I think we’ve made it fairly clear that the photo above is basically Via Corona’s version of a mall glamour shot. What you think you are seeing is a nice white house vaguely fashioned after the Colonial Revival school.
Up close is a different story. Good from far. Far from good. Pull off the Barbara Walters soft-focus lens and what you thought was a peppy if not plain version of Ariel, The Little Mermaid is really Ursula in her many-tentacled glory.
That was before we literally took a jackhammer to Via Corona’s exterior. In our attempt to save money, and thumb our noses at nearly every standing OSHA regulation, we created Ursula with cystic acne. Or, if you’ve never seen The Little Mermaid, we fashioned ourselves a butterface.*
*Slang for “but her face” as in, “Via Corona has a nice body, butterface.”**
**Shannon isn’t so keen on this phrase.
For those unfamiliar with Colonial Revival, allow Yale’s Vincent Scully (no, not that Vin Scully) to summarize, “Colonial Revival got started during the Grant Administration, when America feels corrupted by Grant. There is nostalgia in it, and properly so, in the sense that once things were done better. And out of it came some of the most important developments in American architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright and everybody else.”
Luckily, the scope of work includes a full makeover of Via Corona’s facade. To be clear, this facelift is both Alpha and Omega on said list. The hillbilly dirt patch we call a lawn? The white tile walkway from Yanni’s beach retreat circa 1982? The artisanal gravel thrown hither and yon? No, no and no. They will remain at least for the time being – just in case Yanni comes over.
Originally we thought we’d pull off the siding and replace it with new siding from top to bottom. This is a pretty popular look in our neighborhood and we were digging it.
Alas, adding siding all the way down proved to be cost prohibitive (think a PhD from beauty school). So, we pivoted to siding on the second story, stucco on the first. Party on the top; business down below.
Luckily, this is also a popular look in our neighborhood (it’s Southern California–there is no continuity in housing style among neighborhoods).
Here is the Via Corona exterior task rundown:
- Replace upper siding with new, indestructible Hardie-board siding
- Pull off fake rock downstairs, replace with stucco across entire front of house and garage.
- Replace front door
- Replace all shutters
- Replace garage door
- Reframe windows and doors
- Power wash, patch and paint wall (sort of like lipstick on a pig but replacing that wall costs the same as a year in beauty school)
Via Corona is an architectural mash-up, like the Colonial Revival style itself. What with its reliance on decorative crown pediments, fanlights, sidelights and symmetrical windows. She’s also a little Cape Cod and a dash of Saltbox. But mostly, she’s just rectangle. As such, we are continuing with the theme.
The front and garage doors are a nod to the craftsman and shaker details we’ve got going on inside via the cabinetry, interior doors and trim. We’re keeping the more traditional levered shutters but going straight top rather than cathedral (I love myself an arch but there isn’t a single one to be found anywhere else in the house). All in black. We’re also throwing in some other details in black via the lights and accessories that hint at the Beach Plantation style so popular in the South Bay right now.
To summarize we’ve got a white house with multiple textures and black details. We’ll bring in more color later on when we landscape the yard (hint: that color will be green). I like to think of the sum of Via Corona’s parts as a sort of Contemporary Colonial Bungalow. You know a: Concogalow.
Yanni seems pleased.
NOTE: I assure you, this is an actual Yanni quote.
Want more Via Corona? Go here: Via Corona.