Importance of Curb Appeal...
What face does your home present to the world? Is it inviting or standoffish? Elegant and stately or rambling and quirky? Does it express who you are and communicate what you'd like it to? If so, great! You've managed to create a home with curb appeal.
Landscaping is an opportunity to extend the feel and character of your home to the edges of your property. Doing this can create a streetscape that's not only enjoyable but valuable. After all, who doesn't want to live on a beautiful street?
Hardscapes — driveways, walks, stoops, patios and so on — reinforce the overall character of a house and draw visitors in. So do softscapes, such as grass, flower beds, bushes and trees. Fences can act as both invitation and barrier, depending on your location and privacy needs.
Roof Shapes, Overhangs and Materials
Gables, hips, low slope and shed are a few of the many roof shapes. Each fits a certain range of styles and aesthetics. For example, whereas a gable is an appropriate roof shape for a traditional home, a low-slope roof is typically seen in a modern design.
The same holds true for the roof material. While asphalt shingle roofs are the most commonplace, a tile material is more appropriate for a Southwestern colonial house design, and metal might be the better choice for a roof in the Southeast.
And don't overlook the depth of a roof overhang. A gable roof with a deep overhang has a relaxed and informal aesthetic when compared to the same roof with a shallow, or no, overhang, which tends to be more severe and boxy.
Not matter which you choose, keep in mind that the roof connects the earth to the sky, so it is an important design element.
Front Doors, Side Doors and Garage Doors
Available in a range of materials and styles, doors are the portals we use to get from outside to inside. Sometimes these are large portals, like ones we drive our car through, and sometimes they're more intimate, like the front door to a cottage.
The key is to have doors that are well sized and appropriately styled to match the home's overall look and feel. Just as you wouldn't mix plaids and stripes or mismatch your socks, it's just as visually jarring and incongruous to place, for example, a Craftsman-style door on a modern house or Prairie-style window grids on a colonial-style home.
And don't forget the garage door. Make sure it's carefully considered as it's more often than not the most prominent door on the front of your house.
Awning, casement, double hung, slider, fixed, round, elliptical, Palladian, trapezoidal ... windows come in an almost unlimited range of functions, sizes, shapes and colors. Yet there are conventions for why you should use one type over another. For example, casement windows (the ones that open like doors, with hinges on the side) are a good choice for many styles (Prairie, Craftsman, even modern) but totally wrong for a colonial design. Simply put, the one large piece of glass all in one plane is just too monolithic and two dimensional for a colonial-style home (unless the design leans toward a more modern and stripped-down version of the colonial).
Shutters, lanterns, home numbers and so on are all details that can enhance a home's appeal. We've already started a discussion about these elements (7 Details for the Well-Dressed House) and will explore them more in the future.
Porches, Porticoes and Canopies
These elements are our gift to our home's visitors. Providing shelter from rain or other inclement weather, a well-placed and inviting porch, formal portico or generous canopy are like the hands and arms that reach out to greet guests and draw them in.
Even a contemporary or modern design can have these elements. Just take a look at the porch reconsidered.
All Things Vertical
Chimneys, cupolas, belvederes and so on lift the house and point to the sky. As such, these elements are the first we see when looking from afar. But more often than not these things are poorly scaled and visible only from close up. Rather than being small, these elements need to command the landscape all around, like the cupola at Mount Vernon.
From Houzz.com...Create an idea book for reference. Go to www.Houzz.com
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