Dear Homework,
As young newlyweds, we are excited to be moving into our first home. The two-bedroom, brick ranch is in great shape, with new windows and roof, but as you will no doubt notice, it is virtually devoid of architectural interest. We are committed to bringing out the home’s potential (both front and back), so we have sent you photos of both (you choose). Please work your magic; we want to love our house!
Hit the Reset Button
P.S. I want a vegetable garden, and we will move the A.C. condenser to the side yard.

Dear Hit the Reset Button,
I was due for an installment of our protracted Homework Extra Credit column, so I am going to give you my thoughts on both sides of your house.

For the front, let’s fix the problems, then add some charm. The first thing I notice is the oddly placed cupola, which is probably needed to vent the attic space. You will see that I have moved it to a more aesthetically pleasing location, and I’ve made it taller. Next I would make the shutters wider to better suit the wide windows. Finally, I would like to make a bigger deal out of the hidden/perpendicular front door. You will notice a wider corner column and arched trim to make the entry more prominent.

To add some charm, I first would suggest making the living room window taller. Homes of this era usually have simple roof framing, which would allow raising the ceiling fairly easily. Installing a carriage-type garage door will greatly enhance the front. Landscape upgrades start with some screening from the neighboring houses, then adding details like a flower box and front porch urn. Additionally, new street trees and mailbox plantings help frame the composition.

The rear façade has even less going for it than the front, so I would start with creating a memorable feature out of the sided addition. As with the front, I show making a much bigger window and replacing the metal awnings with permanent architectural ones. As for the glass block windows, one has been replaced with a new double hung and, where appropriate, shutters have been added. The concrete foundation has been painted dark brown to make it recede and form a backdrop for plantings.

The desired vegetable garden is treated like a formal garden to be viewed from the new Juliet balcony, and the fern-like locust trees provide gentle shade and enclosure to the large existing terrace.

Moving the A.C. and painting out some of the vents and conduits help create a more serene backdrop for the patio plantings and furniture. With all these changes, your new home could suit you for a lifetime.

Hope that Helps,

front of house



back of house



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