A Charming Restoration
Create a Modern Georgian Home
When a young couple bought this stately brick house, they knew it had great bones and wouldn't require too much work.
Their only concern was that it felt dark and dowdy—a problem Birmingham-based architects Paul Bates and Jeremy Corkern easily remedied. "The house was already charming, but the brick was hard and it was lacking something," says Jeremy. "It needed some depth and lightness to reflect the homeowners' lifestyle."
Here's how Bates Corkern Studio enlivened the home.
Maximized the Stature
"Everything was done to give the house some height because the homes on either side loom over it," says Jeremy. "We tried to pick it up a bit." Paul and Jeremy created an oversize but not imposing 9-foot-tall limestone entryway. Light spills into the foyer through the 7-foot French doors and leaded-glass transom. A pair of Palladian-style shutters adds a single punch of color (Pratt & Lambert's Artichoke). A bell-shaped front lawn furthers the illusion of more height.
Balanced the Composition
Before, the home's exterior seemed too one-dimensional. "It felt like the house didn't have a nose. So we added the bay window on the right side," Jeremy explains. Extra-thick molding surrounds the new copper-topped bay window, lending it the visual weight of limestone without the cost. Traditional panes would have looked too heavy, so Paul and Jeremy chose delicate leaded windows with wavy restoration-style glass.
Lightened up the Palette
"The red brick was hard and lifeless before," says Jeremy. A limewash (paint diluted with water and mixed with sand) softened up the harsh brick. They continued to fine-tune the facade by painting all the shutters and trim Pratt & Lambert's Lambswool. This new creamy color scheme makes the home's original (and much envied) Buckingham gray slate roof stand out.
Refined the Addition
A ho-hum porch enclosure on the home's far left side wasn't working. "It was like someone said, 'Let's just fill that in,' " Jeremy says. So they refined it, replacing the siding with flush boards and adding a parapet (extra-thick molding) to the top for height and deep shadow lines.
Gave the Garage Style
Paul and Jeremy updated the rear garage with punchy green-and-white stripes that mimic an awning. They also installed a more rustic cedar-shake roof on the structure, because "outbuildings should always have lesser roofs than the main house," says Jeremy.
Get the Look
Mimic this Georgian's light and airy style.
Lantern & Bracket: 5001 in Rust by Fourteenth Colony (fourteenthcolonylighting.com), from $1,322, available from Brandino Brass; 205/978-8900
Planter: 24-Inch Cube Planter in White, $186.53; cedarwoodfurniture.com (Reader deal! 10% off entire site with code SOUTHERNLIVING)