A Friend from the East

Dear Homework,

I grew up in St. Louis and come home often. My mom saves your columns for me because I love seeing your makeovers! We recently bought a home in New Jersey. We love the house, but the front of it lacks any dimension beyond the window boxes. I’d like to add a front porch or at least an overhang above the front door. Down the road, we may consider a screened porch along the left side.
—A Friend from the East

Dear A Friend from the East,
I love your house, too. These days, we rarely build smaller houses with such simple dignity and elegance. It looks like it has a well-chosen new roof that complements its Colonial features.

I suggest adding a shallow, overhanging, standing seam metal roof for the porch. I would give it a graceful curve and support it with simple, black metal brackets. Next, lower the opening of the living room window, and add a Juliet balcony and wider shutters. These two changes give the façade a more late Georgian/Regency feel.

I would like to substitute a carriage style for the existing garage door. I always think this helps a front-facing garage. For the remaining window box, I would advise something that is more architectural and as wide as the window. Shutter hinges and tiebacks will add nice, subtle, supporting Colonial details.

You’ve got a good start on the landscape, but I’d like to see a couple of taller evergreens, as well as some underplanting and a few flower pots for the porch.

A future screened porch to the left would be a nice addition to an already charming home.


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.