to advise them, we called on Minneapolis-based architect Mark Larson.
"The house has the clean lines of a cottage, but some of the elements are out of proportion," says Larson. Zeroing in on the entry, he proposes a roomy half porch in front with beefier columns. Removing the sidelight helps center the door, while ditching the skinny shutters on the adjacent bumpout and adding panels below the double windows suggest a traditional box bay. Fresh paint, window boxes, board-and-batten shutters, and vertical siding on the gable end top off the new cottage look. "We like it all," Vicky says. "It's gotten us geared up to make some changes."
Traditional accents and pleasing paint colors give the place some much-needed charm.
Simple board-and-batten is a classic choice for a cottage.
The contrast created by vertical board-and-batten draws attention to the house's entrances.
Four-over-four windows and recessed paneling help break up the garage's large expanse of siding.
A wide front walkway extends a warm welcome.