There are several creative ways to add exterior architectural interest to your home. While some of these concepts apply directly and solely to exterior embellishments, many may overlap with your goals for interior home improvements. Today, let’s talk about seven unique ways to improve visitors’ first impressions of your home through exterior renovations.
Biophilic ‘Green Roof’ Carports
If you think of carports as functional yet generally unattractive installations, think again. In this creative marriage of industrial convenience and biophilic design, we built a carport that enhances rather than detracts from the landscape of the owners’ home. The flat roof is covered in thriving greenery that at once enjoys direct access to sun and moisture while protecting cars from damage from the elements. The minimalist steel columns and natural wood borders strengthen the impression that the carport is a floating green garden that graces the neighborhood.
Deck and Porch Additions
A deck or porch addition can also add a lot of structural interest to your home’s profile when tastefully incorporated. This porch addition in Newton, Massachusetts, for example, tastefully redefines the home’s silhouette with an imaginatively vaulted mahogany plank ceiling and skylights that reflect sunlight onto the warm mahogany flooring below. The structure is large enough to comfortably accommodate a full-sized table. Features like the ceiling fan, integrated lighting, and heat lamps make it easy to enjoy dining on the porch in multiple seasons.
It’s important to note that even practical additions like garages can enhance a home’s aesthetic appeal if the new independent structure’s architecture is properly married to the primary home’s design. One NEDC client in Needham, MA, decided to build an independent structure consisting of a one-car garage and combined pool house after installing an in-ground pool and revamping the surrounding landscape. Their stipulation for the new structure was that it integrates seamlessly with the original home to give the impression that both structures were built at the same time.
Matching materials were meticulously selected, from siding and roofing to awning brackets and molding details. Even the pitch of the roof, though scaled to the size of the new structure, mimics the lines of the original home. Rather than simply blending in, however, the new structure actually adds to the original home with creative additions like the tapered Tuscan columns and hipped roof extension that echo the oriel window at the back of the home. A strategically placed gate aids in disguising the dual garage functionality of the pool house, and the angle of the garage/pool means that the structure is not visible from the front of the home.
Probably one of the most popular ways to add architectural interest to your home is an addition. Common additions include sunrooms, second stories, bedroom and bathroom bump-outs, kitchen extensions, and bathrooms. In this Brighton whole home remodel, a master suite addition was added to the back of the home to improve the flow of the layout and increase the home’s usable square footage.
The new master suite addition creatively combines warm horizontal wood paneling that frames the bed and then is visually echoed in a deck that opens off the suite through large French doors. Inside, the paneling extends from the floor to the wall to the ceiling; outside, the same wood tones create a privacy barrier and continue the roofline through open trellises. The overall effect is fresh, balanced, and inspiring.
One of the easiest ways to add a big impact to your home architecture is a portico, a roofed walkway leading to your front or back entrance. As a portico’s stately columns may suggest, this architectural feature came into favor in ancient Greece and is still widely in use today. The structure is simple, yet the result is grand.
In the case of this project, our clients opted to add the portico to the rear of the home. The structure leads into a reimagined landing and remodeled basement. Rather than being presented with a shear wall, visitors are greeted by the welcoming portico that seems to usher them inside. Placing the portico off-center from the door adds an extra layer of interest.
Traditional Sunroom Addition
Adding a sunroom is another way to boost your home’s architectural value and introduce a lot of natural light into your home. In this custom sunroom addition in Wellesley, MA, we created one full wall of latticed windows crowned by a magnificent radius window. We also added French doors with wide side windows in the same latticed style. A custom built-in bench runs along one full wall and wraps under the latticed windows, providing a comfortable haven to enjoy an informal meal or simply bask in the sun. The slate gray tiles installed with a herringbone pattern provide the perfect transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Beyond additions, porticos, and independent structures, there are also creative architectural features that you can incorporate into your home without significantly changing its silhouette. This can be useful in cases where space is limited or you don’t need additional living space but you do want to enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal.
One example may be found in the dynamic door and gable structure we incorporated into this client’s classic shake shingle siding. By introducing natural timber siding around an industrial front door and extending the materials into the second story with a prominent gable, we created a focal point for the home that elevates everything around it. The front door, its awning, the gable window, and its rooftop all tie in harmoniously with the existing industrial style found in the home’s windows and garage door, while the natural timber reflects the warmth of the brick chimney. The entryway as a whole is at once balanced and fresh.
Design Your Custom Solution
While these seven projects provide an inspiring springboard from which to craft your own ideas, there are limitless ways to introduce architectural interest to your home’s exterior. It would be a pleasure to help you craft a personalized vision around your unique home, so don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your idea and request a consultation.