*This is a collaborative guest post
When it comes to interiors, we’re quick to embrace new styles and make changes to maximise our home’s potential. But the exterior is another matter. Often, we’re put off by cost or complexity. Sometimes though, we just can’t see how to improve the external looks of our homes. And that means we’re missing the opportunity to make our homes complete. So, how do you use exterior design to create a stunning looking home?
Change the render or cladding
One of the biggest things that can date a home or make it look shabby is the render or cladding. Houses built in the 1960s and 1970s often look dated when they’re still decorated with their original hanging tiles, white weatherboarding or pebbledash. So, updating these with modern render or cladding will instantly improve the design of your exterior. It can also unify the exterior of an extended home that has mis-matched brickwork.
Decades ago, tastes were traditional with limited colour palettes, now we’re embracing new technologies and dark, bold colours to great effect. Composite, timber and metal cladding, silicone-based render and brick slips are just some of the contemporary-looking materials you can transform your home with.
Paint your exterior
Of course, there’s a simpler method that also works well. And that’s paint. Painting your house exterior can be done by you if you feel confident, or by a reputable decorator. You’ll need to make sure that the exterior is adequately prepared, and that masonry paint is used. But other than that, there’s little to worry about apart from the narrowing down your colour choices.
Of course, you don’t need to stop at the walls as painting doors and windows will also freshen up the exterior. Even uPVC can now be painted by using the right primer or specialist paint.
Upgrade doors and windows
If your doors and windows are past their best, you will be better off replacing them. Go for wood if you want to retain the character of a period property; live in a conservation area; or have a listed home. Or use uPVC or composite materials to keep costs and maintenance down.
Style is as important to your exterior design as materials, so think carefully about the overall appearance and make sure it’s unified by sticking to a traditional, contemporary or ultra-modern style.
Remove unsightly additions
Sometimes the easiest way to improve the look of your home is to remove ugly features. Especially if these features don’t match your home’s character, are incredibly dated, or in a poor state. This includes boxy uPVC porches and old lean-to extensions. Sometimes less is more. And often these unsightly features are impractical anyway.
Make the right additions
Just because you’ve removed an ugly feature from your home’s front or back, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a new feature that does improve the look of your home.
A wooden porch can improve the look of a traditional cottage with a plain exterior. And if you’re looking to add space, an orangery can look far more pleasing than a uPVC conservatory. For modern homes, don’t just play it safe. Think about a light-filled extension that plays with shape, roofline and new materials, creating a cutting-edge exterior that wows friends and neighbours.