Category Archives: design

Cerise, Chartreuse, and Aqua!

Over the winter holidays, I was introduced to this little ditty… it obviously belongs right here. Happy New Year to all!


Another Before & After

Befores & Afters are the best, right? Here’s one that has been finished for a bit, but I just got a decent photo.

This 1960s Colonial Revival sits in a sought-after neighborhood in Chapel Hill.  The homeowner loved the site and the way the interior worked, but thought the outside was drab.  She came to me with plans to replace the already-replaced windows, remove the aluminum and put up hardiplank siding, and… do something to bring it up to date. But what?

Original aluminum siding, replacement windows, not a lot to work with.

Original aluminum siding, replacement windows, not a lot to work with.

A few little architectural details were all it needed.

A few little architectural details were all it needed.

Turns out it didn’t take much: we added corner boards, a skirt board, wider door and window surrounds, and some color – just enough to give some definition between the siding and the trim – while keeping the palette very traditional.   Away went the shutters, the brick retaining wall for the front walk, and the oddly proportioned windows. We picked out two accent colors: a bright, yellowy green and a deep, almost black purple for her to use as she decorates the front porch and fills out the planters.

It’s rare that 4/1 takes on a project that can just be filed under ‘curb appeal,’ but sometimes that’s all it takes to make the house perfect for the family inside.

What a Difference (Decent) Windows Make…

I’ve been waiting to see how this project on Club Boulevard was turning out for a while, and just got a chance to walk the house with the contractor and homeowner earlier this week.  The house is a lovely 1910’s Craftsman that had been added onto in some odd ways over the past 40 years, and our mission was to make the rear enclosed porches and additions more useful, add a screened porch, and unify the exterior.

Someone in the 1980s added a rear master bedroom on the second floor and a breakfast room off the kitchen without considering the existing roofline, original window pattern or proportion, or the exterior materials.  It made the new pieces feel very pasted onto the original house, and brought lots of attention to the unbalanced rear facade.


South Facade

The rear of the house before renovation. The previous work to the house reused a few of the original windows (on the left) and used 1/1 windows in the rest that were wider and shorter than most of the original windows.


The new rear facade has a single roofline connecting the breakfast nook, screened porch, and mudroom, which balances the asymmetrical rear gable. New, taller windows that match the originals replaced the 1/1 units, and cedar shake pulls together the exterior.



The original house, visible under the hipped roof to the left, has plain wood weatherboard on the first story and cedar shake on the second.


The mudroom’s addition on the left and the screened porch on the right are connected by a single hipped roof with exposed eaves, matching the original house.

Riverbank Construction, a pleasure to work with as always, has a few pieces to wrap up before it’s all said and done. I’m looking forward to seeing the final details in place and taking photos of the rest of the project in the next couple of weeks.  It’s one that will be featured in the portfolio to be sure!