There’s just something about that new home smell. Unfortunately, that new home look isn’t always as pleasant. Production and custom homes alike can suffer from a lack of curb appeal thanks to bare bones landscaping and a lack of personality. Luckily, you can skip the impersonal look specifically by designing your home with curb appeal in mind. By thinking about how your new home will look from the street, you can design a few elements to make sure your place always looks warm and inviting. A few well-placed upgrades can give your home plenty of curbside character.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so give guests the right idea with your front door. Doors are a relatively inexpensive upgrade, so it’s a good place to spend some of your design money. If you have more money in the budget, consider upgrading to a door with a window to let light stream in. If your design budget is shrinking rapidly, simply painting your door a statement color might be all you need to differentiate your home from your neighbor’s. Choose a bright color or coordinate with your home’s trim to make a statement.
The human eye craves symmetry as an aesthetically pleasing way to represent order. By designing your home with symmetry in mind, you can create a home that has more curb appeal. It doesn’t mean your home has to have the exact same number of windows on each side or that you need mirrored design elements. Rather, a symmetrical look means keeping your home design even. A design element on one side should be matched by something just as eye-catching on the other. Talk to your architect about using symmetry to give your home a timeless look.
One of the biggest design mistakes is forgetting the appeal of a porch. In fact, some homeowners spend so much time (and money) outfitting the interior of their home that they forget the importance of the porch. Think of your porch as your outdoor living room. It’s what welcomes visitors to your home and sets the tone for the interior. A too-small porch can make a home seem cold and lacking in charm. The good news? As far as square footage goes, porch space is pretty cheap. You can easily extend a porch and add a railing to the design of your home without busting your budget – and it’ll make your home look like a million bucks.
Bricks and Stones
We get it: many homeowners opt for siding and stucco because they’re simply cheaper than other materials. But, if you can swing it, natural materials like brick, stone and wood make a bigger visual impact. And improved visual impact means more curb appeal. You don’t have to outfit your entire home in stone. Instead, talk to your designer about using stone or brick accents on the front of your home to make it more eye-catching. A stone foundation or brick pillars can help you give your home more character without spending too much.
Depending on the size of your garage, it can easily dwarf the elevation (or front exterior) of your home. Some garages simply look bigger or take up more space when looking at a home head-on. It can also mean your home looks smaller than it really is in relation to your garage. You can help soften the contrast between living space and garage by making sure your garage is painted the same color (or uses the same materials) as your home. By removing the delineation between garage and living space, the size discrepancy between the two will be less noticeable.
Finally, one of the simplest ways to create more curb appeal is by utilizing shutters as a design element. Most outdoor shutters are non-functional, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to worry about opening and shutting them. Still, ignoring window size and using shutters that are smaller than your actual windows is a rookie mistake. Small shutters can look cheap and off-balance, so make sure your shutters match your window sizes – even if you never plan on using them. You can also use shutter material or color to direct focus when looking at the home, showing off unique trim or drawing the eye upward to showcase your home’s size.
Curb appeal doesn’t always have to mean landscaping and gardening elements. In fact, some of your home’s most important appeal will start on the pages of your house plans. By talking with your architect about ways to add character and charm to the exterior of your home, you can create a warm and inviting space. Think beyond the shrub when creating curb appeal and you’ll design a home that is truly unique.