If you’ve read some of my previous articles about doing up the façade of your house, you probably recognize there is more to creating a beautiful façade than just choosing the right colours. By now, you would understand the importance of creating a focal point and achieving cohesion and balance through the entire design. But there’s another step in the design process that all designers understand and use and that is the notion of a house being masculine or feminine in appearance. Although it’s not as widely known in the general population, it’s something that could help you create a more effective design for your façade.
Masculine and feminine design are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum. A masculine design is generally darker colours, stronger lines, more structured landscaping and often a squarer, more angular or chunky effect. Feminine design is softer colours, more curves, softer landscaping and usually a more fluid appearance.
Of course, some houses have a mixture of both, but often a house can be far more feminine or quite obviously masculine. It’s useful to grasp this concept before you start redoing the façade because it can help inform almost all your decisions. It will have a bearing on paint colour, materials used, and the type of landscaping you do.
A beautiful façade has depth, contrast, and visual interest. It’s not a flat look with everything on the same plane and painted in the same colour. Identifying whether your house is more masculine or feminine in appearance will help you work out how to balance it and use contrast to achieve a more visually interesting façade.
If what you’ve got on your facade is not working, think of the opposite (in terms of masculine or feminine) and consider adding in those features to balance it out. If it’s too masculine, add in the feminine and vice versa.
For example, if your house is a big brick 80s house, it’s probably quite masculine. It’s likely to be angular, chunky, very structured and could be lacking personality because it’s one big solid mass with not much to visually break it up. To balance that, you could add softness. You might render it to add contrast through colour, but more importantly, you could look at the shapes and give it some softness through softer landscaping, more fluid lines, and using more natural materials.
If your house is too feminine, too soft and airy-fairy, you could add more structure and depth through darker colours, stronger lines and landscaping. You would aim to make it less fluid and more entrenched or solid in appearance.
If you have trouble identifying where your house lies on the spectrum, or you need a bit of help in achieving a balanced design for the façade, consider hiring an exterior designer. A good one is worth their weight in gold, usually far less expensive than you think and will help you avoid costly mistakes.