Photoshop Redo: Livening Up a Bland Box
An inviting walkway and an airy new porch bring fresh focus and much-needed character
"There's absolutely nothing I like about the front," says Christine Matthers of the 60-year-old house she shares with her husband, Tom Raffensberger, in Girard, Pennsylvania. "I've been totally unsure what to do out there."
For ideas, we showed their blank canvas to architect Michael Hiller of Hiller Albert Design Group, in Milton, Pennsylvania.
"I wanted to introduce some points of interest," Hiller says. Drawing from early-20th-century design details that wouldn't overpower the house, he added a front porch trimmed with cottage-inspired stonework, plain columns, and a gabled roof supported by a Craftsman-style truss. Wood steps lead to a welcoming brick path, and a divided-light front door matches the windows. Custom shutters and a window box add more charm. "It's just about giving a focus to the front of the building," Hiller sums up. The design certainly captured Christine's full attention. "Well, the house is just as cute as can be," she says. "It would definitely be fun to do the porch."
Shown: The new porch gable gets an open truss to let light shine through.
Half-round gutters are a better match than the existing gutters with the new style of the house. What style is that? "It's kind of a cottage style, but also a little bit Craftsman," says architect Michael Hiller of Hiller Albert Design Group.
The columns are 4x4 treated posts sleeved in rot-resistant AZEK material.
The stonework's Ashlar pattern, a pleasing blend of geometric lines in a not-too-formal grid, gives a natural look that fits well with the cozy design.