Curb Appeal: Artful Accents in Brookline

Unexpected accents redefine this traditional exterior.


Photo by Danielle Ossher

This Brookline house may feature classic bones, but its look is anything but ordinary. Artful accents and clever pairing subtly elevate the traditional style to create a uniquely personal, inviting exterior.

A glass hanging pendant light properly defines the doorway, which is offset from the front porch stairs. Layered against the classic lines of the traditional doors and molding, the bronzed metal and glass star stands out beautifully, adding a soft and unexpected dimension. Its size perfectly suits the space—the star embraces its focal point status, while being small enough so as not to overpower. The star pendant is paired with a simple Federal-style wall lantern that illuminates the side stairway with a nod to the house’s roots. A vintage-style painted sign adorns the singled exterior, stylishly putting the house number on display. This refreshing approach naturally draws the eye and further establishes the home’s individual nature. The house number is echoed on the top stair riser with a narrow, modern style in yet another unexpected pairing. Dusty purple, blue and white hues coat the exterior trim, blending together to form a soft, welcoming palate.

A few small accents transformed this Brookline exterior—and can easily update yours as well. An unexpected focal point instantly creates a dynamic vignette, and sets the tone for the rest. Start by picking one piece—a pendant light, planter, mailbox, or front door—that truly speaks to your personal aesthetic and plays off your home’s architecture in a non-traditional way. A star pendant light, like the Olivia from Pottery Barn (pictured below), is a nice way to add an artisan touch to a formal exterior. Vintage posters, or DIY signs for the crafty, extend that idea and help create friendly, personal feel. Balance these elements with more classic, simple accents for an overall look that’s compelling and understated. 

PB Olivia Star