When considering a home extension or renovation, it can be easy to focus on the more accessible interior design details and overlook kerb appeal. An architect will help you look at the bigger picture and guide you through exterior design decisions.
Here are a few things you need to consider:
Whether it’s a wall of bi-folding doors or a round, feature window, the style and placement of windows can make or break the character of your property. All too often, windows become evidence of an extension or other alterations – which may work well inside, but not outside.
Unifying the use of materials and organising the windows to look well-proportioned and natural can usually achieve a seamless, complete look. On older properties, however, where finding exact matches might prove tricky, it is sometimes more effective to contrast older styles with stark modernity (with a solid wall of glass, for example). Planning permission for listed properties can sometimes look favourably on this kind of extension, as it creates a clear separation between the old property and the new addition.
Mismatched brickwork or pebble-dash is an all too common faux-pas made when adding to a property. Although contrasting building materials can (and should) be used to great effect, it’s key that this contrast looks intentional. If you do end up with a combination you’re not happy with, it can be covered with rendering to create a more cohesive look.
It’s worth remembering that it’s much easier to modernise the exterior than to make it look older. Adding Georgian details to a home without the right proportions will look out of place, and the addition of blackened timbers won’t necessarily look Elizabethan.
It’s undoubtedly easier to make brave colour choices on the interior of your home than the exterior. A wall can be painted over in an afternoon, but changing the colour of your window frames is decidedly trickier. When done correctly, however, a pop of colour on the exterior of your home can set it apart from the crowd and create a truly high end, bespoke feel.
A fairly low risk, but effective way to experiment with exterior colour would be to paint your front door- try a welcoming, fresh citrus tone or opt for an opposing black- just look at 10 Downing Street and 221B Baker Street, it works for them!
If you’re considering a ground floor extension, at some point you will need to make a decision on the roofing material. Although it’s easy to opt for the most practical or cost-effective option here, think carefully about how it will affect the view from first-floor windows. Would you be happy waking up to it every morning?
There is an abundance of options available- your architect should guide you through these and find the most appropriate and attractive solution.
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