Looking for That Extra Something

Dear Homework,

I just purchased this ranch home in West County. I plan to make a lot of interior upgrades and would like your ideas on how to give the exterior a jolt of glamour to flow with the renovations. Please suggest anything you think will help.

—Looking for That Extra Something

Dear Looking for That Extra Something,

I am sure that in the late ’50s and early ’60s, your house would have been on the cutting edge of style. With its aggressive horizontal build, plate glass windows and shallow roof slope, this type of house was stunningly different from the traditional style of homes that preceded it. Today though, we want a bit more ‘something’ from our modern designs.

In this case, the ‘something’ that is missing is a sense of composition. Any great-looking house has both dominant and background elements, which work to create a sense of hierarchy in the overall composition. Here, all the elements are basically of the same weight or impact.

To deal with this, I would add a stone chimney breast and taller living room windows to give a strong vertical accent at the center of the façade. Next, add new stone planters on either side of the widened entry steps to create a sense of depth to the overall horizontal lines. A wider front door with a sidelight, accented by a simple light fixture, is more appropriate than the current double door. Painting the existing brick and trim in darker tones allows the lighter stone surfaces to really stand out.

Simple, horizontal-themed landscaping augmented with a bold, new walkway and mailbox pier pulls the whole composition together and gives that ‘something’ the house currently lacks.

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 homework@townandstyle.com.