More Spice for our Creole Charmer

Dear Homework,
We love our 1950s Colonial home in Richmond Heights with its big trees and wrought iron details, but we feel like the exterior could use some freshening up. We are considering painting the brick or lightening up the trim color and changing the landscape to allow more natural light to come through the large front windows. We would love to know your thoughts and suggestions!

Thank you,
More Spice for our Creole Charmer

Dear More Spice,
I almost didn’t answer this submission because I thought the house already was very good looking, but as I thought about it a bit, some ideas came to me.

First, if you’re up for painting the brick, we could try a high contrast color option to give the facade some pop. If we paint the brick white and the windows and doors bronze, your eye will be drawn to your long, elegant windows. Next, new, pale blue shutters bring a cheerful note that keeps the composition from feeling too formal. Some architectural changes could include using bolder storm doors, more modern coach lamps and taller entry urns.

The existing landscape is pretty nice. I would clean out the plants behind the beautifully clipped front hedge and replace them with simple grasses that will grow just a little taller than the hedge. I would replace the large, window shading trees with more compact, upright evergreens. Finally, consider adding some detail to the circle drive, such as a cobblestone medallion or a limestone panel to bring some Creole spirit to the rather dull asphalt.

I like the way the house looks as is, but these changes spice things up enough so that one really appreciates the qualities that are already there.

Thanks for an interesting assignment,

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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