While we all want a spectacular home that stands out amongst the rest; we also want a home that blends with its surroundings and neighborhood. Designing the exterior of a home can be a complicated process of color choices, materials, balancing shape and lines— it is not a job for novice designers. Do you ever wonder what makes a home exterior visually appealing? Why are there certain homes on the street that make you stop in your tracks and gawk in awe of its beauty? It is more than likely that those jaw-dropping homes have followed some key design principles. Yes, every design, interior or exterior, needs to follow some simple “rules” of design in order for the final outcome to be visually appealing.
Don’t let your home fade into the darkness. Proper lighting is paramount for home safety and nighttime appeal. Aside from the obvious light fixtures that straddle your doorways and garage doors, there are other outdoor lights that should be placed around your home. Choose lights that mimic your homes style. Traditional homes look great with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entryway, or flanking the garage. Angular steel lights add appeal to the entryway of modern homes. Then you must consider what other features of your home could use some nighttime light. The picture below shows a well-lit home; there are lights on the rise of the stone steps that leads to the entry (adding a nice safety feature and visual appeal), pot lights under all the roof lines and lanterns flanking the garage.
Oh, the cornucopia of color choices! How do you decide what is the right color for your home exterior? Do you go bold or basic? As in all decorating, color choice is vital—it can hide flaws or when done poorly, draw attention to flaws. Sherwin Williams suggest that a safe and effective approach to color placement is to select two tints or shades from the same color strip a few shades apart. Either the lighter or the darker shade could be used for the body and the opposite for the trim. The a third contrasting accent color could punctuate the door. Color can play up so many features of your home exterior. Paint your front porch a bright fresh white to draw the eye to the cozy entrance, or make your too-tall home look shorter with a dark color on top and a lighter color on bottom. The ways that color can trick the eye and play up the positive are endless!
Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor, coined the phrase, form follows function. Essentially, this means that the purpose of the building should be the starting point of the design. What is the purpose of your home? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider all your families needs and then decide what is required in your home in order to accommodate those needs. The exterior of your home will mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen. Maybe you are an artist who chose large windows because you need natural lighting to paint/create. Maybe you needed a granny suite over the garage, so the exterior of the home has a dormer in order to make the window in that room look balanced. Always remember that your interior design affects the exterior one, as well.
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