Dear Homework,
We fell in love with this 1928 Maritz & Young home the moment we set eyes on it, despite the fact that its main entrance is located on the north side of the house. While completing the interior renovations, we gained an even greater appreciation for the home’s tight architecture, and decided to change its original footprint as little as possible.

That being said, how can we make the main entrance more inviting for guests? As you’ll notice, the angled driveway creates a small pie-shaped yard in front of the house, while the majority of the yard loses impact on the garage side. Any additional parking you can provide also is appreciated.

—French Connection

HW-7-9-15-997Dear French Connection,
I always have loved the work of Maritz & Young, and I especially like your house. I applaud your decision generally to leave well enough alone.

At the same time, the uniqueness of your house brings with it some challenges. The hidden side entry must cause confusion for the uninvited guest. My way of solving this (and giving you more parking) is to create a round drive court that basically acts as an entrance hall. A wide, stone walkway to the right mimics the left side driveway and gives a clue to find the entry. A new brick light pier, metal entry canopy and bright flowers give additional hints about the entry’s location.

The drive court’s pattern and exposed aggregate concrete give it an ornamental, terrace-like feel. Then, by centering on the façade and adding four new, round boxwood shrubs, the whole composition takes on the quality of a formal garden adjacent to a French château.

Additionally, the sides of the property have been given definition by an informal hedge of tall evergreens, while a line of shade trees at the curb frame the delightful new composition.

In the end, the architecture and the landscape are united by a romantic French language and solve a few problems at the same time. That was fun—thanks.

[Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, Founding Partner of The Lawrence Group. If you would like your home critiqued, contact us at .]