When projects similar to this one come across my desk all I can think about is "what can I do to best increase the curb appeal on this home?" This often leads me to considering features and other design elements that will make impactful statements for the overall aesthetic of the home. In this post I will share a bit of my thoughts and insight on this home.
My initial thought on this home is that it has a great presentation; it's up on a hill which gives it a sort of prominence from the street— (fun tid-bit: past civilizations would elevate buildings of importance— Temples, Cathedrals, Civic Buildings, Castles, Palaces, and the like. They would even elevate the first floor from the street and add grand staircases to signify their importance). In addition to being elevated, this home also had a nice material balance and the entry was tucked into an alcove created by the home's architecture which lends the opportunity for a nice patio to add function to the point of entry.
1. Adding Transparency
When a home is lacking windows it closes itself off from the world. It's as if the home is crossing its arms and communicating that it's not approachable. Adding transparency to the front elevation helps create that warm, welcoming feeling and quite literally tears down the walls and communicates that 'doors is always open' feel.
2. Adding a Chimney Anchor
Sometimes when we're faced with large expanse of wall it's nice to break up that expanse with a solid anchor point. Sometimes it's a change of material, a cantilevered multi-story window feature, it can even be a tall landscaping element; but with how much horizontal lines this home has, a strong vertical element in a chimney is a solid knife-in-the-table statement. Bifurcating the main facade and the paired windows on both stories adds a solid visual break in the design.
3. Opening Up The Point of Entry
This home had a brick wall that partially concealed the point of entry from the street. If your home isn't clearly defining the path to enter then your home is communicating 'do not enter'. By opening this up and creating large, visible landings and gradual steps to the door this design completely transforms the point of entry and like a friendly dog ambitiously wagging its tail, communicates a message "please pet me" or "You are welcome to approach"— something like that; you get the idea!
Bonus: the wood knee wall brings needed warmth while providing privacy from a seated height to the front patio.
If you want to see how any of these features can dramatically impact the design of your home, visit our website to see how our online exterior design services can help you complete your home design!
If you're curious where this design ended up; below is the final design the client landed on after we worked through some of the finer details. It turns out they were after a more modern look, wanted more wood tones and were unsure about the added work for the chimney (but they didn't rule it out completely!).