Front Entry Design and Architecture

The front of your home sets the visual tone and appeal for your guests when they first arrive at your front door. Whether you like it or not, your front entry may be the deciding factor if your home looks inviting and welcoming or the complete opposite.

Materials such as stone, copper, wood, steel and brick can be used to finish a specific landscaping architecture or create a new one. Your house’s exterior paint color may be the most visible design decision you make, especially if showcased with exterior lights. The landscaping ideas in the front and side yards offer both a welcoming transition from street to door and a buffer between your home and the public spaces it shares. Architectural details on your home can enhance your front area and help set the tone for your interiors. Popular home designs in the U.S. include Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Cape Cod, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Prairie Style, Art Deco, Modern, Mid-Century Modern, Ranch Style and today’s sleek, utilitarian LEED-certified “green” design, among many other architectural styles.

If you are trying to enhance your front entry, the colors and architectural style details you choose can provide all beauty you are looking for. The right set of landscape pictures can add dramatic impact to your garden plans and landscape plans.

Following are four design hints to make your front of house an everlasting positive image of you and your family.

Light the way

Have you ever been to a beautiful home in the daytime, but when you drive by the house in the evening the front entry is dark and uninviting? Landscape ideas that include architectural lighting can enhance your home, and make your home more inviting and safe to walk up to. Landscape lighting can also be included with architectural details, as they light the walkways, sidewalk, and front porch of your home. Use up lighting to also enhance architectural details like columns, niches, and trim enhancements on your exterior.

Highlight architectural period details

Whether your home is a modern and minimalist home or it is a Victorian styled home from hundreds of years ago, architectural period details are what makes your home unique and personalized. Look at your front entry and look for details that can be painted, enhanced or updated. Trim around windows, and doors, shutters, and cornice details can be painted in a contrasting color to stand out, or blend with surrounding features. Look at the front façade of your home as a whole and determine which details run around the perimeter of your home. Roof eave details and gutters can be highlighted with color and can make a bland front façade more visually appealing.

Mix and match materials

Often times the best way to beautify your front entry is to use existing materials and enhance them with a variety of others. Brick, stone, siding, cedar shingles, exposed wood and metals can all enhance each other in separate details of your front entry. To unite your front entry with other areas of your front façade, use the same geometric shape, but differentiate with colors, scale, and materials to bring your theme together. Strong geometry can beautify a front entry, and can be mimicked in you porch decor, front door, and even roof details.

Simplify your front entry

Have you ever noticed that the smallest details can often make the biggest difference and impact? Instead of using color to signify the front door, how about changing your front door style and shape to mimic surrounding exterior details? If you have stairs leading to your front door, use mosaic tiles and quarry tiles to highlight the way. Even simple walkway banisters and handrails can make a huge presence. Try updating your existing house numbers, wall mounted mail box and door hardware to complete the look!

Your front of the house can be beautified with light, architectural highlights and simplification. If you are trying to make your front entry read as a welcoming home to visit, beautifying its architectural details can help. Use these simple tips to help you create a front entry that you and your guests will be proud of.

Log Home Decorating and Maintenance Tips

5 Tips for Decorating Log Homes

1.      Using wooden furniture that is a few shades lighter than the sidings of your home will add light to the interior.
2.      Chandeliers are also a great way to add light and beauty to your log home.
3.      Use pictures that contain imagery from outdoors such as landscapes to keep with the theme of your home.
4.      Rugs with Native American patterns add color without being overpowering or clashing.

5.      Add a little something extra with a vase of flowers such as daisies or cat tails.
 
5 Tips for Exterior Log Home Maintenance:    
 
1.      Checking the Exterior Routinely – Examine the outside of your home for burrow holes, splitting logs, loose caulking, loose chinking, mold and moisture issues, or any siding discoloration. All of which are very important factors in maintaining the investment and beauty of your log home.
2.      Consider The Surrounding Elements – Trees, excessive rain, and wind can cause damage to your home. If you have any of these problems you will also want to check the roof of your home for any wear or damages and replace them immediately.
3.      Clean Regularly – Wood homes need to be washed at minimum once a year will ensure that the home will be in great shape for a long time. Failing to do so can result in quicker deterioration of the home. Dirt is extremely volatile to wood and needs to be removed often.
4.      Refinishing and Maintaining the Beauty of your Log Home – Replace damaged or rotten logs right away to ensure the deterioration does not spread.
5.      Apply the appropriate stain or sealer to your log home every 3-5 years. It is very important to determine what the existing finish is or what stain was previously used on your home originally. This will enable you to determine what the best exterior finish would be when recoating your log home.

The Four Elements of Landscaping

Landscaping is both a science and an art. It involves the contouring and modifying of the visual features of a land area. It also entails the science and art of gardening, landscape design and landscape architecture.

The visual features include four types. The living elements of landscaping include the flora and fauna. On the other hand, the nature elements are the shape and elevation of landforms and bodies of water. The man-made elements are structures such as fences, walls, statues, garden tables, etc. The last type is the natural element, which includes the natural condition of the area such as lighting and humidity.

The design of flora and fauna is covered by the art of gardening. Managing the growth of the plants is necessary to achieve a beautiful design within the landscape environment. Different characteristics of plants such as shrubs and vines can blend well with distinct man-made structures.

Nature elements are the rocks, stones and sand, the land elevation and shape, and bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds. The rocks, stones and sand add texture to the soft touch of the flora and fauna. Landforms and bodies of water, on the other hand, influence the general theme of the landscape design.

In reality, landscaping purely based on nature and living elements usually lacks something from the over-all concept of the design. Because of this, there are man-made elements that can be added to the whole picture depending on the general theme of the whole design.

The natural condition of the area will decide the mood of the design. Natural lighting can balance a naturally dense garden. On the other hand, the level of humidity and temperature can limit the options of what flora and fauna to incorporate into the design.

Overall, the resulting landscape design will depend on how each of the four elements was inter played into the whole picture. The single formula for good landscaping is achieving balance.