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.
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.
With the plethora of options, it is very difficult to decide what materials we should use on our home exterior. Between cedar shingles, vinyl siding, aluminum, brick, wood, stucco, steel how do we choose? It is best to balance durability with aesthetics. Of course, you want the exterior of your home to reflect your personal style— are you a country guy/girl? Then you may want tumbled stone and cedar shingles. Are you a modern minimalist? Then you may prefer the lines of sleek steel or simple wood panels. In order to avoid costly mistakes, it is always best to consult with a skilled design architect. There are also a lot of online visual tools that can help you see what your material choices will look like before you make that final financial investment.
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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