Photoshop Redo: Taking a Neocolonial From Austere to Welcoming
A full-length porch adds dimension and character to a lackluster facade
"I like the basic shape of my house, but it doesn't look quite finished," says Barbara Marlenga, who has lived in this 1970 Neocolonial in Marshfield, Wisconsin, for 13 years. So we asked architect Jimmy Crisp, of Millbrook, New York, to help her refine the exterior.
Crisp agrees that the house is on the bland side, though he says that Barbara is at a good starting point. "Distinction comes from detail, and that's all this home really needs to liven things up," he says. To make the house and entry feel inviting, he suggests building a long, low porch with a gable-topped, bumped-out landing area that steps down to the walkway. "Porches are a great way to improve the facade for a relatively modest investment," he says. The metal roof adds a tailored look and can stand up to the area's weather extremes. Classic old-house touches, such as an oculus window and a paneled entry door with sidelights, bring in dimension and texture.
Barbara embraces the idea of having a new outdoor space. "I was concerned that a porch would overwhelm the house," she says, "but this one feels just right."
A bumped-out entry landing topped with a gable brings prominence to this area.
The house gets a traditional style boost from a paneled wood door and sidelights.
"This long, low porch breaks up the featureless facade and gives the house a much more welcoming look for a relatively small investment," says architect Jimmy Crisp.
A few well-chosen details give just the right amount of polish to a casual house like this one.
The palette of cheery yellow, white, and pine green feels friendly and unpretentious.
About $29 per gallon
An oval window counteracts the house's boxy lines and fills what had been a dead zone in the facade.
A unique focal point on its own, it also channels extra light to a dark stairwell.
From about $883