Shrewsbury Sleeper

Dear Homework,
We just recently bought this house, and it needs new life and energy. It is covered in metal siding, which we know can be painted. We are trying to keep costs down while getting the most bang for our buck. Please help us modernize this hidden beauty.

—Shrewsbury Sleeper

Dear Shrewsbury Sleeper,
As you may know, I feel like smaller homes don’t get enough respect these days, and I think that’s a shame. With a little focused attention, these homes (and entire neighborhoods) can become charming ‘keepers’ rather than potential tear-downs, so I am delighted to lend a hand.

I think the most important change here would be to ditch the almost invisible metal porch columns and replace them with round, Doric examples in a maintenance-free composite material. These instantly bring an air of classic dignity, and new, painted wood balusters complete the idea.

Next, I would paint the siding a medium to dark gray to provide a sharp contrast with the white trim. This gives the property a crisp, up-to-date feel, which is further helped by a new, bright blue front door. If money becomes available, I would replace the metal siding with some Hardie board siding in a straight-edge shingle design. I would also use all of these materials and colors on the garage to integrate it into the whole composition.

Finally, the landscape can be a big help here. By planting hedges at the base of the stone porch walls, we can make the facade appear a bit wider, as well as make those stone walls a tad shorter and better proportioned. A tall evergreen on the left and a pink Dogwood on the right frame the porch nicely and help ‘distance’ the neighboring house. A planted strip down the center of the drive adds some country charm and returns a dull block of pavement back to a supporting landscape element.

I think the house now looks like the sort that would cost $1 million on Cape Cod. Hope you think so, too.

Thanks for an interesting challenge,

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.


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