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Rejuvenated Tudor—Design Awards 2015 Gold, Exterior

A façade upgrade maintains the Old World charm and style of this 1929 Tudor

September 25, 2015
2015 Design Awards winner, Gold, Illinois, Biron Homes & Design, exterior

Biron Homes & Design, St. Charles, Ill.
Architect: Charles Vincent George Architects

Project goals: The owners wanted to upgrade the façade, yet keep the Old World charm and whimsical style of this 1929 Tudor. The home had no porch or overhang at the front entry, and it lacked a large receiving area.

Challenges: The home’s footprint was narrow at the front elevation and was built into a hill, preventing passersby from appreciating the size of the property.

Solutions: Wing walls were added to widen the exterior façade to the lot lines, and a bluestone courtyard with masonry walls was incorporated off the front entry. An automated gate, wrapped in mahogany, was added at the driveway, and a similar swing gate was added at the stone wall leading to the side yard. Custom faux copper patina light fixtures, which match the copper gutters, were fabricated for the stone wing walls and the side gate.

A porch with a bluestone floor and steps was built with a balcony above. The upper and lower ceilings are fir beadboard with cedar box beams, embellished with decorative custom metal brackets.

The 3-foot opening leading to the front-hall foyer was opened up to seven-plus feet. A new archway follows the existing plastered ceiling—also arched-­—making the porch look as if it had always been there.

What the judges said: “The execution [of] making the house feel [grander], yet [choosing] appropriate materials and geometry, really made me feel like this was a special way to enter the home. The flared retaining walls at either side … help make it feel larger than it is.”

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