Identify House Style, Please

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I need an expert. Or semi-expert. Consensus maybe?
My sister and I are in a bit of disagreement about what style this house is, if any particular style at all. Any input is appreciated.
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Kami
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should hope they might balance with a single shutter. Nonetheless, it aspires to an architectural style that we can't readily identify. I like to squint and think English or French country, but I'm one of those novices who, if I could afford a house, is likely to do that kind of damage.
Kami Kitty went by many names: Kameow, Kamiflage, Kamisole. Her real name was The Flying Kamikaze Kitty (1988 - 2006).
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OK, you could change the topic to "Can the Design of this House Tragedy be Fixed ?"
It's the Principle! wrote:

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Can it?
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wrote in alt.architecture:

<giggle>
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Kami Kitty wrote:

Of course. Top three cheap facade moves (without looking at photo): Provide pillars and engaged pillar for entrance, put two double hungs beside originals in dormers, center entrance door
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Kami Kitty wrote:

"Quirky Remuddled Buncottage"
"Remuddled" is a definition term first coined by the Old House Journal in its premier year. I cannot remember the author of the term (or it may have been consensus of the entire editorial staff. It is one of those terms that has genesis in common sense and was coined by many people, but the Old House Journal is famous for having popularized contests in having the best of remuddling end pictorially in its issues. In this case, the house may never have been remuddled at all - It may have been designed as we see it, and only appears as if someone put siding over the front of the oversized dormers in what would otherwise have been a "Cape Cod" and then added "interest" by placing single double hung windows off center in each. Buncottage is a term I coined for use in my discussions of the throwing together the worst nostalgic elements of cottage architecture in an inauthentic way, an elision of the terms bunco with the word cottage. Cottage as a term is embracing a large range of design options but usually denotes something livable and family oriented in size, not ostentatious and large. This is not a modern buncottage as the double car garage is not the prominant frontal element, but recessed, rambler style, from the front facade. Another surprising askew elements is the proportionally thin Victorian turned carved porch posts used to hold the entrance dormer which is the same size and shape as the oversized roof dormers.

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Interesting analysis. I agree that the spindly little post not only fail to add anything, but detract from it. I was thinking in some way it maybe wanted to be a little bit tudor, but got fearful of trying post and beam. The house is for sale and we got inside. I though there was a reason for the dormer windows being off center, but there isn't. There is a small closet in each of those rooms in the corner of the blank section, but there is still wall space enough that if they had shoved the windor over more, while it would have met the corner inside the room, it would be centered on the outside.
If you want "remuddled," you should know that the "flipper" (it *is* a flipping victim) attempted to arch the three downstairs open doorways in an attempt at 40s bungalow. It would look okay if they matched. They were done by a drunk relative at best.
Nevertheless, say I'm tasteless, but I kind of like the house the way you like an ugly puppy. It certainly provide conversation and, believe it or not, is the best looking house on the block. The rest ARE old ramblers, circa 1960. The fireplace in the family room with the built-in desk complete with gingerbread scrolly edging give that away.
So what do you really think it was TRYING to be? Cape Cod? With brick?
Kami
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Kami wrote:

gotta agree with him - it is just painfully bad in just about every element from the jarring juxtaposition of the two different roof pitches to the way the entrance is denigrated to ...I already wrote above that it is trying to be a cape cod (which is what ramblers are called when they have that roof pitch although their resemblance to the originals on cape cod are tenuous).You could maybe call it a Cape Coddler

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On 27 Dec 2007, Kami wrote

-snip-
I think the problem is that whoever built the poor benighted thing basically didn't have much idea of what stylistic elements are supposed to go with what style (let alone any sense of proportion or balance).
So trying to get into their mind to put a stylistic label on it is a bit futile -- I don't think it really knew or knows what it's trying to be, other than a bit of this and a bit of that. The only ones that fit are humorous or derogatory -- the suggested "remuddled" or "Cape Cobbled" work for me.
As the others have said, it's actually quite painful and sad to look at. (I even hate the brick they've used.)
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Cheers, Harvey
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you walk in because there's an opening to the left which is the stairway and it's a solid wall up, no progression with the stair to keep it open. And there's an opening on the right into the living/dining. That wall is solid until it end at the kitch/family. I would be SO tempting to really open it up assuming it's not load- bearing all the way down. Tempting to carve out some of the stairway wall, too.
Can you tell this house intrigued me?
On the left farther down is a door to a bedroom. On the right and left just inside are closets. Why the one closet isn't accessible from the hall as a coat closet is beyond me. Then there's a BIG pantry, and the kitchen/family.
The weird thing is, the downstairs bedroom shares a three-quarter bath with the family room. Jack-and-Jill. I would think you'd want a powder room accessible WITHOUT going through the bedroom or family room because you're supposed to be able to let those be messy while you have the "good" guests in the living area. Who wants to give them a tour!
Upstairs does not have a clear master. The room are identical, but reverse, with a Jack-and-Jill full bath in between. I really don't know if it was always like that or just ill-conceived. I think that's why he can't sell it.
Also, thinking of what you said, he has these huge Hunter ceiling fans throughout where the ceiling height doesn't support it. Decapitation in the waiting. He also has a monster chandelier in the dining area that I can bonk into at a mere 5'2". Granted, there's supposed to be a table there, but one can't help but wonder if he just got a bargain and wanted to make them "selling points."
Just a thought.
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I notice while touring that when you enter one of the bedrooms you have to walk around the door and swing it back to get to the light switch. I'm not sure how you would fix that. Is it easier to relocate the switch or flip the door? People just don't think.
We just had our offices refurbished. It's a very old academic building. Anyway, you enter the space from the hall into a small room, which is mine, with doors on either side toward the back to get into the bosses room. We had then close in those doors and relocate then to the front of the space so I could make better use of the room. In one of the offices they did that all right... and left the light switch right smack in the middle of the wall next to where the door used to be. Brilliance! I tell you, brilliance!
Just try to remind yourself you're on an adventure.
Kami
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Any possibilty that this house used to be a ranch at one time? Probebly a second story added when the family grew or a newer family moved in. It doesn't make sense for an architect to put a 12/12 roof on the house and not the garage. Also I would bet that if you take off the drywall around the offset window, that you will find that there was another window to go next to it. Quite possibly someone broke it before installation or miscounted when buying and said the heck with it. Also, I see a exhaust stack in the front of the house roof. No architect I know would let that be seen from the street. Lou
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Since starting this discussion I did more research into the house. I also think the second story was added, but I couldn't find a reference as to its initial incarnation. The appaisal district of a neighboring county is MUCH more useful than this one. I know that it was like this when the current owner, now referred to as "flipper," took command and, as I said, put lipstick on a pig. The greenish comp roof was replaced to the brick color, and the interior... oh, the interior. It's sad. I may take a dash out and take some pics if anyone's interested. It's... interesting.
I think any addition should have been extended over the garage. Given the fact there is no master due to the upstairs jack-and-jill bath, it would have been a good idea. But, in the void of that dormer space there is a small closet. I suppoe they "could have" put in a larger window if chosing a different tack, but it was refurbished as is.
"as is" is a key word here. The owner indicated the kitchen had been redone. Umm, no. The kitchen still has really old appliances and the cabinet fronts were repainted, even over the existing water damage on some. It's just new hardware and a new 2" tile countertop with wood trim. The only "real" revamp is the hardwood floor and ceramic time entry. I guess the baths, too. The sub-flooring entering one of the upstairs rooms felt spongy under the new carpet so, like the kitchen, I'm guessing he's going for "out of sight out of mind."
Well, he's out of his mind. I was in the neighborhood looking at the old ranch houses that looked every bit their 1960s ages, because that's what I can afford. The median price is $110k. Flipper is asking $135k for this gem with foundation repair from some guy no one has ever heard of. But he comes with a lifetime warranty!
Kami
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But he comes with a lifetime warranty!

Sooooo, where abouts is this house?
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Don, you may have a point. If only one window per side was affordable than a 12/12 roof over the garage was out. However this is a popular design in northern Illinois for second stories over post war bungalos. I've done a few. It seems the infrastructures where built better than today's. It also makes for a good look without having to match old brick. Lou
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HVS wrote:

I was assuming that it was clad in formstone?
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On 28 Dec 2007, ++ wrote

That could be; I assumed it was that mix of burnt-and-bright bricks that's wrongly alleged to give things a "settled" feel.
Whatever it is, it's not nice. Not nice at all....
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HVS wrote:

formstone is....formstone, a remuddler's dream:
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Kami Kitty:
Kami Kitty wrote:

In architecture one finds the content, and hence, the value, by means of the description.
The description is that of the intention of the work. Architects mean what they design.
Its a mixed style that is based upon a practical New England Salt Box shape. Forget the garage - that is simply an addition.
The dormers are additions, and the slopes of those roof planes is more horizontal than vertical - almost 90 degrees, and the proportions are a little like American Gothic. Even with the small 1960s windows.
You could generalize that certain more vertical slopes are peculiar to the American Gothic proportions and more horizontal to the ranch style look. Rarely are 90 degree roof angles found.
The same for the entrance roof line.
The set back of the window dormer gable walls from the line of the first floor wall produces the roof extension over the large front windows and entrance. That tells me that the house is of an Eastern 'country' or 'rural' style that often has front roof extensions that are at different slopes than the main roof. Its every part an American or Canadian house, although, I wouldn't be surprised if it was located in the South, either.
The horizontal pattern of the brick units resembles the horizontal patterns of Illinois limestone flagstone veneer, even though the colors are not the grays and iron yellows of the Illinois stone. The horizontal stone pattern gives a horizontal ranch type appearance that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s.
The plan would say more.
In summary, I would label the house a hybrid 1960s New England - Ranch style house.
The yard and drive are extraordinarily nice. A personal preference of mine is to relocate the light post to the far right of the driveway. The Neighbors may agree. I can't identify the object in front of the light post. Paint it camo green and a partially buried field stone or two would deal with that. The drive could be stained a coordinating weathering gray making it 10 percent lower in effect.
My thought would be to bring the colors closer together, except for the white trim. A white gutter later placed on the front house and garage roof edges would add slightly stronger uniform horizontal lines. Later I would evaluate if the gable end siding, upstairs windows and garage doors, and not the trim would be ok in a dull traditional American color. Then consider painting the front door leaf in either red or black.
The house may have structural roof problems, and reinforcing would straighten the top and gable end roof lines. Later, when needed, you may want to change the roof tile color from a Northern latitude color to a more nature based gray of some type, or a slate gray. Paint out the roof vent in matching tile color. In keeping with that I would stain the brick veneer a thin transparent medium weathering gray or pale white to coordinate with the roof color. Some brick color may show. An architect or designer may help with the color and material selections. White trim is fine.
I hope that you are not taken aback by the additional comments beyond what you said that you wanted regarding style.
By all means keep the wonderful tree, and everything else the same.
Ralph Hertle Blue Star Houses LLC, NJ
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