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.
The most common question: What color should I paint my front door? As we touched upon above in the section titled, Color Combinations, choosing 2 shades or tints from the same color strip is best for the main exterior trim and siding colors. Then a third color should be chosen for the front door. You can go bold by adding a contrasting color that is opposite on the color wheel of your trim and siding colors, or you can choose a third lighter/darker shade that mimics the trim and siding. In order to make your entry stand out , it is best to choose a darker or bolder shade than the rest of your home. Aside from color, there are a lot of other features that can freshen up your entryway and speak to your homes style—lighting, plants, door knobs, door knocker, door kick plates, rugs, and porch seating all add to the overall appeal of your homes entry.
Like in all types of design, balance and symmetry play an important role in achieving a well-designed space. The facade of every home needs some semblance of balance and symmetry in order to appear pleasing to the eye and properly designed. Whether it is the eye-catching appeal of a symmetrical Georgian home, where the door is centered and the windows equally flank either side, or a home where the balance is achieved through pointed roof lines or dormers that are equally placed among the exterior. There are numerous ways to achieve a proportional home exterior—some through obvious symmetry, while others are not as apparent. Either way, a properly designed home has an exterior that is proportional and balanced.
While the design of your home exterior is a complicated process that is fraught with decisions and choices, do not give up—a well-designed home CAN be achieved with patience and a little help. During the design process, we suggest that you follow all 10 tips offered here with regard to color, materials, form & function, balance & symmetry, lighting, doors, landscaping, windows and roofing. Remember that there are a lot of online tools available that can show you a virtual picture of what your design could look like—it’s always best to see it and love it before you make the final financial investment. What exterior materials are your favorite? Do you have any unique materials incorporated into your home exterior?
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