Q: How can I spruce up the front elevation of a plain, boxy house to give it more character?

A: Turning a simple facade into a show-stopper is often a matter of concentrating craftsmanship where it will have the most impact. First, you must develop the basic scale and massing of the “box”; from there it is a matter of adding design elements. Since the front entry serves as a ceremonial gateway into the home (marking the transition from public space to private realm), it's a good place to focus on detail. A well-executed porch and entry can provide the perfect visual accent by creating a clear place for the eye to rest.

ADDED DIMENSION: Variations in massing make for more interesting architecture. Introducing a front portico is an easy way to break up the plane of an otherwise flat façade.
ADDED DIMENSION: Variations in massing make for more interesting architecture. Introducing a front portico is an easy way to break up the plane of an otherwise flat façade.