Just Not Darling Enough

Dear Homework,
My daughter just purchased this darling home in Kirkwood. She would love ideas on landscaping and trim paint. For the future, she would appreciate ideas for a cover at the front door, new roofing and a wider driveway.

Thanks for helping,
—Just Not Darling Enough

Dear Just Not Darling Enough,
I really like the look of your house and think that the trim and siding colors have a classic, timeless feel, so I wouldn’t change them. I sketched in some shutters and decided that it didn’t really need them either. I also love the bright blue front door. A new roof with architectural grade shingles in a greenish gray slate tone or a high-contrast black definitely would improve the overall presentation.

I do think that the front entry garage could use a little help though. First, a new door with some windows and a ‘siding’ area will help it blend with the rest of the facade. I also would paint the foundation the same color as the siding. Then, a bigger coach lamp and a new white trellis add supporting details that work well with the new arched roof canopy at the front door.

Widening the driveway will require a bit of care since there isn’t a lot of front yard to begin with. I show some new stone retaining walls and a darker gray aggregate drive widened equally on each side of the garage door. I think that a good bit of the retaining wall on the right would be eliminated by just sloping the lawn. Additional landscaping in this area neutralizes the extra concrete.

The existing landscaping can be retained. New, taller plantings on each side of the facade help frame the composition; detail plantings, such as a bed of colorful impatiens and liriope grass along the driveway edging, pull the whole picture together. At this point, I feel that the property has reached an appropriate level of ‘darlingness.’

Hope that helps,

Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, Founding Partner of the Lawrence Group. if you would like your home critiqued, contact us at

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