Hey, good morning. How are you? My name is Jane Eyles-Bennett, and I’m the founder of this group. I’m an interior and exterior designer.
I’m coming on today to talk about two must-have things that you need to have when you are renovating the front facade of your home.
Part of your facade design is choosing your colours and your materials and your landscaping, all that kind of stuff. That’s easy; anyone knows that you need to do that. I’m going to tell you about two things that no-one is talking about. This is really important stuff when it comes to design, and its stuff that I can tell you about and you can try and make work on your own home. When I tell you what these things are, you will hopefully understand how important they are.
I’m going to talk about the first two design steps because before the design steps there are some pre-questions and things we need to organise and think about before we get into the design, and those things are around the style of your home, your budget, the neighbourhood that you’re in, and the style that you want to achieve. There are other things that we’re thinking about at that point, but I’m just saying that we don’t just dive into what I’m talking about now. This is one of the first steps that we need to do but not the first step. And the two things I’m going to tell you about are fundamental to a successful design.
Your house might already have these things. A lot of houses do, and maybe they’re just not used to their maximum or maybe they have been offset some way. Am I confusing you yet? If your house has them, that’s great. You need to keep incorporating them. If you don’t, then you need to introduce them.
Now the two things. The first one is visual balance.
Now what that means is if you are looking at your house front on, what do you see there? When we’re talking about visual balance were saying that it doesn’t have to be symmetrical but it sort of looks even. This is the best way I can think of to describe what I mean – imagine a small white box and a big black box. Imagine that. What’s visually heavier? The big black box is visually heavier because a) the box is heavier, and b) the dark colour is visually heavier. So, if you compare that to a small white box, the white is a lighter visual weight, and the box itself is a lighter visual weight. Does that make sense?
So, now what we want to do is incorporate that. How does that translate to the front of my house? Let’s say for instance you’ve got a big garage door on one side and then you’ve got absolutely nothing, it’s just house. Let’s say one side you’ve got a garage door, big tree off to the right, and you’ve got a whole bunch of other detail going on. Then on the left-hand side, maybe there’s nothing. Maybe there’s just one window. But because in this scenario we’ve got the big garage door, that’s a visual weight, even if it’s painted the same colour as the house, it’s actually a visual weight. The tree, if it’s a big tree particularly, even if it’s not a big tree, that’s a visual weight. What we’re seeing there is we’ve got a visual weight on one side and none on the other.
So, what we want to do is visually even these things out so that it looks balanced and we can do that with things like landscaping. So, for instance, the side that had no detail, we can use landscaping to anchor it, to ground it on that side and give it that visual weight to try and balance out the aesthetic.
We can do things like using colour. We can do things like using texture, those kinds of things, different elements, timber slats or something like that. We want a bit more interest and visual weight over that side and less on that side.
So that’s balance. Probably not as clear because I haven’t got images. I’ll see if I can find some before and after images to put in the comments if I get around to it. So, that concept is visual balance. You really want to be balanced. Say if you’ve got an up-stairs on the right-hand side and a single level on the left-hand side, you’ve got a visual weight difference there because your second story is much bigger than your single story on the left-hand side or whatever. So, you’ve got work out a way to visually anchor and give visual weight to that left-hand side.
Alright, now the second thing is we call it focus. So, a focal point is generally your front entrance. It isn’t always a front entrance, but I would say 80 per cent of the time it’s easy for me to talk in that regard.
What that means is that what we want is one strong focal point on the front face of your house. You don’t want this fancy thing going on over there, and that fancy thing over there, and a pool at the front and all these kinds of things. Certainly, you can have all of those things, but we don’t want to draw attention to every single one of those things. We want to choose one, we want to create one strong focal point and then the other elements, they’re not just boring, they’re not just painted white or one colour or whatever. They do link in some way to the strong focal point, but they don’t become a competing focal point if that makes sense. So, think about that.
Now your house might already be visually balanced, and it might already have a focal point. Have a look and see if you need to strengthen up that point. Maybe you need to downplay some of the other elements around the facade the house in order to stop the elements competing.
I guess one of the main points about this video is to just say great colours and materials are important but if you don’t have the fundamentals of the design down pat, like strong focal point, great balance, we have a sense of cohesion from the overall house, and we have contrast, so that’s another thing that we look at – if you don’t have those four things, then no matter how beautiful your materials or your colours, it’s still going to look off. It will look better than it did before, but you can improve it so much more when you bring into play these what we call design principles – balance, focus, cohesion and contrast. There are others, but they’re the main ones that we use.
So hopefully that’s interesting and doesn’t confuse you too much but you know, if you do need a hand whilst renovating your façade and you’re thinking, “Oh my God, I have no ideas what she just said” then contact me directly and I’m happy to have a look and give you a quote on what my design fees would be for that and honestly, if you’re spending fifty, sixty, seventy grand, it’s a complete no-brainer.