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Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Posted by dmlove (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 4, 05 at 12:27

We have a 3-story Craftsman-style brown shingle home with a relatively small front porch (about 10X10, maybe not even), 2 steps down to the front path, and a concrete front path to the sidewalk between 2 sections of grass. The porch is covered in a gross grey linoleum. We would like to put some other covering on the porch floor, the steps, and the path, and then add a low wall/fence to the front. We were considering brick for the floor, steps and path, and maybe a combination brick/wrought iron wall/fence. I'd like your opinions on what would look good, and what would be appropriate (although I'm not a slave to history) for this house. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Could you post a photo of the house? That would certainly help in forming opinions of what would be appropriate or even just plain nice.
Is your house a cube shape with a hip roof? If so, then it's more likely a Prairie style house.
See? We need a picture.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Thanks Kennebunker. I will post a picture this weekend (I knew when I wrote my OP, I would need a picture, but I don't have one uploaded yet). By the way, I'm really not that up on the styles - I don't even know what a "hip" roof is, but I just looked it up on line and it not what our's looks like. We don't have four sloped sides. The front and back of the house each look like a square with a triangle on top (the attic floor). The roof slopes on the two sides, meeting in the middle above the center of the house. It's known around here as a "Berkeley brown shingle" (although we're not in Berkeley, but not too far). Built around 1908-1910. Again, I'll post a picture soon. Thanks.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

As promised, here's a picture of the front of my house. Thanks for any suggestions regarding the sidewalk "fence"....

Here is a link that might be useful: My Berkeley


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

dmlove -- that house is gorgeous.

You said that you want a covering to extend down the steps and across the walk. What would the purpose be? Are you thinking something with a roof to provide shelter or a trellis/pergola that would allow vines and softening of the front? In general, is this a decorator question or is there a purpose you need to meet with the plan?


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Thanks for the compliment. This is a decorator (not function) question. All we plan to do is replace the flooring on the front porch (now linoleum) and the concrete that extends perpendicularly to the sidewalk. Then (again, looks only) DH would like something along the front of the yard, parallel to the sidewalk. So, he was thinking, brick on the front porch and path, and a short brick/cast iron rail fence/wall along the front. I want to know if that would "look right" for this house. Thanks.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Nice house, Craftsman, yesir. Brick would look great for the walk. If the linoleum was glued down on the porch you could have a problem. The former owners of our previous home glued indoor outdoor carpet on the porch and we couldn't get all the glue residue off. We wound up with carpet too, only I picked a mottled grey that blended with the rest of the house. Of course that was @ 12 or so years ago, maybe they have better glue disolver now.
I don't care for the brick/wrought iron fence as far as going with the Craftsman style. The ones I've seen draw attention away from the house to boot. Back when they started building in the craftsman style fencing in your yard was considered old fashioned, I can't think of any craftsman style fences off hand.
Something is coming to mind right now, though. Maybe a fairly low brick wall, like the brick/wrought iron, but without the iron fencing. Maybe @ 18"high. You could go with a planter area divider, faced with brick, or the low brick wall with shrubs and flowers planted within the fence so they are peeking over the top.
If I happen to see something else, I'll be sure to post it.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Thanks for the suggestions! (I had a feeling brick and wrought iron wasn't right, hence my post!)


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Craftsman, but a California variant, very likely influenced by the work of master California craftsman architet Bernard Maybeck, who did many shingled gable-front small houses in the Bay area. He's generally known for big houses, Berkley's Church of Christ Scientist and the Palace of the Arts, but he did a number of cottages in an articulated shingle style with front-gable roofs with lookout or knee-brace brackets like yours. It's a wonderful find and I am happy you appreciate its significance.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Spewey, I do appreciate the significance, BUT, it isn't so difficult to "find" around here. There's an almost identical house (1 room larger, with a slightly different front elevation) around the corner!


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Not surprising at all. Maybeck built much around the Bay area, especially Berkeley and Piedmont, and his work undoubtedly influenced the construction of many builders.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

What is the foundation material on your house? Consider using that for your wall. But what I think would look good is a sone wall. Those nice big round stones you see in Ca. craftsman homes. And I don't know that you really need a whole wall -- how about two piers on either side of the sidewalk? With the piers spreading out sort of organically at the base.

You've got a wonderful home. If you don't already have them, check out "The Bungalow" and "Outside the Bungalow" for inspiration. I think Jane Powell also has a new book out that is sort of a curb-appeal-for-bungalows thing.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Jakabedy, thanks for the suggestion of a "spread out piers". I like that.

The foundation is concrete, but you don't see it from the street, so there's no real reason to match it aesthetically-speaking.

Not sure what "big round staones" you're talking about!


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

I'm no expert on Craftsman homes, but would something like this work??


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Nice lttle fence "building" there, homey.
As for Lovey (couldn't help myself, dmlove), I dug out my copy of Hodgson's Practical Bungalows and Cottages. The preface was dedicated to discussing the popular new form of California architecture.
I leafed through it looking at any kind of fencing they may have shown in their illustrations. Several had very low walls of cut stones. Some had privet fences, or small shrubs set in groundcover along property edges. There was one that caught my attention. Originally someone drew in a low picket fence, but before publication it had been changed into a privet fence with a pen.I saw a very simple fence made from 2 X 4's, but it was used both times for a tiny house and wouldn't suit yours at all.
Your best bet is to use natural looking materials that blend with the landscape and the house, be it brick, stone or shrubbery. I'm sure you'll make a good choice no matter what.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Homemaker, thanks! (I wish I knew how to do that). I think that type of fence is exactly what we were thinking about, albeit not with wood. But I may take your picture and work on various combinations of materials. How DID you do that?


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RE: Big Round Rocks

Well, I am hopeless at attaching images. But, go to the American Bungalow website (www.ambungalow.com) and go to the 'Family Album' area. There is one in 'Spring 2005' -- second one down with the tile roof -- that uses the big round rocks in the piers. Look through all the family albums -- lots of good photos.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Thanks Jakabedy - I'm off to "surf".


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

One other thing, dmlove -- might you consider cutting back that huge shrub hiding the left side of your house? It looks like a pretty girl hiding behind her hair -- if you have a second red window-edging behind that, the symmetry would be lovely...

Lynn


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Lynn, I just said that to my husband last night - that this picture makes me realize we need to pay some attention to the front landscaping. Absolutely, that tree has to be cut back! There are more red windows behind that tree - 2 double casements.


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

I like the low green hedge on the other side, but would love to see a touch of the same red in your trim echoed in the plantings, with some blushed cream or a bright blue to make it sing. Do azaleas do well in your area? They sell Encore azaleas in exactly that shade of red that bloom spring and fall; if the front of your house is at all shady (IE, not afternoon sun) they'd likely do well. If sunny, then red Knockout roses or those dark-red oleanders? And of course Red Emperor tulips in spring, set off by grape hyacinths or Spanish bluebells? I'm not sure how these do in your frost-free area; I've never gardened anywhere warmer than Z7...

Can you tell I'm a gardener more than a house person (grin)?

Lynn


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RE: Suggestions for front of Craftsman home

Lynn, thanks for all the suggestions. Azaleas and rhododendons do great in our area. The front faces east and gets morning sun. We used to have a spectacular rhodo when we still had a very tall hedge at the front edge of the yard, but it went when the hedge went (and wouldn't have done well after that anyway, due to massive amounts of sunlight!). We also already have camelias on the right side, unfortunately, in this area camellias often get blighted, which ours have. It is a non-curable condition. The shrubs bloom beautifully, but the blossoms fall off immediately. I'm not really a gardener (I have a good eye, but a pretty black thumb), so I'm going to have a friend come over who's great at it, to help me put your suggestions into practice!! Thanks again.


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