Our tips for designing the outsides of your house, from backyard to front door
Whilst DIY is most usually focused on improving the interior of a house design, there’s no need to forget the exteriors as well. The impression and feeling given off by a house when you approach it can set up a series of expectations and feelings which develop your sense of home and comfort.
Today we’re going to look at some easy ways to achieve elegant, welcoming exteriors for your home, from sourcing mahogany external doors with Todd Doors, to developing your garden.
The front door is perhaps the most striking of external features, as it is the one we encounter most frequently. Home owners are often surprised by how dramatic a difference can be made simply by painting a front door – this works particularly well for terraced or urban houses, where space is a little more confined, or the building is tall and narrow rather than low and wide.
Think of your front door as a statement – and coordinate it with your other doors and entrances/windows. Deep woods are wonderful for adding elegance and a sense of rustic charm – mahogany and oak are fantastic for creating a sense of depth. Seaside and urban houses benefit from some colour – deep blues and reds are great against both red/brown stones as well as greys and whites.
Without breaking the bank or installing a huge new patio, working on the backyard or garden can also really tie in with the rest of the house. This might be as simple and succinct as creating a garden path which complements the stone and wood of the house; or simply keeping the garden trim and healthy. Don’t be afraid to steal ideas from your favourite design websites such as Better Homes and Gardens.
Repainting window frames and adding window boxes are instant brighteners for a home; and you can knock them up quickly and easily. City living isn’t exempt either – you can easily knock together a wooden window box from old wine crates (ask your corner shop) and hang it from a top floor.
The best way to bring the garage into harmony with your house is to keep it tidy; to oil the door and electronic mechanisms (if you have one), and to avoid leaving clutter in the driveway. Gravel driveways are a pretty – if slightly loud – addition for larger drives, and will allow you to cover a large area relatively cheaply, whilst creating a very welcoming appearance.
Front path and garden
Creating a garden path can be one simple renovation which brings a real sense of structure to your exterior design. It’s also easy and simple: you can use woodchip and pebbles, or even small external lights (this also works beautifully for garden and backyard spaces), to signal the route to your front door. Simplicity and shape is more important than filling the whole housefront with flowers and colour; think as well about smell and texture as you (or visitors) approach the house.