When you look at all the luxury homes you’ve drawn inspiration from, you’ll probably notice that many of them are designed to take people on a wondrous journey from the front yard all the way to the deepest rooms in the house. That’s a concept to keep at the top of your mind when you think about designs for your house exterior.
The journey begins with the front yard:
With your front yard being the closest to the curb, it’s the landscaping that first draws people’s attention to your house. The possibilities of landscaping design are endless. Recently, the idea of functional landscaping along with cultivating useful plants has been gaining popularity. Whatever design choices you decide on though, make sure they don’t block the sightlines to your front door. Plants are a great way to create a border along the walkway – just remember to trim them to keep the path clear and the front yard decluttered. If you opt for easier maintenance, consider using potted plants so that you can re-arrange the landscaping whenever you like. You can also further display your personal style by making outdoor sculptures part of the landscaping.
Have you ever gazed down an overgrown forest trail that’s choked with more shadows than should be normal in broad daylight and turned away? Most people don’t like to navigate through sketchy, uncertain paths so make sure you have a clear walkway that’s at least 3 feet wide. Rather than the usual concrete walkway, a more striking choice would be a flagstone or brick path to your entrance. If you have a stone exterior for your house, you can even line the sides of the walkway with those same stones to visually guide people to your home. The walkway doesn’t have to be in a straight line either. A winding walkway will allow guests to enjoy more of the landscaping in your front yard.
Now we arrive at the front of the house. One of the easiest ways to make it stand out is with colour, especially when it comes to the front door. First, think hard what colour you’d like your front door to be. This is a fun way to showcase your personality based on the front door colour. After you’ve selected your ideal colour, you can then design the rest of the exterior colour scheme to accentuate the front door colour.
With that filled in, let’s light it up! Exterior lighting is important not only for safety, but also for creating an inviting glow about your house. Make sure the front door and garage doors are brightly lit with sconce lights. For the walkway and driveway, install lantern posts on both sides of the paths so that guests can find their footing in the dark. Use low-voltage, motion-activated lighting to conserve electricity.
The porch is another area you can impress guests. You can do that by using premium materials like tile or through architectural finishes like columns and mouldings. Again, the design should enhance the front door and not draw focus away from it. You may also want to build an awning above the porch to protect guests from the elements. This also means you can have your morning coffee or evening mug of hot chocolate outside on the porch even when it’s raining.
Perfection is in the details so don’t forget about the hardware. Make sure they match one another in material and style. This includes the lighting fixtures, door hardware, mailbox, and even the house number. For the finishing touch, put in windows on either sides of your front door to make the entrance seem larger. It’ll also give guests a tantalising glimpse of the warmly lit foyer inside.
At last, the door opens and we’re in the foyer. If you have large foyer, place a round table in the centre for a grand hotel lobby effect. With smaller foyers, choose a table that can stand flush to the wall. Shop around for a table that matches the main theme of your interior as it’ll give guests a taste of what to expect in the rest of the house. For a classic interior, choose antiques with a lacquer finish. For modern interiors, marble or glass tables with metallic pedestals are great choices. Place a unique lamp and/or arrange fresh flowers on the table. For the pièce de résistance, hang a framed artwork or decorative mirror above the table. Round out the setting with a plush bench for guests to remove their shoes. Depending on your interior style, you can even combine the bench idea into an antique hall tree.
It’s even better if you have a high ceiling in your foyer because it’s the perfect location to install a chandelier or an artistic light fixture there. Finally, lay down a large area rug at the centre of the foyer floor. It’ll muffle the footstep echoes in the foyer and give guests a cozy feeling early on in their visit.
Once you’ve gotten folks into the foyer, there’s no turning back for them because they’re hooked – they can’t leave now without seeing the rest of the house. And that’s the mark of well-designed luxury home.