Help with a Pizza Hut house.

silhouette of a woman by a Ferris Wheel


About 18 months ago, we bought a house that was built in 1972. It’s a ranch with a Dutch gable roof, or one that I call a Pizza Hut house.

I just found another post from years ago and was advised to start a new thread to deal with our design challenges.

For a house built in 1971 it has pretty open floor plan, and the previous owners made some improvements, such as the addition of multiple skylights. Even on an overcast day, it’s never dreary inside, but it still looks like a Pizza Hut.

I’ve heard the house described as mid century modern, Scandinavian boat house, 70s modern, Asian-inspired, Usonian. If it is considered the last one, it would be because of the property. I definitely picked up a bit of that vibe in the bones. The designer was definitely trying to not overwhelm the surrounding rock formations. The house is dwarfed by surrounding cliffs, rock walls and trees.

Our HOA is pretty open-minded. There are ultra-modern homes, lots of mid-century ranches built in the 50’s and 60’s, Cape Cods, center hall colonials, Brady Bunch houses, McMansions, Mansions. Basically, as long as we don’t knock down any trees or install pink flamingos we’re probably not going to have a problem.

As for landscaping, the property is littered with boulders large and small and digging more than about 6 inches anywhere isn’t possible without dynamite. Because of the topography and because of the tree cover, landscaping with a plush lawn is not really going to happen. So, that’s definitely a limitation when it comes to landscaping. The surroundings are going to have a lot of gray and brown. One of my goals is definitely to pave the gravel driveway and that will also reduce the amount of gray in the surroundings, but the gravel isn’t entirely bad. It definitely helps with traction during the winter. Because of how some trees encroach on the driveway, paving can be a challenge without clearing some trees.

Edit: We’re ok without a plush lawn. It’s not exactly maintenance free, it’s more of a weed whacker property than a lawn mower property, though!

The house is currently clad in vertical wood panel siding. In most places it’s in pretty good shape. There are a few places where it would need to be replaced before we’d paint, particularly around the slate porch and in a portion of the yard. I’ve considered siding the house with hardie plank siding and changing the siding to horizontal siding, perhaps with some overlap to create a bit more visual interest, but I’m not opposed to keeping the wood if it can look good with new paint. From some areas where the paint is fading/peeling, it looks like the original color was a bit more of a maroon brown. Not as bright as a barn house red, but definitely some red in the original layer.

We’ve also considered either real stained wood or siding with a wood look, possibly with alternating exposures to give it a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright vibe. Stained wood or wood-look siding might look a bit too rustic, even though the setting is definitely rustic.

We’re going to replace the door, and I thought that something with a craftsman vibe could work, particularly if you install any kind of stained or leaded glass in the sidelights. The long windows that are further from the front door would be ideal for privacy stained glass as one of the rooms is a bathroom and the other one is a coat closet. The blinds that are there now look pretty drab, but if we did keep window treatments, I guess that something darker (wood or wood tone) might look better from the exterior.

I’ll post a few pictures. Due to the fact that the house is built up above the driveway, it’s hard to see the Pizza Hut roof from some angles, but I’ll include a render from the Hover app.

I do have some ideas that I can post later, but didn’t want to bias any potential responses. I also paid someone once for a virtual redesign and I can post that concept as well, but we felt that it was maybe a bit too trendy for this house. It included a lot of rusted metal and a pretty vibrant blue paint. That definitely wasn’t the vibe that I was thinking, but what do I know! ?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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