A well-designed home has something that sets it apart from other houses in the street. It’s usually a combination of several factors that work together to create a bit of a ‘wow’ moment when you first see the house.
So how do you create the same thing with your own house? It’s not as elusive as you might think and usually revolves around three things: fences, focal points and landscaping.
Have you ever seen a poorly framed picture? One where the frame detracts from the image rather than enhances it? The fence on your property does the same job as a picture frame. Get it right and you will have a beautifully framed property, but get it wrong and everything will look a bit off.
A word of warning – just because a fence on the internet looks great doesn’t mean it will suit your property. Your fence needs to link in some way to the architecture of your house. I don’t mean you have to install something from the 70’s just because your house was built in that era, but you can take one element from the architecture and use it on your fence. It creates a cohesive look and provides an overall harmonious aesthetic appeal.
Creating a focal point is one of the secrets of a well-designed home. Focal points can be created through portico’s, front decking, planter boxes, tile and timber features or paved areas. The purpose is to draw the eye in and lead the viewer to the entryway.
Some ‘front’ doors are situated at the side of the house. If that’s the case, it makes sense to create a focal point around that area. Focal points do not always need to be directly in front of the house.
Don’t go creating too many focal points around the property; it will look too busy and distracts the viewer. Decide what you are going to do as your main focal point and choose the best way to create it based on the architectural style of the house.
Landscaping can go a long way towards improving the aesthetic appeal of a house. Take a good look at your existing landscaping and decide what needs to go and what can stay. Are there areas that could be pared back? Are there areas that are a bit barren and could do with a few plants to soften the scene?
Try to choose plants that will visually balance the property. Balance does not always mean everything has to be symmetrical. Rather, it is about balancing the visual weight of things. For example, a dainty timber cottage will suit fine, slender plants whereas a heavy brick house would be better off with big chunky plants with thick, glossy leaves.
Your landscaping should work with the fence, the focal point and the finish and materials your house is made of. If plants are butting up against a charcoal colour or a dark brick, choose plants with a lighter colour so they don’t get lost in the background. If the backdrop is a lighter shade, choose darker plants.
A lot of landscaping can be done with grasses and non-flowering plants such as Cordyline or Xanadu. Non-flowering plants create a more structured design but will still add colour and variety if you choose wisely.
As the old saying goes, first impressions last the longest so have a bit of fun and create your own ‘wow’ moment.