Five Great Options for Upgrading Your Exterior Home Design

Photography by Lisa Russman

If you have a small home but still want your design to pack a big punch, then these five exterior home design styles are for you. When you know just a few tricks used for the exterior design of small houses, you can improve the curb appeal of your home and create a whole new look for your home. And the right residential architect can help you create a design that seamlessly integrates your old features with new design elements.  

1. Be Bold
One of the great things about having a small house is that you can make bold choices that would often be too overwhelming on a more prominent facade. Modern exterior house designs are trendy and cool, but they can quickly start looking like giant cubes when used on large houses. You shouldn’t fear minimalist or straight-line designs when your footprint is small. And bright colors, trendy accents with wood or interesting elements, or the use of black and other dark hues are perfect on more modest homes. 

2. Create a Warm and Welcoming Entrance
Expanding or adding a front porch not only creates a gracious entry to your home, but it also adds outdoor living space. If your house already has a porch, extend it or add a portico to give your facade new character. Turn a ho-hum small ranch into a gorgeous bungalow with a unique wrap-around porch, complete with planters and seating areas. New steps, a wider sidewalk, or a stone or stamped-concrete walkway can add charm and sophistication to your exterior design as well. 

3. Add More Lighting
Having a variety of lighting options and playful use of light on your home’s exterior can give it a welcoming ambiance as well as make it appear larger. Highlighting specific architectural details with soffit lights is one way, or using ground lights to make your front entrance more of a focal point helps, too. Your house number should also be illuminated or lit in some way, to make it easier to find your home at night. Lighting adds interest, creates different looks, and can provide your home with safety as well as beauty from dusk until dawn. 

4. Put in More Windows
Just as natural lighting inside makes your home feel more open and airy, they also benefit your home’s exterior, as well. Adding more windows gives interest to your facade and makes your home appear more substantial from the curb. Windows give you better views of your landscaping and natural surroundings from the inside while also tricking the eye into believing your space is bigger than it is. 

5. Extend Your Garden
We all know that having colorful landscaping out front improves your home’s appeal, but did you also know that it can help your home appear bigger? When flowers outside your home are close to the same color as your door, and you extend your beds so that they go all the way to the street, people will perceive that your house is larger than it is. It’s a trick of the eye that has a lasting impact. 

Putting it All Together
When considering the exterior design for small houses, there isn’t much that is off-limits, but if you want to maximize your space as well as create visual appeal for passers-by, then these five tips can get you started. Remember that you should play to your home’s assets, and when you extend living space out of doors, you gain visual interest as well as room to enjoy your home and yard. Exterior home design styles are easier to change than you might think, especially when you work with a residential architect who specializes in modern exterior house designs.