Hoping to Look Current

Dear Homework,

This house has served our family well for the past 25 years. Would it be possible to move it more in the direction of the ‘modern farmhouse’ look that is currently so popular? What changes would we need to make to pull off that transformation?

—Hoping to Look Current

Dear Hoping to Look Current,

Your home has the right bones for this sort of transformation. The first thing we need to do is create the high contrast, black and white color scheme that makes the modern farmhouse feel both fresh and traditional at the same time. In this case, I would paint all of the siding and trim white and then add new elements like shutters, window boxes, a front door and planters, all in black, to create the contrasting spark that energizes the look.

You also will notice an upgrade in the trim (like around the front door and central Palladian window), which adds a feeling of quality. Further details such as a larger cupola, bigger coach lamps and an arched opening at the porte-cochère add boldness to give the composition a bit more swagger.

Finally, the landscaping close to the house works fine, but the driveway circle needs to be much fuller to frame the house appropriately. New shade trees and a mass of ornamental grasses are some ideas to help.

Hope this is useful,

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.