Because changing the exterior of the house will require a permit revision from the city, we need to start getting down to business and making some decisions. Previously I shared some current photos of the front of the house, along with a few thoughts about what I might want it to look like.
Since then, Shawn drew two exterior elevations to help us find some direction.
What he’s trying to show here is an exterior made out of stucco panels, connected with something called a “riglet,” which creates some intentional seams, providing a little depth and interest to a stucco exterior. He’s also showing a slim vertical window next to the front door, and a canopy that hangs over the entry.
This drawing shows Hardie panels instead of the stucco. There is also a much larger entry window, and the entrance canopy has columns to the floor. Looking at the online photo gallery of Hardie panels, both Josh and I determined that’s our least favorite of the two – just a little too slick for our taste (and, sadly, we both feel they look like a “fancy new school building,” which is a look we wish to avoid). I also like the idea of some texture with stucco, though I haven’t seen any photos yet so who knows what it really looks like. Both surfaces are totally maintenance-free once installed – a big improvement over wood shingles, which require annual upkeep.
While cruising the city with my camera over the weekend, I snapped some photos of two houses I have always liked.
This house is on Clipper St., not far from us. The colors didn’t really photograph all that well; in fact, when I loaded this shot into Lightroom, the door came out looking red. So I tried to correct as well as I could to show that the house is a gray-green color with white/cream trim and orange door. Every time I drive by I admire this color scheme.
This house is on Dolores and 20th St., (I think) – right across the street from Dolores Park. I love this house. I have a thing for brick on the lower third (our old house had this) and though it may look boring and sad in the photo, it has great curb appeal in real life. Of course, I attempted this little photo shoot on the sunniest day in San Francisco in months, when the whole city (at least all the hipsters) hang out in the park, so getting out of my car was not an option and I had to shoot all these photos while driving. Real safe. I was thankful for my new zoom lens, though! This picture doesn’t show the landscaping much, which is also very pretty. When they put those curtains down in the corner room there, you can see their Eames lounge chair, the chair of Josh’s dreams.
From this angle you can see a little more of the brick and some of the landscaping. Those planters are lit at night and look really lovely. I am a fan of the creamy paneling and dark gray chimney up the side, too.
This last house is a remodel near completion on Clipper and Diamond. I also took these from the car (though this time I was the passenger) so they are a little wacky.
I include these because it’s a place my mom likes. In most cases, we agree on matters of architectural taste. But not this time. I don’t know – there’s something about this exterior that rubs me the wrong way – for me it’s too dark and modern. And I know this really doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but it’s unfinished YEARS after they began and they also have no window treatments. For those of you familiar with Noe Valley, you know that Clipper is a very busy street. I’m baffled by why these people moved in to this fishbowl and wonder if window treatments are in the cards or they are a family of exhibitionists.
Whatever we end up doing, I want the house to be inviting and the front door to be the focus – to date it’s been hiding under a pergola covered in bougainvillea, behind a giant sword plant (not the technical name, but we call it that because the blades will cut you if you brush up against them. A lovely welcome, eh?).