First impressions count, and when it comes to your dream home, that means an exterior that’s eye-catching for all the right reasons. A well thought-out exterior can boost your home’s kerb appeal, inform the
interior design and increase its resale value. But ultimately, the perfect exterior is the one you will look forward to seeing every day when it warmly welcomes you home. So how do you design it and what do you need to consider to get it right?
Clarendon Homes Head of Design Ryan Barnett has these expert tips.
The best exterior is one that is ideal for you and your surroundings, so hop in the car and go explore your community. “Look at the build materials and colours on the houses in the street,” Ryan says. “Study the roofs, the driveways and take in the style of the architecture. When you understand the look and feel of your suburb you can design a home that suits both you and the neighbourhood.”
It’s important to also take note of your block’s orientation. “The exterior colours on a south-facing home can appear darker than if it was north- facing,” Ryan explains. “Plan to visit the street at different times in the day so you get to know it in every light.”
Ryan’s top tip: Study up on any council and developer guidelines for your block. There’s no point agonising over build decisions that might be out of your control.
Get ready, because years of dreaming, months of research and countless hours scrolling for inspiration are about to pay off. It’s time to design the “face” of your home!
“The facade is extremely important because it’s where the house gets its character,” Ryan says. “With Clarendon facades, we start by getting the architecture and articulation right, then pre-empt possible combinations of materials and colour to suit every style and budget.” To avoid being overwhelmed with myriad possible combinations, Ryan says simple is best. “Stick to two or three different materials - for example face brick, painted render and feature stone - and then stay with just slight tonal differences in colour,” he recommends. Once you’ve settled on your favourites, use these as a guide for the look of the roof, garage door and driveway.
Ryan’s top tip: A trip to a brick yard or one of Clarendon’s 70 Display Homes will help you visualise the final product.
Manicured hedges for privacy, flowered garden beds for colour, or lush, springy grass for play - the right landscaping will change the way you live in your home. Not keen on regular mowing? Opt for a show-stopping water feature on sandstone tiles. Perhaps you want to hide a retaining wall or welcome native birds and bees? Landscaping can do that too.
“It’s very important to plan your gardens early on in the design process,” Ryan says. “You want to make sure that your front yard is going to complement the facade of your home and that your backyard is set up for indoor-outdoor living.”
Clever landscaping can also enhance your favourite house features. If you’ve spent a lot of time and budget on a grand front door, a paved path and some considered planting will draw the eye right to it.
Ryan’s top tip: Seek advice on the best plants for your climate. Investing in the right ones will save you money in the long run.