I think my new house is some kind of modern, do you?

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Jenny
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I think my new house is some kind of modern, do you?

Postby Jenny » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:54 pm

Help! I love my new house but I don't know much about it. All I know is that it was built in 1946 in a nice neighborhood in Belleville, IL (near St. Louis, MO). The structure is concrete block with stone veneer. I have no information about the architect or builder. Belleville is not exactly a mecca of MCM architecture, and I have only seen one other house with a flat roof in this area.

Check out the pics here:


The curved wall with the small window is the kitchen. The single-pane french doors might be original, but I don't think the mullions say "modern". I hate the blue awning but I'm not sure what to replace it with. There appears to be mounting hardware for awnings on all the windows and french doors. Is this typical?

So, is this modern or just weird? What kind of awning would be appropriate? (My husband is thinking copper. Know of any precedents for that?)

Also, my husband and I would like to do an appropriate landscape design. We are struggling with the landscapes of Tommy Church, Dan Kiley, and Garrett Eckbo because they seem too sleek/plastic/California (no offense to Cali) for this house. It has a very solid, earthy presence - more "fort" than "machine for living". Any suggestions for landscape inspiration?

I would appreciate any suggestions. I have already found this site to be very helpful. Thanks!

modfan
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Dya know

Postby modfan » Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:02 pm

If the stone work was added later?
To me it looks kind of a less expensive version of Hollywood Regency for lack of a better description-Flat roof with more traditional touches, looks extensively redone inside so looks like unless you wanna go for the purist modern look, looks like you don't have to do much. If you've browsed other posts on here, some say live it in awhile and let it 'speak' to you it will tell you what things to change if any.

alkalphoenix
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Postby alkalphoenix » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:40 pm

I don't know how to label your architecture, so I won't try, and will instead just say that I personally find it very appealing.

I can offer some off-the-cuff, curb-appeal suggestions that you could implement with a more modern look and still maintain the overall integrity of the structure.

First and foremost, the door-and-windows threesome on the facing-right side appear to be leading to nowhere, with quite a nasty "first step". Some type of deck or patio is required in order to make this door make sense visually, even if it is just a landing stepping off to a very simple outdoor courtyard space. To make it look more traditional, you could use a semicircle landing and then repeat the stone in the house or use multicolor concrete or brick pavers for the decking. To do the same thing but make it more modern, I would instead do a rectancular landing, maybe with lights in the step(s), and section off a courtyard made up of 2x2 concrete or aggregate squares, with a contrasting material between them, and some strategically placed low plants at its perimeter. A grid, in other words. In your part of the country I believe you can do lawn or mosses between the pavers, out here I would use decomposed granite or some other small rock material.

Next, the three largest shrubs/trees up close to the house have GOT to go. It looks like the two on the left are cedars, or some kind of juniper, pruned to a tree shape. They are too big for where they are, particularly if you want a modern look. The other may be a multi-trunked, ornamental maple? Also far too big to continue growing so near the front door. Get rid of all three, enjoy the novelty of the broad expanse of stonework, and replace with lower-growing plants. To do this with more modern-looking vegetation use spiky shapes, plants with swordlike leaves, and plant things in a somewhat linear fashion. It is hard for me to suggest specific plants because I am in Arizona and don't know what grows well where you are.

Another landscape suggestion is to get a larger tree planted away from the house, perhaps centered in the existing planting bed at center right. Putting trees in the lawn, nearer the street, can actually make a small property look deeper. The eye is sort of tricked into thinking, "Oh, I am looking past the tree trunks to see this interesting house, it must be bigger and set further back than I thought. Maybe it's Tara..." You will be astonished to see what a difference just losing the three shrubs against the house and starting something large, but further out, will make as to how big the house looks from the street.

Also, the rustic fence is distracting and could be replaced with something more modern, like a low (not more than 24") stuccoed wall capped with a stone to match the exterior walls. You could put the new wall further back, behind the planter bed, and let it define the new courtyard suggested above, which would also help make the house look bigger. To go really crazy, I would add a similar wall on the left side, too, but slightly taller with plants in front of and behind it. Keep it very linear.

And lastly the front-door details could easily be made more modern by making them more simple. The awning is clearly the largest and most distracting element, looks a bit more like a commercial awning than residential. I would have to ruminate more on what to replace it with; but it is definitely not modern in shape or material and is not particularly welcoming. The bottom is too low, for one thing.

The black metal railings and mailbox could be replaced with something more linear and minimalistic, and in a different color. I am not sure I would go with copper, wouldn't a pewter or brushed aluminum work better with the stone color and be more modern? I would want to see the stone in natural light to make that call.

To sum up, I don't think your house necessarily says "Modern". BUT, I don't think that adding specifically Modern elements to the landscape would be at all out of place. Use elements and shapes that emphasize the shapes and roofline, and stay away from too many frills and heavy ornamentation. And go from there.

designmatters
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Oh Vey!

Postby designmatters » Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:01 pm


Jenny
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Re: Dya know

Postby Jenny » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:26 am


Jenny
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Re: Oh Vey!

Postby Jenny » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:39 am


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shannanigan
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Postby shannanigan » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:49 am

I'd say to Modernize the exterior you would need Plain, muntins & Panel free windows & doors. Those are very Tradional/Colonial style.

The first thing I would do that isn't horrible expensive is get a new storm door. A full view Glass one... I just did that with my house (which had no storm door, and in Michigan, thats a bad idea!) and yes I got it at Home Destruction... installed for $300. I think that would improve it right away! (Sorry I really hate those country bumpkin storm doors. LOL!)

For the awning you could do a really simple flat roof porch with plain square posts. Nothing fancy... just big enough to cover the Door & Side windows. But thats not really that cheap either....


P.S. The kitchen is Great! Just take down the Rick-Rack over the window and I think its really neat. But I'm a big fan of Kitchy Kitchens.
-

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:45 am


Star
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Postby Star » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:03 am



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