The first major issue is subtlety. How would design guidelines or regulations deal with this problem? We have the classic New England house with yellow paint and green roof and then we have the new house. The differences can often be subtle but the result is a misfit. Even with shutters added to the new house, I think it would be a wreck because the proportions are wrong and windows are to small and not properly placed.
The first issue is context. There is both a natural and cultural context to each place. The New England Salt Box fits because it is a) in New England, and b) where there are trees, and c) it is the expected size of a traditional single family home. The new one on the central coast of California doesn't fit. It is simply out of place because of where it is, the open coastal landscape, no trees and it is just to large.