31 Oct 2016

exterior-design-principlesWhile we all want the spectacular home that stands out, we also want a home that blends in with the neighborhood and the surrounding area. Designing the exterior of a home can be a complicated process, as it involves choosing the colors, material and balancing the lines and shapes.

Balancing Shapes with Symmetry

Balance and symmetry play important roles in a well-designed shape. Every home needs these elements in order to be properly designed and aesthetically pleasing. There are a number of ways to achieve a balanced exterior, whether it is having the door centered in the front or the windows equally spaced on either side.

Form Follows Function

Louis Sullivan, who was a mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright, coined the phrase “Form follows function,” which simply means that the focus of the home should be the starting point in the design. The outside of the home will mimic the form of the inside of the home. An artist may choose to have large windows so that they can create their art using natural light.

Materials and Textures

It can be very difficult to choose the type of material for the outside of the home. There are many choices such as vinyl siding, cedar shingles, wood, stucco, brick, aluminum or steel. Of course, the outside of your home will reflect your personal style. The person that is helping design the home will help you select your materials.

Color Combinations

It is best to choose three or four tints or shades from the same color strip. The lighter shades can be used on the trim while the darker shades can be used for the rest of the home. You can also use a contrasting color for the door if you choose.

Choosing the Right Roof

You will want to choose a durable roof. Roofing options have varying costs and life expectancies. Slate and tile are very heavy, so it is important to make sure that your home structure can carry the load of having this type of roofing. Asphalt shingles are easy to install and are the most prevalent.

Choosing a Garage Door

When choosing a garage door, you will want to research the door’s insulating properties, warranties, safety features, cost and material durability. Obviously, the style of door you choose will depend on the style of the home. You can opt for a classic steel door or a cozy carriage house design – the options are endless.

Selecting the Right Windows

Windows for the home are just more than just functional. They are the soul of the home. The windows you choose should be durable and reflect the character of the home. If you are building a home in an area prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, you may want to choose windows that are designed to withstand the wind and debris damage that may ensue. There are many options for these types of windows. There is a style to fit into any home design and they are easy to use. You have the option of choosing double or single hung windows. The dedicated staff at East Coast Windows and Doors is always eager to help homeowners choose the right windows and doors for their homes.

Designing an Entry Way

One of the most common questions people have when designing the exterior of their home is: What color should the front door be? The rule of thumb is that it should be one from the same color strip that was chosen for the exterior of the home. Also, the type of door you choose is also important. Just like windows, if you live in an area that is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, it may be a good idea to choose a door that is able to withstand the wind and damage that occurs with these types of storms. Apart from choosing the type of door and the color, you can add things like lighting, plants and seating to make the home’s entry way more appealing.


When choosing the type of landscaping to place around the home, it is a good idea to research the type of soil on the land and what types of plants are native to the area. It may be a good idea to work with a local greenhouse because they will be very knowledgeable about the different kinds of plants that will thrive in your area.

Lighting Your Home

Proper lighting is important for home safety. Choose lighting that accents your home’s style and build. Obvious places for lighting would be over the garage and entry ways, but it can also be placed in other areas for nighttime appeal.