It’s what’s inside that counts. That’s what they all say isn’t it? And to a certain extent they’re right. But we can’t forget that it is human nature to judge from outward appearances. After all, we’ve evolved to do exactly that. It’s how we figured out which foods were safe to eat and which ones were poisonous. It’s how we learned which animals we could befriend, tame and domesticate and which would make us into their lunch. They say we mustn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we’ll never leaf through the contents of an attractive tome we see in Waterstones if we aren’t at least a little enthralled by the blurb and the cover art. Yes, it’s absolutely true that we should take the time to see what’s going on beneath the surface but we shouldn’t chastise ourselves for at least factoring in the value in outward appearance.
The exact same is true of home decor. I absolutely hate the front of our house at the moment. It’s a little run down, a little unkempt, and we’ve been concentrating so hard on making the inside nice, that I’ve left the outside out.
Your home is a safe space for you and your family. It’s a place where you can relax, unwind and be yourself. But it’s also a vehicle for your self expression. It’s a canvas upon which you can paint the story of your life, your persona and your tastes. It needs to give visitors a sensory representation of who you are and what you stand for. Of course, the interior plays a huge part in this. Everything from the colour you paint on your walls to the books you display on your shelves and the scents that permeate each room make a statement about you and your family. Thus, it makes perfect sense that you’d want to apply this ethos to your home’s exterior as well, especially now that the summer is well and truly here.
Whether you have a mind to move house and want to improve your kerb appeal for prospective buyers, you’re throwing a garden party and want to give your guests some aesthetically pleasing talking points while they graze on white wine and potato salad, or you just want to make sure that your exterior matches the design aesthetic of your interior, here are some ways in which you can make your exterior superior…
Start on a clean slate
Before making changes, it’s a good idea to make the best of what you have. Ensure that your garden path and drive are free of weeds and that your guttering is clear. If possible give the roof a quick check and watch out for any loose tiles. Jet wash your flags if you’re able and make sure that your exterior windows are clean and sparkling. This will revivify your exterior and give you the impetus to add some flourishes that will really make the home pop.
The importance of the doors
No, I’m not talking about the rock band fronted by Jim Morrison (although it’s arguable that they were certainly important). I’m talking about your front door, your back door and your garage door. These are perhaps your biggest chance to make an impression with your aesthetic. They’re big blocks of colour in a brick, stone or concrete facade and as such you need to think long and hard about the statement they make. If you have the money to spare, investing in new doors can not only make your home more aesthetically appealing but more secure as well. In the case of garage doors, a company like Prestige Doors can offer you garage doors in a range of styles, colours, textures and materials that not only add to your home’s kerb appeal but also make it easier for you to gain ingress into your garage and harder for everyone else. Even if you’re on a budget, a splash of paint to your doors can make a world of difference. Research by paint giant Dulux shows that your front door’s colour says a lot about you. Navy blue gives an air of class, intelligence and prestige, yellow indicates a happy, friendly and personable demeanour while grey denotes sincerity.
Bring cheer with hanging baskets and window boxes
Bringing a splash of colour and texture to your exterior can be a bit of a challenge, especially on a limited budget. Fortunately, the most effective way to liven up your home’s exterior is also one of the most cost effective. Hanging baskets and window boxes are easy to install, relatively cheap to buy and easy to maintain. Be sure to give some thought to the containers themselves as well as the plants you put in them. If your home favours a modern aesthetic look for containers with neutral colours, clean lines and matte surfaces. If you’re more of a traditionalist, opt for natural materials and primary colours. Great plants for window boxes include herbs (which not only look pretty but are useful in the kitchen and provide a pleasant scent) such as lavender, thyme and basil, or trailing flowers like red chenille, petunias or ivy-leafed pelargoniums. If you want a window box that’s also a food source, why not try planting cherry tomatoes or mini peppers?
Never underestimate the little touches
When you’re building on a strong foundation like a clean, tidy exterior that’s free of dust and weeds, sometimes all it takes is a few little touches to really set off your look. These can add character while unifying your design aesthetic. Just little things like the size, shape, colour and style of your door number plaque can make a huge statement, The same goes for your letterbox, or your outside lamp sconces.
Thy fearful symmetry
There’s one ingredient which can make a huge difference to the outside of your home, whether you have a huge budget to work with or just a few pounds… And that’s symmetry. Adding a few flourishes to create a sense of symmetry can add a mathematical sense of appeal to your home and make everything look… just right. We’re psychologically predisposed to symmetry. We read it as a signifier of beauty and health. The great news is that there are numerous cost effective ways to make your exterior look more symmetrical even if your house itself is not. Carefully calculating where you hang your light sconces or even simply placing two potted plants or hanging baskets on either side of your door can make a huge difference.
Use these principles and get creative. You’ll find that it doesn’t take much to breathe new life into the outside of your home.