My son and daughter-in-law bought a home last year, not because they were thrilled with the exterior, but because they liked the flow of the home, the large family room with windows on three sides, and the playroom right off the kitchen. Because the home is located in a lovely old neighborhood, it could easily accommodate an investment in the exterior. Here is how the house looked in its original 1960's glory.
Undeterred by the dated appearance, my son had a vision. He pictured the exterior transformed by giving some dimension to the flat exterior with a portico, unifying the two-toned colonial with paint, and restoring some historicity with authentic shutter-hardware and lighting.
The first step in the metamorphosis was to hire a carpenter to build a front portico. Like the nose on your face, this gives the front elevation depth.
Next, the young home-owners had the first-floor brick and the second-floor siding painted the same color. Unifying the surfaces changed the disjointed segments into a pleasing whole. The paint is Benjamin Moore Stone Harbor Gray. The light-colored, warm, soft gray makes the home feel larger. In addition, the crisp white and shiny black accents provide pleasing contrasts.
Lastly, even a seemingly small detail, like historically-correct mounting of the shutters, gave the home more curb appeal. My son ordered "New York style" hardware from www.houseofantiquehardware.com. The site gives directions on how to calculate the throw of the shutters to get the correct size of s-shaped tie-backs, shutter dogs, and hinges.
Two final touches completed the duckling-to-swan transformation. A tiny out-of-date and out-of-proportion post light was replaced by an appropriately-sized, historically-accurate lantern.
Before the big reveal, remember the before:
And now the after, "ta-da".
The house has stepped from 1964 into 2010 in style! Wouldn't you agree?