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How to Avoid Flat, Uninspiring Exteriors – Improve Your Home’s Exterior with These Great Ideas


Along with window bays and flower boxes, this new home’s mix of textures and materials gives the impression that it has been around for quite some time.

When you hear the call to “break out of the box,” you’re being asked to think differently. For architect Timothy Winters, that’s not always the case. In fact, he takes box breaking literally. Tim uses traditional design elements to avoid flat, uninspiring exteriors and to add lively interest to his work.

Simplicity With a Twist “The homeowners wanted a place that fit in with the surrounding residences,” Tim says of this Louisville, Kentucky, home. “I gave them an urban farmhouse that is well-detailed but simple.”

Tim handled the design in pieces rather than placing all of the rooms under one big roofline. These sections appear as though they were added on. Using different exterior materials strengthens the notion of age and expansion. Chalky white brick covers the “original” home; board-and-batten siding sheathes the home’s “extensions.”

Features such as bay windows and small projections, coupled with flower boxes, simple brackets, and wide trim surrounds, prove far more engaging than typical openings.

Left: Pediments and trimwork add distinction to windows. Right: This copper cupola looks great on the roof, and its window allows light indoors.

Look What Dormers Can Do At key locations, gable dormers project up through the roof and create features similar to dovecotes. Elsewhere, shed dormers introduce slopes and provide more space for rooms upstairs than conventional dormers would.

Tim didn’t forget to give utilitarian items, such as roof vents and soffit ends, some design help too. “The various references to the past have proven successful,” he says. “Most guests imagine that this home originated alongside the others.”

Sources: Architecture by Timothy R. Winters, Louisville, Kentucky, (502) 412-1210; builder was Ben Tyler Building & Remodeling, Inc., Louisville, (502) 583-7252; landscape architect was William H. Ray & Associates, Louisville; special thanks to Dr. & Mrs. Mike McCafferty.

This article is from the June 2005 issue of Southern Living; article by Robert Martin / photography John O’Hagan.

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