Photoshop Redo: Prettying Up a Period House
Uncovering the front porch and restoring facade details help a Queen Anne-style home assume its former shape
Decades of "updates" have stripped many an older home of its architectural integrity. Take this 1912 house in Huntington Station, New York. "The gambrel roof and the construction date suggest that this house was built in late Queen Anne style," says Chicago-based architect John Myefski. "But the elements that made it distinctive have been removed or covered up over the years."
Paring back the first floor to reveal the porch, which was enclosed at some point, and widening the entry portico would immediately improve the facade's proportions and make it more inviting, says Myefski. He also proposes some less pricey adjustments: period-appropriate square-cut shingles on the third story with fish-scale shingles above the cornice at the top to add texture. As Myefski points out, "It's a big project, but these changes could be made in phases, as budget permits."
The angle of the entry gable was modified to match the roofline above the third story.
The cornice animates the facade and provides a visual transition between the different types of siding above and below it.
Foundation plantings disguise the bare concrete foundation.
Traditional muntins make the windows look more like they may have when the house was built.
Sidelights help channel sunlight inside from the porch; slate-blue paint makes the door a handsome focal point.