Photoshop Redo: How to Spiff Up a Two-Story
A bigger porch and new color scheme add vitality to an already-handsome house
"My childhood home has barely been touched in 30 years," says David DeProspero, whose mother, Carmella, still lives in this 1925 house in Rome, New York. He's helping her bring it up to date, so we asked New York architect Judith Gerrard to give him a few suggestions.
"This house has very pleasant proportions as is,"says Gerrard. With an eye toward emphasizing its farmhouse character and taking advantage of the corner lot, she recommends wrapping the porch around the left side of the house, adding wide stairs at its perimeter, and ideally, if local codes and the foundation height allow for it, forgoing the railings. "With this change, the columns flanking the entry could be spaced farther apart to make the approach feel more gracious and welcoming," she says.
Swapping out the first-floor windows for ones that extend to floor level would improve the facade's symmetry and proportions, and bring more light inside. And the tone-on-tone palette is a bit more eye-catching and contemporary than black and white. "I love the wraparound porch," says David. "I never would have thought of it on my own!"
The shutters were removed from this window on the second story to provide better symmetry with the door below.
Colorful container plants are an easy and inexpensive way to add curb appeal.
The porch was wrapped around the left side of the home, which emphasizes farmhouse character and takes advantage of the corner lot.
Wide, shallow stairs can act as an informal seating and gathering spot for a porch.
By enlarging the porch, the columns flanking the front entry can be spaced farther apart, making the approach feel more gracious and welcoming.
If the porch is low enough, it can be built without railing, creating a very open feel for this new outdoor "room." Extending the first story windows all the way down to the floor level increases this effect and improves the facade's new proportions
The red door attracts attention and looks cheery against the house's pine-green color scheme.
The durable standing-seam metal roof would hold up well in a four-season climate with harsh winters.