Best Exterior Makeover
The House at a Glance
- Architect: Historical Concepts, Peachtree City, Georgia; historicalconcepts.com
- Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
- Originally built: 1920s
- Size: 3,200 square feet
- Exterior: HardiePlank Lap Siding; jameshardie.com
- Latticework and trim: Extruded aluminum, custom fabricated by Reich Metals, West Palm Beach, Florida; 561/585-3173
- Roof: Pressure-treated pine shakes
- Windows and doors: Custom, Palm City Millwork, Inc., Palm City, Florida; palmcitymillwork.com
- Shutters: Custom aluminum, Gulfstream Aluminum & Shutter Corp., Stuart, Florida; gulfshutters.com
A previous renovation had confused the architecture of this 1920s Shingle-style cottage. Historical Concepts took it back to its stylistic roots, emphasizing the distinctive gambrel roofline. "I love the makeover concept of taking a house back to its origins," says Jennifer Kopf.
The potential for this home was evident before the renovation (as it appears at left). It had a great scale and was sited nicely with rear water views.
Assorted window styles and an underscale entry created a disjointed look. "The new design made simple, effective changes—a second entry, similar in size and detailing to the original, was added to balance the facade," says Betty Dowling. Then, new matching, equally spaced windows gave the exterior a more cohesive and pleasing look.
"The goal was to keep the home's jewel box scale," says architectural designer Terry Pylant of Historical Concepts. To keep the cottage's proportions in check, structural improvements (adding a living room, master suite, and mudroom) stayed close to the original footprint.
Low Maintenance Materials
Keeping in mind the coastal climate, the builder suggested man-made building products for longevity and low upkeep. Fiber-cement siding looks like wood (and takes paint like wood) but lasts much longer. To avoid issues with decay, all the trimwork and shutters are aluminum, which is powder-coated instead of painted.
"I'm especially enamored of the chinoiserie-inspired railings and trellis," says Jessica Thuston. Rather than using heavy millwork (typical of the Shingle style), they chose lacy railings and a wraparound trellis to lighten up this cottage.
"The main entrance should be an experience," says architectural designer Terry Pylant of Historical Concepts. A new portico frames the aligned front and back doors. Now, guests see straight through the home to the water.
New double-hung windows can be raised to let in sea breezes; likewise, the aluminum louvered shutters can be closed to protect the glass from storm-force winds.
Taking inspiration from the nearby historic Jupiter Island Club, Historical Concepts custom designed all of the home's aluminum Chippendale railings and trellises. Rather than using heavy millwork (typical of the Shingle style), they chose lacy railings and a wrap-around trellis to lighten up this cottage.
After removing a blocky 1980s addition from the rear, Historical Concepts built a new living room and master bedroom as a T-shaped addition off the back. Housed under a prominent gambrel roof that matches the original structure, the new space was designed to look like a porch that has evolved over time and been enclosed.