Friday, May 7, 2010

So What's a Coastal Style Colonial?

In my first post, I mentioned that my house is a Coastal Style Colonial. This description is actually only half of how I describe it (when I'm asked, which is generally only on decorating and design focused message boards). My house is a Coastal Style Colonial with an incomplete Charleston Entrance.

Really. I didn't make this up. Well, mostly I didn't make it up. :)

I came across the term Coastal Style Colonial when I started looking at different house plans in an effort to determine how our front elevation and overall curb appeal might be enhanced. What I found is that the term Coastal Style generally refers to a house that has a raised foundation and living areas situated above a pier type foundation (you know, the houses that appear to be on stilts) or that otherwise are not ground level. Very often, the living areas and kitchens of these houses are actually one floor above the bedrooms, the point being to provide the most expansive views to the public rooms of the house (you know. For the parties!).

In our particular house, our bedrooms are above the living areas as in a traditional home, but we have a raised foundation (as in, our basement is on the ground level and contains our entrance, the living areas and kitchen are on the second story, and bedrooms are on the third. It's a tall house).

So I'm sure about the Coastal Style. What I'm iffy about is the Colonial. The exterior of my house is classic Colonial: a rectangle. The interior is anything but. Colonials generally have a center hall entry with the living and dining rooms (or some rooms) flanking the center hall. My house has a contemporary layout, but the rectangular box feel is so strong from the outside, I just go with Colonial.

Now the Charleston entrance. Popular and named for houses in Charleston, South Carolina, a Charleston Entrance means your front door is actually on the side of the house.

With a Charleston Entrance, you generally see a faux front door that leads to a porch. Following the porch will lead you to the actual main entrance of the house.

Hopefully the second photo makes it clear - the front door is actually on the side of the house, in the middle of the porch.

I describe my entrance as a incomplete Charleston because it does not have the porch. Our front door is on the side, but the builder either ignored or was unaware of easement constraints that prevented the construction of the full porch (the porch would have to be wider than the easement from the property line allows). The previous owner, the house flipper, attempted to define the entrance by adding a portico over the door, but the portico is also in violation of the easement. Luckily we have a great next door neighbor who didn't object to granting an exception, and we paid our fine to let the portico remain standing. Our neighbor (did I mention how great he is?) has already said he won't object to the exception we'll have to apply for when and if we decide to construct the full porch.

I'm not sure what we'll end up doing. We have to replace the siding on our house, as well as the windows, so we'll make a decision about porches or not at that time.

1 comment:

CBelle said...

Hi Mrs. Mannerz! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! You were my first. And I'm so happy to have found your blog as well. I have a feeling I will enjoy reading your nursery to big kid room re-do. We're in the" process of going to a "big girl room, so maybe we will inspire each other! the house styles!