Updating a Classic

Dear Homework,
Since moving in a couple of years ago, we have focused on updating the interior of our home, as well as replacing the roof and windows. Now, we would like to redo the landscaping and driveway. What would you suggest to update the feel of the house while maintaining its classic style?

Thanks for your help,
Updating a Classic

Dear Updating a Classic,
You raise an interesting question. Your home already is a handsome example of southern Colonial style, so how do we update it? My thought would be to make it even more ‘classical’ with changes to the architecture and landscape.

First, I would change the colors. Paint all of the white trim a warm, stone color and paint the brick a shade darker. Next, remove the shutters and install carved stone plaques between the windows. This makes the windows look much taller and more elegant. The monochromatic color scheme gives a calmer, more current feel, as does painting the windows, front door and ornaments black.

The landscape shows a drive court framed with a very formal evergreen hedge and a new center walkway to the street. The existing, rather wild trees have been replaced with a new row of maples. The symmetry and architectural nature of the plantings act as an extension of the style of the house. To me, there is now a bold simplicity to the overall presentation that makes us look at southern Colonial with fresh eyes.

Thanks for the interesting problem,

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.