Oakwood is abundant with architectural gems from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Adding to the eclectic mix are the occasional surprise mid-century ranch-style homes like this quaint treasure at 526 Elm St. The couple here had great vision but a relatively small budget for a home makeover, both inside and out. We began with a facelift of the interior space by taking down the wall between the kitchen and living room. The previously isolated kitchen is now an integral part of the home’s hearth space, perfect for casual dinners and cozy gathering. The removal of a closet near the front door and the renewal of the oak hardwood floors helped to complete this refreshing living room re-do.
A walkway up to the home through its sizable front yard posed great potential for a more inviting and era-appropriate entrance to the house. Again, to fit the scope of the project into a tight budget, we made small and thoughtful moves for the greatest impact here. The window shutters were not original to the house and the central orientation of the brick stoop did not strengthen the home’s appeal from the street. The front facade really called for a simple feature that would accentuate the gesture of the low and horizontal lines of the home’s architecture. The solution we chose included altering the orientation of the front porch to a more indirect approach, which was more common for mid-century modern houses. We then added poured concrete slabs and lined them with custom-built Ipe wood planters. This wood is known for its strength in exposure to the elements and for its graceful aging abilities. This added a warm + natural element also common to mid-century aesthetics. The final touch to the new home was giving it a warm and neutral coat of fresh paint.
Construction: Madison Renovations
Images: courtesy of Tom Bagby Photography