Dear Homework,
I recently downsized to a 1950s house on a lovely lane in Ladue, but right now, it looks like a trailer from the street. The house is well built, and I have been working on the interior, but the exterior needs help. The house disappears behind the overgrown shrubbery, and the facade lacks interest. I plan to replace the roof and wonder what else I might do. Any advice would be terrific.

Thank You,
—Waiting for the Big Reveal

Dear Waiting for the Big Reveal,
Luckily, I’ve been able to get an understanding of what is going on behind all that greenery. There is a lot to work with.

The main reason the present design looks a little like a trailer is that it has very little interest along its long facade. I show raising the roof above the entry and living room to allow that part of the composition to be dominant. A new, low garden wall helps underscore this and tie the composition together.

Smaller details such as window mullions, shutters, a red front door and multi-colored shingles add supporting details. I kept the original colors. Trimming up the lower limbs of the big shade tree and keeping the rest of the foundation planting very low and colorful allows every bit of the shortish elevation to be seen.

Not only can you now actually see the home, but what is revealed is actually a darned good looking house.

Thanks for the challenge,

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