For most people, understanding the exterior design of their home is almost always defined by a “title” – Colonial, Cape, Four Square, Victorian, Ranch, etc. Although people feel very free to completely reinvent their homes’ interiors, they feel that the exterior has been irredeemably pigeonholed. When it comes to reflecting their own personalities, identities and dreams in the way their home looks to the outside world, their options have been limited.
With this in mind, it’s important to break down the areas that are “up for grabs.” Simple surface changes can totally transform the outside of any home.
There are four generic areas of potential impact that are applicable to any typical American home.
1. Contrast is by far the most dynamic mechanism for the creation of an image. Color contrast has to do with combining warm (red) and cool (blue) colors, as well as combining dark and light colors (e.g., barn red siding with white trim). Creating contrast through color, line and texture can make a stunning impact upon your home, as well as dramatic improvements in curb appeal.
2. Focal Point is where your eyes go. It’s not drawing attention that matters, it’s sustaining it. For example, if your home has a gable, this is an ideal design element that can create a focal point that visually transforms your home to reflect your individual style.
3. Trim is essentially the lines that frame elements such as windows and doors. Trim can be used to create patterns on walls or used to follow the natural lines of construction.
4. Surface is the dominant feature of your home’s exterior surface. The color and type of material used on the surface is the key ingredient to developing a unique look.
Identifying and controlling these elements is the key to either creating or reinventing your home’s exterior. Take control, break the stereotype and create a unique exterior expression of who you are.