U. City Sleeper

Dear Homework,
We recently purchased a ’20s-era brick,two-story home in a charming area of University City. We want to freshen up the exterior. Do you think adding shutters and real slate on the front porch (and not the main roof) would help the appearance? Would some different colors make sense? Finally, the landscaping and the stair rail are minimalat the moment. Perhaps you could suggest some upgrades.

Thanks so much,
— U. City Sleeper

Dear U. City Sleeper,
The battered (slightly angled) walls, large wood brackets and diamond paned windows are all classic components of the Arts and Crafts movement. This style is intended to impart a welcoming, casual charm that would be underscored with the addition of new wood shutters. New slate at the front porch could provide a jumping-off point for choosing new colors and won’t compete with the barely visible asphalt of the main roof. That said, a slate mix of green, blue-gray and maroon could be echoed with new trim, shutter and front door colors.

The landscape needs to be more “complete” with more continuous plantings. A bold base line of flowers would amp up the charm. Final details like the new slate-green handrail, window box and slate-blue urns pull the whole look together.

Hope that helps,

Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, founding partner of The Lawrence Group. If you would like your home critiqued, contact us at homework@townandstyle.com.