Fitting Into the Future

Dear Homework,

We recently purchased a home in Clayton that was built in 1938. Builders are very active in our neighborhood—our street in particular—tearing down original structures and replacing them with larger, million-dollar houses. We don’t want to do a tear-down and plan to make this our long-term home.

However, we don’t want our house to look out of place. Help! We are open to all suggestions, big and small.

—Fitting Into the Future

Dear Fitting Into the Future,

Your neighborhood is in a great location with good schools, and there is a nice ‘feel’ with the handsome, older homes and large, established trees. While tear-downs are popular, the nice thing is that the width of any new home can’t be any wider than the original because of the fairly narrow lots, which means you have a fighting chance.

My guess is that your house probably received a Craftsman-style face-lift shortly before you bought it. As such, it looks pretty good, but you might consider painting the Georgian red brick an earth tone to make it feel even more Craftsman without having to paint all the white detailing. On the other hand, we could make it look exactly like the newer homes. They usually employ a formal, European look with plenty of stone detailing, black painted windows and elaborate entry features. I show all of these features added to your home. To give your façade more presence, I have made the two bedroom windows taller, and the landscaping is much more formal. But honestly, I think you should just make your house ‘a little more Craftsman’ by painting the brick, and it will look more like the new houses anyway.

Good luck going forward,

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.