After the blistering heat of the previous months, while the northern hemisphere enjoys the start of summer, Aussies are beginning to retreat indoors as the days get a little milder and greyer. For many of us, this doesn’t mean that our social lives are curtailed, it merely means brunch indoors rather than barbecues outside. This means that many of us will start to think about sprucing up our interiors as we prepare ourselves to bring our social lives indoors. But while a great deal has been written on the subject of interior design, let’s not forget that what’s outside matters too. If you’re likely to be planning for some renovations in the coming colder months or even just a lick of paint here and there, it’s worth considering addressing the external as much as the internal. Here we’ll look at the importance of a design aesthetic that unifies both the interior and exterior as well as looking at some of the hottest exterior design trends of this year…
What is exterior design and why does it matter?
Your interior design is an opportunity to not only create a space that is beautiful and pleasurable to live in, it’s also your opportunity to allow guests an insight into your personal tastes, your creative leanings, your sense style and your personality. Everything from the colour you use on your statement walls to the books you have on display on your bookshelf makes a statement and tells visitors a little about who you are. Your home should tell a story, and your entryway is the first chapter… But the exterior is the prologue. Many are quick to underestimate just how much of a first impression their exteriors can make. Yet if your exterior is looking lackluster, faded, dilapidated, worn or simply bland, the rest of your home is going to have to work that little bit harder to undo that first impression. And remember that you never get a second chance to make one of those. If you will be putting your home on the market in the near future, sprucing up your exterior can add immeasurably to your kerb appeal. Get it right and it can make your neighbours green with envy while engendering a sense of excitement and anticipation in guests about to step over the threshold and into your home. Fortunately, your exterior design needn’t be extremely expensive nor logistically difficult to master. Whether you’re installing new designer garage doors or simply applying a lick of paint and adding some potted plants you can give your exterior a facelift, even on a modest budget. Let’s look at some of the hottest exterior design trends of this year…
Keep it neutral, keep it natural
In today’s fast paced and often stressful world, the home should be a sanctuary from the stress and anxiety of work and modern living. This means that we should use as many natural materials as possible in both our exterior and interior design. Natural materials have a soothing effect on the mind and are proven to promote psychological well being. Thus, there are lots of creative ways in which you can use natural stone in your exterior design or timber with a light and natural finish rather than a thick veneer of paint. Needless to say, your use of plants (even if you don’t have a front garden) can make all the difference too. A large potted plant on either side of your front door can be extremely welcoming in even the most modest of front yards. Here are some useful tips on matching your outdoor plants to the materials you use in your exterior.
As tempting as it may be to paint your front door and other elements of your exterior in a gaudy and attention grabbing colour, this year’s design trends favour a more neutral approach. While beighes, greys and off whites are on the way out indoors, this year’s outdoor trends favour mixed materials within a limited colour palette i.e. mid grey bricks with dark grey roofing.
A taste for texture
There’s far more to creating an engaging exterior than colour. Texture is playing an increasingly large role in creating design aesthetics that make for eye catching exteriors. Don’t be afraid to play with texture this year, especially when it comes to juxtaposing different textures; rough with smooth, matte with gloss and patterned with plain. Think steel matte on your guttering or roofing juxtaposed with coarse textured or self patterned brick. This contrasting of textures and finished creates a sense of intrigue which will make your guests all the more eager to see what’s in store for them inside.
Red brick is back
We’ve been using it to build houses since the days of ancient Rome and there’s still no better choice for creating an aesthetic which is natural, warming and welcoming. Using this classic building material in elegant and contemporary ways is another method of creating an intriguing sense of juxtaposition whether it’s used for an exterior wall or alongside other curated materials. Pairing red brick with a neutrally painted concrete, for example to create a contrast of tone, colour and texture that is appealing and intriguing yet subtle.
Say something with siding
While all these juxtaposed materials, colours and textures are currently en vogue, there will always be those who prefer the elegant simplicity of home siding. There are many reasons why this approach appeals to so many. It creates a neat and welcoming look that’s virtually zero maintenance, and the sheer variation of colour, texture, materials and finish ensures that wherever your tastes may lie, you can find a variant to suit you. However the aesthetic benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. The right siding can also seriously improve your home’s energy efficiency. Good quality siding will seal in the heat during the coming colder months while also allowing your home to stay cool when it’s hot.
So, as your social schedule moves indoors over the coming months, make sure that you capitalise on every opportunity to wow your guests, even before they’ve stepped through the front door.