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Other stories by Katie Hutchison

  • Keeping an Eye on Chimneys

    Though it's but a single element, a chimney can do much to enhance a house's overall design. In its materials and form — how it rises and terminates — a successful chimney respects the context of the surrounding home.

  • Columns, Posts, Piers: What's Best for the Porch?

    There's no question that a porch looks and feels best when all of its components relate to the rest of the house's design. In an earlier column, we focused on how porch guardrails can complement a home (5/06); here, we'll talk about ways that porch columns, posts, and piers can do the same.

  • Composing With Shingle Cladding

    Any time you use shingles as siding, you face an array of design decisions: Should you weave the corners or use corner boards? Should you use patterns — and if so, where, and which ones? Would a shingle flare or bow be appropriate?

  • Making Guardrails Look Good

    An exterior guardrail presents an opportunity to explore a house's design themes in detail. All too often, designers and builders opt for an ill-considered stock railing that technically performs the guardrail function but neglects the spirit of the building it serves.

  • Giving Freestanding Garages Their Due

    Giving freestanding garages their due

  • Enclosing a Front Porch

    It used to be that on warm afternoons folks would sit out on the front porch to catch some air and chat with passersby strolling down the sidewalk.

  • Guidelines for Bay Windows

    A bay window relates to an exterior wall in much the same way that a dormer relates to a primary roof. Like a dormer, a bay window captures extra space and daylight for the primary volume. Also like a dormer, it can enliven an exterior elevation. If formed, scaled, and positioned appropriately, it...

  • Designing With Interior Trim

    As usual, there are no hard and fast rules, just a framework of context to guide your trim design decisions.

  • Where Eaves Meet Rake

    The roof can be one of the most defining elements of a house: Look at any child's drawing, where a strong triangle atop a box is likely to say "home."

  • Fireplace Surrounds

    Successful fireplace surrounds