Have you ever wondered why certain homes and buildings on the street make you stop and consume you in its beauty? It is more than likely that a lot of thought and efforts have been put in designing the exterior of those buildings. Since it is the first impression that counts, the outside of your home or office must reflect your overall personality and what lies inside. Whether you are inclined towards stone, marble, wood or granite, it should represent you! This makes exterior designing an intricate process of choosing color, material, balancing shapes and lines.
When considering exteriors, your choice of cladding has a major impact on the overall look and the environmental performance of your home. The selection of cladding material should be based on the capability to control penetration of weather elements and the egress of water vapor while providing a sturdy, appealing appearance. Natural stones are a prevalent way to add texture and pattern that accentuates the exterior of a place. There is a plethora of options to choose from – granite, marble, limestone, sandstone.
Granite, though popularly used as cladding tiles, is porous and probable to fade after persistent exposure to the sun. It requires frequent polishing and relatively needs more maintenance. Marble and limestone tiles available in many colors introduce a feeling of sophistication, but are softer and thus not recommended for exteriors. A comparatively less expensive option is sandstone, but due to its high porousness and susceptibility to damage, it cannot withstand harsh weather conditions for too long and requires frequent maintenance or regular replacement.
Serpentine is a newer option emerging in market for those looking for a classy yet durable wall cladding. Laid in an artistic fashion or in a random layout, durable and versatile natural stone – serpentine, can lend a sophisticated earthy look to your exterior walls. It comes in rough and semi-polished surface finishes and can withstand extreme weather conditions, exposure to acidic substances and require low maintenance.
Besides wall cladding, other basic design elements one should follow are:
Landscaping – Careful selection of plants, series of flowers and shrubs can greatly boost the curb appeal of your outdoor space by adding freshness, fragrance and perfect ambiance to the yard. Apart from plantation, one might want to pay attention to creating water bodies with proper outlet, pebbled pathways leading to the main entrance.
Efficient lighting– Placing a lot of outdoor lighting around home/office is essential for safety and nighttime appeal. Use of solar lighting is cost effective.
Renewing-If money is a constraint then repainting the existing doors, windows, planter pots in cheerful colors could be good option. One can also use antique door knobs and handles to give a vintage feel.
Detailing-God is in the details. Small things like name plates, mail boxes, statement making front door, overhead light fixtures are all the elements if taken into consideration can add to the overall look and feel.
Security– Barriers and fences not only help you secure homes and offices but can also enhance the beauty of your space if designed esthetically.