Exterior Design Ideas
The exterior of a house holds many clues as to what will be found inside, it denotes the period and style of the property as well as having more personal touches that allude to the individual owner.
The exterior design of a house will be led by its style as it is often advised to enhance the features and details of the original design than to choose a contrasting style. A victorian house, for example, looks stunning when the brickwork and paintwork has been cleaned and tidied up, and the original windows restored and freshly painted - and character and personality can be added in the small details that add to the overall picture, such as a beautiful metal railings on the balconies that is mirrored in the railings that demarcate the perimeter of the property.
A more modern exterior can be personalised to a greater degree, as modern designs tend to have large expanses of plastered walls that are broken up with large sections of glass. Colour is a more important and relevant choice on a contemporary property, as these buildings suit many colours, from a pale grey to a bright or vivid hue that accentuates its modern design.
The windows are an important exterior feature, and their design will dictate the overall look of the house - sash windows with wooden beading are a beautiful and elegant addition to any home, however they look most suited to Victorian or Edwardian properties. Large or unusually-shaped windows have a far more modern look, with unfussy detailing and metal window frames that accentuate their contemporary, minimalism.
Make a feature of one area of the exterior, whether that is a horizontal or vertical section, and use a different material to bring contrast, texture and colour. A tiled section, or a plastered and painted section can bring personality to the exterior of a property, so consider this as an option in your renovation.
An extension can be another way to alter the exterior of a property, changing the shape and layout as well as adding further practical space to the interior. An architect or designer will be able to create an extension that is harmonious with the existing architecture and that will add to the overall look of the property. An extension does not have to rigidly follow the existing design, as there are many examples of extensions that have a contrasting aesthetic to the original structure, yet when carried off successfully, the juxtaposition brings out the best of both the traditional and contemporary elements.
Exterior Design from the Front
The exterior at the front of the house includes the front garden, the entrance and the front door - each element of which should be selected in order to enhance one another. The front of the house may also include a fence or railings, stairs up or down to the front door and a garage or driveway.
Bespoke elements are a worthwhile investment for the front exterior design as they will set the tone for the rest of the home. Consider bespoke metal railings in a unique design, steps made in marble or an ornate door knocker to create a luxurious and personalised exterior.
Whether your property has a front garden or not, bring foliage or plant life to the front of your house in a variety of ways. Flower boxes in the windows is a simple way to bring flora to your exterior whereas a climbing plant, such as wisteria or clematis, have a more dramatic effect. Place an ornamental or sculptural tree on either side of the front door or plant a row of trees along the perimeter of the property to increase the sense of privacy.
Other details and elements to consider include adding shutters as these are a clean and fuss-free way of creating a sense of privacy inside, whilst still looking stylish, neat and functional from the exterior. A porch can add a welcoming effect, as it provides shelter to your guests and lighting is another element to consider as it will not only make the property stand out at night, but adding motion-sensor lights will be a practical and often necessary extra to your exterior.
Exterior Design from the Back
Typically, there is much more freedom in designing the back of a house as it tends to be a larger space with more potential for personal touches or large, structural changes. The exterior design of the house and the garden should be harmonious, with the garden becoming an extension of the house in many successful designs. Much like the front of the house, consider the materials and features on the exterior of the back of the property - large windows are often a wonderful addition as they bring the outside in, whilst not undermining the sense of privacy. Double doors, or large sliding doors are another way to join the interior and the exterior, creating a nice flow between the two.
An al fresco dining area is a practical and much appreciated feature that will greatly improve an outside space. Consider having a pergola, or semi-covered area, that is an extension from the house and that will provide either shade or shelter over the dining space. An outdoor cooking area is another popular addition, with a fire pit or barbeque becoming the focus for outdoor entertaining.
Choose flooring that is practical and durable, such as wood for a natural look that extends from the interior into the garden, or choose marble or tiles that can add colour and pattern where appropriate. There are many beautiful pieces of furniture that are designed to be out of doors, so select from dining tables and chairs to armchairs, sofas and coffee tables to create individual and sociable areas.
Make sure to light the exterior at the back of the house, as this will create a soft and warm atmosphere in the evenings. Lighting is often appropriate on the exterior itself, but don’t forget to light the dining area or seating area, as well as along the perimeter of the garden. Wall lamps and floor lights are both options that are wonderful for the exterior of a house, and many different looks can be created with a combination of the two.
Bespoke items can add a sense of luxury and personality to the exterior of a property. From a bespoke gate or fence - in either an ornate design made in metal or a bold, linear design in wood - to a bespoke door knocker or house number, these large or small additions to the exterior can pull a look together and hint at the interior beyond.
Choose materials that are durable, and that gain in character or beauty with time and weathering. Brass, bronze and steel are all appropriate materials for out of doors, and with advances in technology, it is possible to add a weatherproof finish to most materials. Wood is a beautiful, organic material that looks perfectly at home on an exterior, and as such, it can be used in abundance. Glass is another material that looks stunning on an exterior as it blurs the line between inside and out. There is a wide range of outdoor furniture for you to browse here.
How to Choose the Right Exterior Designer
In order to find the right exterior designer to bring on board the redesign of the exterior of your home, it is essential to do plenty of research. Look through the portfolios of several interior designers, and make note of those that have worked on similar projects and who have created designs that impress and intrigue. The Art of Bespoke website is a great place to start, as we have a selection of the top interior designers, whose work you can browse for inspiration.
Choose a designer who had complete projects that are similar to your own, and whose style you admire. Contact a number of designers in order to discuss your project, your budget and your expectations, and use these conversations to decide which designer is the right one for you.
A designer will bring their expertise, their previous experience and their contacts to your project, which can be invaluable in a smooth-running project that gets the most from each individual property. But most importantly they will bring their own exterior design ideas to the table, getting your creative juices flowing.