What is exterior design?
As the name implies, exterior design involves designing the external aspects of buildings, landscapes, and outdoor spaces through their exteriors.
Building materials, color schemes, and landscaping design create a visually pleasing and functional exterior for a building or structure.
Exterior design is about making a building welcoming and aesthetically pleasing to meet people’s needs. A well-designed exterior makes the house look great, increases its value, and gives it an excellent first impression. The exterior design of a building or structure can establish a unique identity and sense of location.
Elements of Exterior Design: Color, Texture, and Form
Exterior design involves color, texture, and form, with color being the most noticeable element and able to significantly impact a building’s overall appearance. The chosen color scheme should complement the environment and create a cohesive look while considering the building’s purpose and atmosphere desired.
The surface quality, or texture, can make a difference in visual effects and interest based on what it is made of. Building form and structure should be functional, complement the surrounding environment and contribute to energy efficiency and natural lighting in the building simultaneously.
For the space to be appealing and functional, each of these elements needs to work together to make sure that it meets the needs of the users and adds to the property’s appearance.
Principles of Exterior Design: Balance, Proportion, and Scale
Exterior design should consider balance, proportion, and scale. Balance emphasizes the distribution of visual weight where symmetry or asymmetry achieves harmony. Proportion relates to the relationship between the different environmental elements, including doors and windows. When improperly applied, a building may look out of proportion.
Scale pertains to the appropriate size of elements where its congruity with the environment is essential. By considering these principles, designers can create a well-balanced and functional space that suits its intended use and improves the overall property’s appearance.
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Exterior Designing for Climate and Environment
As part of the design process, you must consider what is required in the environment, such as local climate, weather patterns, and natural environment, so the structure is also designed to function efficiently and sustainably in its environment and work as a whole.
Natural light is a significant consideration when heating and cooling a building, so it should be used to reduce the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. Sustainable materials such as recycled and locally sourced materials should also be incorporated into the design.
Landscape design can enhance the natural environment by incorporating native plants, rain gardens, and permeable paving. Regardless of the landscaping method chosen, thoughtful consideration of the surrounding environment improves the overall quality of life for the residents.
Landscaping for Exterior Design
Landscape design is designing, planning, implementing, and maintaining the outdoor areas surrounding a building that are part of the exterior design process. Our goal is to create an outdoor space that is attractive as well as functional, complementing the architecture of the building and adding a sense of beauty to it as a whole.
It consists of a wide range of elements, such as plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, hardscapes, water features, lighting, etc. The importance of having a well-designed landscape cannot be overstated since it can increase the property’s value, enhance the property’s curb appeal, and create an enjoyable and relaxing outdoor living space for the property’s occupants and visitors.
Outdoor Lighting and its Role in Exterior Design
It is essential that outdoor lighting is used as part of exterior design, as it enhances an exterior property’s aesthetic appeal and ensures safety and security. Putting outdoor lighting can highlight the architectural features of a building, enhance landscaping elements, and create an inviting and warm atmosphere, adding to its aesthetic appeal.
In addition, it can also reduce the risk of accidents or injuries for occupants and visitors by deterring potential intruders and improving visibility for occupants and visitors. Outdoor lighting comes in various forms, including path lights, spotlights, floodlights, accent lights, etc. Creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space can enhance the value of any property if the outdoor lighting plan is well-designed.
Sustainable Exterior Design Practices
A sustainable exterior design involves using environmentally-friendly materials and methods to create outdoor spaces that minimize the negative impacts on the environment after the construction of the exterior space. Here is a list of a few examples of sustainable exterior design practices:
⦁ Plant native plants wherever possible: Native plants are adapted to the local climate, are healthier, and require less maintenance, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
⦁ Collecting rainwater can help reduce your water usage, as well as provide you with a source of irrigation for your landscaping at the same time.
⦁ Using recycled materials within the design, such as reclaimed wood or recycled plastic, will enable us to reduce the waste generated during the production process while minimizing the amount of newly produced material that must be used.
⦁ Energy-efficient lighting: Lighting that uses LEDs or solar panels can save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
⦁ Adding a green roof to a building provides insulation, reduces stormwater runoff, and improves air quality.
Incorporating sustainable practices into the exterior design is a way to create beautiful outdoor spaces and minimally affect the environment while maintaining functionality.
Modern Exterior House Designs
Modern exterior house designs are known for their simple shapes, clean lines, and focus on functionality. They often feature flat or low-pitched roofs, large windows, and a minimalist color palette with neutral colors dominating the design. Natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal add texture and depth to the design.
Modern homes also emphasize outdoor living spaces, such as decks, patios, and rooftop gardens, providing additional living space and a connection to nature. Architects and designers can create beautiful and functional homes by incorporating these elements into modern exterior house designs that reflect contemporary lifestyles and design sensibilities.
Simple House Front Design
Simple housefront designs are focused on clean lines, minimal ornamentation, functionality, symmetry, a minimalist color palette, functional landscaping, and an emphasis on the entryway. By incorporating these elements, architects and designers can create a modern, functional exterior that enhances curb appeal and complements the home’s overall design.
These designs often feature symmetrical elements and clean lines and prioritize the front entryway with a well-defined pathway, porch, or stoop. These designs tend towards neutral colors such as white, gray, and beige, incorporating low-maintenance landscaping elements.
Modern Exterior Apartment Design
Modern exterior apartment designs prioritize functionality and simplicity, with clean lines and a minimalist color palette dominating the style. This design is characterized by large windows and balconies that allow natural light and a connection to the outdoors.
Modern apartments also feature outdoor living spaces, often incorporating natural materials like wood, stone, and metal. Minimalistic decoration is preferred, creating a beautiful and functional design that reflects contemporary lifestyles and sensibilities. Architects and designers merge elements to create the perfect modern exterior apartment.
Exterior Design for Commercial Spaces
Commercial spaces should consider various exterior design elements to create an outdoor space that reflects its brand identity, attracts customers, and functions well. These design elements include signage, lighting, landscaping, outdoor seating, and color choices for a visually appealing and functional space. Well-designed signage, properly placed outdoor lighting, and a well-designed landscape can create an inviting space that enhances a building’s aesthetic appeal.
Additionally, outdoor seating can create a welcoming atmosphere, while using color can make a business stand out and leave a memorable impression on customers. These elements can help create an outdoor space that enhances a business’s brand identity and attracts customers.
Exterior Design for Residential Spaces
Creating a visually appealing and functional outdoor space that complements a home’s architecture and enhances its overall aesthetic appeal is essential for the exterior design of residential spaces. Design elements include landscaping with various elements such as plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, and hardscapes, while outdoor living spaces like patios, decks, or outdoor kitchens create a connection with nature.
Appropriate outdoor lighting, focus on the entryway, and the use of color in painted shutters, colorful front doors, or landscaping elements can also enhance a home’s overall aesthetic appeal and create a welcoming atmosphere.
Case Studies in Exterior Design: Examples and Analysis
Here are three case studies in exterior design: The High Line in New York City, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and the Farnsworth House in Illinois. Each design focuses on the site or building’s unique elements, incorporating materials, colors, and textures to create visually appealing and functional outdoor spaces.
The High Line features a mix of natural and industrial materials, native plants, and trees and emphasizes the park’s history and industrial character. The Sydney Opera House’s sail-like design and white ceramic tiles reflect the changing colors of the sky and water, while outdoor spaces connect visitors to the surrounding landscape. The Farnsworth House’s simple rectangular shape with floor-to-ceiling glass walls creates a connection to nature and simplicity while emphasizing functionality and sustainability.