I always look forward to spotting this mansard charmer as I weave my way home. At one and one-half stories, it satisfies a fundamental ingredient of my Recipe for Architectural Charm: grounding roof lines.
It also exhibits legible massing. Its simple rectangular plan is augmented by a side porch and tall symmetrical bays on the front that flank the entry and presumably serve living areas -- perhaps a dining area on one side and a parlor on the other. Similarly tall, gabled dormers containing pairs of skinny double-hung windows that relate to the greater width of the bays their centered above, and a single dormer, containing a less skinny double-hung centered on the entry, serve, what I imagine, are bedrooms.
The white on white exterior clapboards and trim capped with a contrasting charcoal-gray roof demonstrate another ingredient of architectural charm: a simple color palette. And the harmonious materials of wood clapboards and trim atop a simple brick foundation round-out its appeal.
But it's the architectural-charm ingredient of thoughtful details that I'm focusing on today, while I consider the design of an exterior renovation that could benefit from their example. The mansard's deep projecting eave brackets, more vertical bay-window eave brackets, pronounced entry cornice brackets, and the quiet brackets receiving the dormer rake trim all communicate a hierarchical order while visually supporting interesting layered overhangs that cast nuanced shadows. Various trim depths, heights, and profiles further contribute to the thoughtful order that animates the facade. I'll keep these in mind and ponder how to translate them to the renovation project currently affixed to my drawing board.
I'm grateful to have this charmer as part of my daily visual lexicon, especially around Christmas.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast