Photoshop Redo: How to Perk Up a Plain 2-Story
Facade details and a front bump-out boost this home's street presence and curb appeal
"We plan to overhaul our home's exterior, but we're stumped for ideas," says Tina Ramirez, who lives in this 1,200-square-foot 1916 house with her husband, Val, and their four children. So This Old House asked architect Timothy Langan to propose some options for their project. Langan immediately pinpointed Tina's biggest challenge: "The house lacks architectural detail, so it looks rather lifeless," he says.
If the budget is limited, Langan suggests concentrating on improvements to the entry, such as a better door and hefty porch columns. The next priority would be incorporating facade elements, such as frieze boards and window casings, to give it more character.
Noting the home's modest size, he also proposed a two-story addition to give the family more gathering spaces and breathing room. The new gable adds to the house's architectural appeal, and the bigger porch would connect to an existing patio behind the house.
"I love the suggestions here, especially the color scheme and the larger porch," says Tina. "We can't make all the changes, but these ideas are a great starting point."
Adding shingle and lap siding to the facade gives it texture and distinction.
Stone veneer adds a finished look to the exposed concrete foundation.
The new front door has hinges on the opposite side, so it swings open into the living area instead of against a wall.
A bumpout addition in front gives the family of six some breathing room.
The wraparound, two-story porch connects to an existing patio behind the house.
Planters and window boxes are an inexpensive way to add charm and color.
Lights flanking the front windows provide extra illumination and a measure of security to the path leading to the entry.
This palette of neutral taupes and rich blue packs more punch than plain white.
O'Keefe Grey (lap siding), Scroll Beige (shingle siding), and Middy Blue (entry door) paint: Glidden; About $22 per gallon