Why Am I Underwhelmed?

Dear Homework, I have a simple question for you: I feel that my house has some good elements, but is lacking something. Please take a look and tell me what you suggest.
—Why Am I Underwhelmed?

Dear Why Am I Underwhelmed?,
I think the architectural aspects of your house are pretty good, but they could be greatly enhanced by strategic landscaping and some porch accessories. With these changes and a shot of an accent color, I think you’ll see your house in a new light. I should mention that because your submittal photo was ‘in shadow,’ I’m not sure if the home is gray or beige. Since there is a feeling of coldness in the photo, I have chosen to render it in warmer tones. The new red accents will help warm it up even if it is actually gray.

Let me first talk about the periphery. If possible, I would like you to plant your side property lines to blunt the effect of nearby neighbors. I also would plant some tall-growing shade trees near the curb (whose hanging branches you see framing the roof). I then would move the existing dogwood to the left side of the front porch.

Next, let’s enhance the façade by creating some continuous, layered hedges at the home’s base. These will add some privacy to the porch and slim down the somewhat block-like front elevation. Allowing the long window box to overflow with colorful plantings adds heaps of charm.

The red flowers in the window box start a theme that is repeated on the front door, as well as the porch chair and flower bed. This jolt of color helps wake up the whole composition.

What once was monotone and underdeveloped now seems warm and welcoming. Hopefully, the changes leave you far more impressed than you were before.


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.