Curb Appeal

The homes along the North Quaker Lane area of Alexandria are beautiful and spacious. This was the case for our clients whose property is gorgeous and has a wonderful interior; the one exception being that their home lacked curb appeal. Our design team recommended focusing the effort and dollars to upgrade the entry porch and improve the home’s street presence. The existing covered porch was uninviting, narrow and felt like a back door. Exposed brick walls at the porch looked rough and unrefined, old stone paving was cracked and loose, and a pair of glass patio doors served as the front entry but lacked ‘front-door’ status.

This project was all about the details; the details of the architecture and the details of the arrival experience. Starting your journey at the driveway we constructed low stone square piers to announce the new flagstone sidewalk; each pier capped with thick flagstone for a substantial feeling, and built-in lighting illuminates the step. The sidewalk’s flagstone was laid in a diagonal pattern to create a rhythm as you progress parallel to the front of the house. Arriving at a turning point, the walk widens to a square and the paving pattern changes, designating its time to turn and face the porch. To make the porch feel more inviting the flagstone paving was extended beyond the porch roofline. This extra floor space allows visitors to gather and accommodates porch accessories such as benches or decorative pots.

The new sidewalk delivers the visitor to the center of the porch so that you must walk through the porch to the front door and experience the space. The porch offers a new experience because the brick walls of the porch are covered with wood paneling with panel molding. Three different wall panel designs were proposed, ranging from formal (raised panels) to informal (vertical T&G boarding). Each style was mocked-up life size for the client to examine and the design selected was the flat recessed panel with panel molding which was chosen because it is not too formal and not too informal. The fake shutters were removed from at the porch windows and door to let the paneling do its work. New trim at the door and windows further enhances the details. The old glass patio doors were replaced with an elegant custom door flanked by sidelights that gives the house a new status.

The home’s new curb appeal puts it in sync with the quality of the overall residence and enhances its market value.
photo by Ron Blunt

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