10 Exterior Design Ideas to Improve Your Home

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Exterior Design

Designing the exterior of a home can be a complicated process of color choices, materials, balancing shape and lines and should be handled by a professional. Do you ever wonder what makes a home exterior visually appealing? Why are there certain homes on the street that make you stop in your tracks and gawk in awe of its beauty?  It is more than likely that those jaw-dropping homes have followed some key exterior design principles.  Yes, every design, interior or exterior, needs to follow some simple “rules” of design for the outcome to be visually appealing.


Like in all types of design, balance and symmetry play an important role in achieving a well-designed space. The facade of every home needs some semblance of balance and symmetry in order to appear pleasing to the eye and properly designed.

There are numerous ways to achieve a proportional home exterior—some through obvious symmetry, while others are not as apparent. Either way, a properly designed home has an exterior that is proportional and balanced.

Form & Function

The purpose of the building should be the starting point of the design. What is the purpose of your home? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider all your family’s needs and then decide what is required in your home in order to accommodate those needs.

The exterior of your home tends to mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen. Maybe you needed a granny suite over the garage, so the exterior of the home has a dormer in order to make the window in that room look balanced. Always remember that your interior design affects the exterior one, as well.

Materials and Textures

With so many options, it is difficult to decide what materials should use on our home exterior. Cedar shingles, vinyl siding, aluminum, brick, wood, stucco, steel…how do we choose? It is best to balance durability with aesthetics. Of course, you want the exterior of your home to reflect your personal style.

A professional contractor can help you choose materials that compliment your home and your individual preferences. They can help you see what your material choices will look like before you make a large financial investment.

Exterior Color

How do you decide what is the right color for your home exterior? As in all decorating, color choice is vital—it can hide flaws or when done poorly, draw attention to flaws. Color can enhance the features of your home exterior.

Paint your front porch a bright fresh white to draw the eye to the cozy entrance or make your tall home look shorter with a dark color on top and a lighter color on the bottom. The ways that color can trick the eye and play up the positive are endless!

Choosing the Right Roof

Exterior Roof Design
A durable roof is imperative—choosing a roof for your home is more than just deciding upon color and aesthetics. There are many roofing options, with varying costs and life-expectancies.

Materials like slate and tile may seem ideal but remember that they are very heavy, so be sure your home can carry the load.  Asphalt shingles seem to be most prevalent due to their lower cost and easy installation. Wood is also a viable option with the same life expectancy (25 years) as asphalt shingles. Slate and metal are costly and heavy options but may work for some designs.

While there are numerous choices, they do not all work within budgets and home design. Always consider cost, durability, weight, and what suits your homes style best.

Garage Doors

One may not think of a garage door as part of our homes style statement—but they would be wrong.  Aside from design style, you need to gain knowledge in the doors insulating properties, safety features, material durability spring designs, warranties, and cost. You can have fun deciding upon the style that best suits your home design.  Whether it’s a clean, classic steel door or a cozy carriage house design—the options are endless.


Windows are like the soul of your home, shining light onto all the moments shared within those four walls. The windows you choose need to be durable. They should also reflect the character of your home. Modern homes look best with large expanses of floor-to-ceiling windows, while a traditional home may look best with symmetrically placed, white-paned, rectangular windows. Other factors to consider are UV rating, privacy, proper ventilation, ease of cleaning and outdoor views.


A common question many ask is, “What color should I paint my front door?” You can go bold by adding a contrasting color that is opposite on the color wheel of your trim and siding colors, or you can choose a third lighter/darker shade that mimics the trim and siding.  In order to make your entry stand out, it is best to choose a darker or bolder shade than the rest of your home.

Aside from color, there are a lot of other features that can freshen up your entryway and speak to your homes style—lighting, plants, door knobs, door knocker, door kick plates, rugs, and porch seating all add to the overall appeal of your home’s entry.


Landscaping your home involves much more than planting a tree in your front yard.  Most often it is well-placed plants that add that curb appeal to a home, making it stand out amongst the rest in the neighborhood.

It is difficult to know what plants to choose for your landscape, so we suggest researching local soils and native plants. NW Home Exteriors are knowledgeable in plant species; they know what works best locally, and they can even draft a landscape plan for your yard.


Don’t let your home fade into the darkness. Proper lighting is paramount for home safety and nighttime appeal. Aside from the obvious light fixtures that straddle your doorways and garage doors, there are other outdoor lights that should be placed around your home.

Choose lights that mimic your home’s style. Traditional homes look great with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entryway or flanking the garage.  Angular steel lights add appeal to the entryway of modern homes. Then you must consider what other features of your home could use some nighttime light.

Call NW Home Exteriors to assist you with your exterior design needs! 



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