March 6, 2017


But I live in a Georgian Colonial!

A favorite aspect of my career is updating home exteriors. I remember as a child being endlessly entertained in the back seat of the car because I was looking at houses; what I liked, disliked, what I would do differently......I am still at it today, but would admit to having a more critical eye :-)

Very linear, rigidly symmetrical
Center door
Dentil moldings
Proportioned windows
Hip roof with Dormers
Typically brick

Brick, stone or stucco
High and steep hipped roof
Flared eaves
Typically symmetrical 
Arched doors
Where to start? You can hire us 😁 or follow some of these guidelines.............

1.   Start a file of inspiration images. Toss in everything that appeals to you. The images can be the entire home or a single element, say the light fixture. You will begin to see a pattern
Once collected, begin to edit, drastically. Keep going, and narrow it down to one or two images representing each aspect of the exterior details, an overall image will appear. Depending on a minor refresh, or an extensive remodel, keep in mind how far you are willing to go

This is what I am presenting to our client
note. the above home is not hers, but close, hers comes later

2. this homeS COLOR SCHEME

    Body; SeaShell
As in the home above, the recommendation is BM City Shadow
for the window trim and surround, a pair of shutters and the front door

Should we opt for an accent, this is BM Rhine River

3.  Finish......A Lime wash with the BM Seashell, the red brick is decidedly un-French!

4.  More fun.........the architectural elements
  A limestone surround vs the existing pediment and columns. It could be a simple surround, more like a frame, but our client loves, and i so agree, this style. The addition of a curve, will emphasize French

Take note of the container, a massive olive jar. The scale is proportionate and the style laser focus
These boxes would also work.......the Versaille planter

Dentil American colonial. I would chat with a contractor and see what the least expensive option is;
-remove and add a new face board?
-box them in
-paint with a dark color for a fade effect

5.  Lighting. 
This style for either side of the front door. Love the look and aged copper turquoise! This option would blend nicely with the BM color, Rhine River, above.
6. Copper Gutters with baskets, ooh la la!
7.  Would shutters work? If yes, where? Let's keep this in mind as a consideration. If she says yes, my recommendation is for the window over the door. Over scaled, real shutters that add depth and dimension and possibly the accent color above which would marry well with the light fixture and the eventual aging of the gutters.
Never! That is until the landscaping is complete, in the style of your new home
Yes, now sit back and enjoy!

Here is the finished design. Slightly different from the above suggestions, but I think they both work!

 Here is our drawing showing some of the changes and the new landscape. Currently the landscape consists of massive yews all across the front. As is always the goal, the architecture and the garden are one
Here is the left of the front door as shown above. This area too is nothing but overgrown yews. We added a little courtyard. 
Here are images of the recommended accessories. 

A concrete bench in the color of limestone, cool isn't it? Look at the details. Zero maintenance

Large wire spheres in the planters

The pot & plinth

We would love to assist you. Drop me a line, we offer this service long distance online and local 



  1. That would make a remarkable change, lighter and with more architectural detail in the plantings and urns etc. The color scheme is very appealing. I love the plinth planters and their placement in the final design. I look forward to the after photos!

  2. Debra,
    I love every single detail and for me, the best thing is that the landscape will reflect the style of the home and enhance every change. Wish I was in your area so I could watch the progress!

  3. You are truly amazing...every detail is perfect...wish I could come see...

  4. It's going to be incredible! I can't believe all of the details and you must show us the work in progress! Happy Wednesday ~

  5. Very nice. And I love the colors on the house in picture no. 2.

  6. I beg to differ a little. French architecture is very symmetrical. Where it goes off is when you have something from the 1300s that got added onto in the 1400s, the 1500s, the 1600s, etc. And then the buildings go all over the place. In our rental apartments (1624), everything lines up in every direction. As for the pitch of the roof, it varies a lot by region.
    Typical French touches: yes, shutters because we don't have A/C and shutters keep out the sun part of the day. Boxwood, especially pruned into balls, either low or on a tall stalk (trunk?) like that Dior shot. Climbing roses or wisteria. Medici urns and planters and/or Anduze pots. Pea gravel.
    I love your ideas for the place! The concrete benches are brilliant!

  7. dear 'francetaste' let me say i am thrilled to know i have a reader from france.
    thank you for the correction, i must go back spelling error! but yes, region by region the differences are stark. love how many thatch roofs in normandy have iris growing from the peaks
    your suggestions are all so sumptuous, and regional too? but ahhhh, pea gravel.....j'adore!


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