EXTERIOR / FRONT ELEVATION
The Latest Trends & Styles
Since most people only see the outside of your home, you’ll want to make a good first impression by choosing an exterior product and style that has great curb appeal. Whether you choose natural or synthetic materials, your exterior should also compliment the interior design of your new home.
Just like all home building products, the materials used on the exterior of your home are subject to the latest trends. Here are some exterior products, which continue to remain trendy and stylish because of their durability, sustainability and beauty.
It’s all about getting the right look, which is why many architects and designers are adding a stone or brick face to their home designs, particularly around the entranceway. Most materials can synthetic versions. Economics generally prevents most from using real stone on the entire exterior, but thanks to new technology you can have your house covered in synthetic stone in less than seven days. After it is sprayed on, it is then carved to make it look authentic.
Vinyl siding is a favorite exterior finish, because it is cost-effective, low maintenance and is available in a wide variety of style and colors. The latest style and colors. The latest style in vinyl siding are perfect for any home design, even Victorian-style homes. Most siding products, including clapboard panels, half-round shingles, and rectangular cedar shingles. These styles are all offered in a wide variety of colors that will never need repainting.
Fiber Cement Siding
Another popular house exterior is fiber cement siding. It is actually considered a ‘’green’’ material because it is made primarily of cement. The latest styles in fiber cement siding include panels made to resemble stucco, wood clapboards, and cedar shingles. Fiber cement is much more durable than wood and is fire resistant. A huge plus is closely resembles real wood siding and is virtually maintenance free.
Another trend that seems to be gaining momentum is Western Red Cedar. It is a contemporary, yet classic building material chosen for its nature beauty, versatility, and durability. It comes in a variety of styles like bevel siding, tongue & batten and can be easily stained to create a truly customized finish to your exterior.
Once you’ve chosen your materials, don’t forget about adding color. There are so many exterior paint colors available that you can truly customize your home’s exterior look. Don’t be afraid to use more than one color. In fact, many homeowners are using four or five colors- one for the siding, one for the garage doors, one for the windows and trim and then one for the porches and decks. The impact of color (done right) can add great curb appeal and help create a distinctive look for your new home.
How to Make a Grand Entrance
They say that ‘’first impressions count the most.’’ When you’re renovating, building or preparing your home for sale, there is no doubt that your home’s appearance from the street will make a big impression. Little things like a tidy garden and clean driveway are two easy and inexpensive ways to make a good first impression. For an even better first impression, you may have to spend more, but it will be worth it. Here’s how to make a grand entrance that will add value and prestige to your property.
What makes a grand entrance?
A grand entrance starts at the street and draws the attention to the entry door. This is why so many of the entrance design ideas on our inspirational photos pages are shots taken from a distance. Some of the design elements included in a grand entrance:
Hedgerows, a green, well-maintained lawn and other garden elements provide a pleasing, natural environment that complements the appearance of the home.
Depending on the style of the home, the pavers may be brick, natural stone, terracotta, colored concrete, or another hard surface material. The important thing is not the cost; it’s how well-laid the pavers are and how well they complement the overall design scheme.
The entry door
Nothing makes more of a statement than your entrance door. It is so important, home stylists, the experts who make cosmetic renovations to homes that are going on the market, often replace entry doors that are worn or otherwise make a home look less valuable.
Another detail that makes a big difference after dark is lighting. Nothing creates ambience like exterior lighting. Done the right way, it provides safe illumination for after dark visitors and highlights features of the home. Done the wrong way, exterior lighting is either harsh and glaring or does not provide illumination where it’s needed. An outdoor lighting designer can help you choose and position your lighting to make your grand entrance even grander after dark.
The knock on wood doors-that they warp-well, that’s largely a thing of the past, when they were made of solid stock. For the past 25 years, most major manufacturers have crafted their entry doors with glued-up engineered-wood cores, which overcome solid wood’s tendency to twist and cup. That handsome outer layer is actually just a thick veneer. Don’t think of this as cheeping out; with regular care, such a door should easily match the life span of your house.
That extra effort-in the form of a fresh coats of paint or polyurethane every couple of years-is the price we pay for choosing wood. But it’s a small one, considering the visual and tactile rewards a wood door gives u every time we come home.
Inside the entrance
A grand entrance doesn’t stop at the entry door. When the door opens is when visitors will get their first impression of your home’s interior. Because they are stepping into the room, the first place their eyes will fall is on the floor.
Take another look at the entrance photos in our photo pages and you’ll notice that whether it’s timber flooring, vinyl flooring or another flooring material, it makes a statement. Notice, too, how many entries have rugs or carpets? There are practical as well as aesthetic reasons for this.
Since the entrance to the home is also the most heavily trafficked area, it is a good idea to protect it with an area rug.