This article was written by Sarah Burman, editor of Home Beautiful magazine.
Designing the exterior of your home is an opportunity to create a stunning first impression, which is so very important because it can only happen once! There are many materials available for your home’s exterior and a seemingly endless spectrum of colour combinations, but current trends, context, personal taste and budget will all play a vital role in choosing colours and finishes. Here's what you need to consider.
Pin down your style
Before you start shopping, you need to narrow down the options: to figure out your personal style. The best way to do this is to create a moodboard. Flip through magazines, scroll though Instragram and Pinterest, and tear out and save anything that catches your eye. Also, stroll around your neighbourhood, and get an understanding of what your neighbours are doing. What works, and what doesn't? What wouldn't you do? And how can you stand out? Take photos – the more images you collate, the better – your own style story will start to emerge. Perhaps its a colour, a style or a material that keeps popping up. Whatever it is, this is your starting point.
Looking for inspiration for your dream home?
Mix it up
The most successful exterior schemes are ones that stand out, feel special, and use multiple materials and colours – and reflect their owns style and taste. Now, this doesn't mean that they a kaleidescope of colour, but rather that the interplay of materials, hues and textures is complementary, and enhances a home's best features. Ideally, you'll select hardwearing and durable materials that improve with age, and factor in your home's location – for example, avoid corrosive materials if you're on the coast. Fibre cement cladding is cost effective and low maintenance and works everywhere, and is one of the most energy-efficient materials on the market. Available in a range of different looks, from vertical weatherboard-style to modern industrial looks, it can mix with rendered brick, stone, or timber boards for a completely different vibe each time.
Get expert advice
Blacks, greys and whites are the colours du jour, and still a timeless options for walls, and come in a full spectrum of shades. I'm leaning towards modern blue-greys that are eye-catching yet subtle; and simple, modern profiles: Scyon Stria is a versatile cladding that looks fabulous in darker hues and can be laid in multiple directions, even on the same facade. Offset it with timber or stone for a natural touch. Also trending now is a pop of colour: a bold front door adds dynamism and 'look at me' appeal.