Exterior Design and Decor Tips

By | June 14, 2016

One of the greatest perks of having a place you call home is that you get to do anything you want in order to make it look more beautiful and aesthetically appealing. However, you don’t just repaint it, add a component, or put up a new garden without weighing on the function and consequences. When it comes to exterior design and decorating, you need to also consider your environment and neighborhood.

So what we did was compile a couple of references online for you to understand what it takes for a novice or newbie designer like you to come up with a successful home exterior design project.

Let us start with the article from Shelley Little titled “10 Exterior Design Lessons That Everyone Should Know” for Freshome.com.

1) Balancing Shapes With Symmetry

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.

2) Form Follows Function

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.

3) House Materials and Textures

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.

4) Exterior Color Combinations

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!

5) How to Choose the Right Roof

A durable roof is imperative—choosing a roof for your home is more than just deciding upon color and aesthetics.

There are so many building options, with varying costs and life-expectancies. Material like slate and tile may seem ideal but remember that they are very heavy, so be sure your home can carry the load. Asphalt shingles seem to be most prevalent due to their lower cost and easy install. Surprisingly, wood is also a viable option with the same life expectancy ( 25 years) as asphalt shingles. Slate and metal are costly and heavy options, but may work for some designs.

While there are numerous choices, they do not all work within budgets and home design. Always consider cost, durability, weight, and what suits your homes style best.

Get more information about exterior design from this very same post by visiting this link.

At this point, you now realize that a very crucial factor in exterior design projects is balancing looks and function. It means that if you wish to install new roofing for the main purpose of giving your house a new look, you shouldn’t just think about how it looks but also how it’ll function.

(photo credit: ThisOldHouse.com)

Next up, let’s see some more tips from RealSimple.com, in the article called “22 Outdoor Decor Ideas.

Patio Primer

Give your outdoor space a fresh face by sticking to a monochromatic palette. You can pull off a polished look without overdoing it. Choose the essential pieces (wirework round table, umbrella, stools) in a contemporary gray and white color scheme.

Tropical Punch

Want to add a touch of fun to your outdoor space? Cue the colorful accents. A terrace gets a bold pick-me-up from cushions in vibrant colors (tangerine, fuchsia) and modern prints like ikat, stripes, and eye-popping florals.

Natural Charm

Got space? Reimagine a room—one without walls, that is. Create an intimate gathering space that’s prepped for entertaining by surrounding the table with a wicker sofa, freestanding umbrella, and fire pit.

Cozy Quarters

Achieve a sense of privacy in an urban space by enclosing it with a tall wooden fence. Prioritize how you plan to use this area before making any decorating decisions. For example, if it’s for dining and entertaining, make sure the grill and table are your first key pieces.

Lounging Style

Make over a porch with a few items (day bed, potted plants, Chinese lanterns) that will make the space comfortable and stylish. Thinking creatively can also help you stick to a budget. There’s no reason why a trunk from inside can’t step in as your outdoor coffee table. Besides, it’s only for a season.

Garden Party

Dining alfresco is about gathering family, entertaining friends, and escaping from your typical daily routine. Any rules to follow? Be smart about your outdoor style and choose weather-resistant furniture, coverage from the sun, and a solid base for setting up your table.

Find out more about this article and tips by clicking here.

When it comes to do-it-yourself exterior decorating projects, the only limit are your budget and imagination. But it does not mean you just have to spend your money all the way. It takes careful planning and a lot of patience to be successful at that.