The Power of Curb Appeal

Sometimes, revising a home’s façade can completely transform its style and inject it with much-needed energy.

That was our task recently when our client purchased her late father’s 1929 home in Washington. It was a grand, well-proportioned stone house, but the façade, with its beige trim and shutters, wasn’t memorable.


The house was tired and needed thorough internal renovations, and the façade needed more definition. The program included the addition of an elevator tower on the front where we carefully matched the stone to the original. To give definition to the front and add shelter, we added a portico covering the front entry, using detailing sympathetic to the existing house.

The elevator tower, above left, is encased in stone nearly indistinguishable from the original. New shutters are painted in crisp black, while a deep portico provides the desired shelter. We replaced all the windows, widened a kitchen window, and added a new front door with large glass panes to stream light into the home’s entry.

We restored the ironwork on the original rails and reused them on new stone risers. Now, the entrance asserts itself by coming out into the motor court, dramatically enhancing the façade’s aesthetic. Equally as important, it balances the protrusion of the new elevator tower.


In the process of revising the facade, we also replaced the motor court’s concrete surfacing with a new bed of pea gravel within a grid of mini granite blocks, offering visitors an elegant approach to this grand old home that’s got its groove back.