Category

Exterior Décor

You could argue that a home’s street view is like the first page of a passport – many important details can be read from there and there’s certainly a lot of us who don’t look too pretty on our passport photos. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve a home’s curb appeal, unlike our passport photos. If you think your home could use a simple ‘facelift’ then read on. These simple, effective tricks will get you started with your project in no time. Once applied, they can truly make a difference.

New Mailbox

Give your mailbox a new suit

Even from afar, someone driving down the road will instinctively look at the mailbox first and the house second. This mailbox makeover project is simple because it requires little material, and can be done in a single afternoon. To begin, wrap your 4×4 wooden post with scraps of differently colored natural stone pavers. Once you have an attractive stone pillar, attach a shiny black metal mailbox to one side and complete the magazine look with a vertical house number plaque.

Arboreal spotlights
Give your trees and shrubs a brand new night attire by putting them into spotlight. During the day, solar spotlights are virtually unseen in the undergrowth, while they charge up. But as the night falls they start to shine beautifully at the tree canopies from bellow. You can also point them on a few decorative boulders or a small pond. They won’t amount to your electricity bill and some of them come with solar panels that are attached with long wires, so they can be charged on a sunnier spot.

Front door

Front door makeover

If you are on a tight budget and you want to give your front door a facelift, there is no need to go for a full replacement. A bit of paint and molding can do wonders to your dull entrance. A rich dinner party or wenge color scheme will upgrade your home a class or two, while the polystyrene molding above the doorway will make every entry grand.

Hide slab foundation

The exposed slab foundation is a straight out eyesore. Extending the facade all the way to the ground level so it covers the foundation is manageable, but it will make a hole in your budget the size of an open coal mining pit. Instead, you can choose a solution that will look attractive and still leave you with some cash for further upgrades. Faux panels come in a number of colors and styles, mimicking natural stone, brick or wood. When you finally choose, you will probably want to apply some of it inside, too. Maybe for an accent wall or fireplace sides.

Repainted House

Repainting

Perhaps a bit more costly upgrade, but surely a worthy one. When looking at the ‘big picture’ from the outside, if a house has deteriorating paint on many spots it will make a bigger and more negative impact than almost all other nice things put together. Consider a complete repainting job if your budget allows. Check out a few great examples of color schemes from the CraftPro blog.

House number on planters

If your house number can barely be seen from the road, you could take a few planters with nice flowers and write the house number on them. Aside from being practical, this project is simple and inexpensive. Buy as many planters as there are digits in your house number, find a suitable spot and prop them on a crude, unprocessed plank that rests on old bricks to get that vintage look. You could also use a stump. Paint the house number with white paint on a dark
background and plant some annuals in each planter.

Nice house

Camouflage the eyesores

Every home has eyesores like utility boxes, wires, lines and vents that mar the aesthetics of the house. There are several ways to deal with them. The simplest one is to paint them in the same color as the rest of the house and no one will ever notice them. However, if you want to conceal the trash bins or the air conditioner unit, you can either plant a hedge around it, or camouflage it with a couple of lattice panels painted the same color as the facade.

So there you go, several easy DIY projects which will enhance your curb appeal in no time. With improvements like these, not only will your new neighbors want to take a closer look at what is inside, but they will impress anybody who passes by, including potential homebuyers.

Selecting new windows takes more than just going with the looks that match the house they are about to be built in. Aside from acting as source of daylight and architectural accent, windows also give shape to the room, provide ventilation and emergency escape route. These are the most popular window styles.

Broad Division

Generally speaking, windows can be fixed or operable. Fixed windows re used solely as architectural feature in places where there is need for natural light and view but ventilation is not a concern. They often come in unusual geometric shapes like round-tops or relatively new type of seamless bent-glass windows that provide unobstructed corner view. However, operable windows are what most people consider for their homes. They can be sided sideways, vertically or hinged outwards or inwards on both vertical and horizontal panes.

william hefner dining room paneled walls doors gray blue cococozy interior design leather chairs encasement windows interior design
Image source: http://www.gharbuilder.com/

Double Hung and Tilt-Turn Windows

This classic design has survived centuries and not without a reason. Apart from having excellent ventilation control, they have a very simple construction. Their upper outside sash can be lowered, while the lower inside sash can slide up. Some types even feature sashes that can be removed easily for cleaning. A sub-variant of this type with only one sliding sash is called single-hung. Tilt-turn windows are popular in Europe. They tilt inside at the top but also have a feature that allows them to swing at 180 degrees for easier cleaning, which doubles as convenient emergency exit.

Casement Windows

These side-mounted windows are made in single or paired configuration and are operated by a crank that rotates the sash inward or outward. They can be fully opened for easy cleaning and maintenance, while their excellent ventilation properties come from their breeze catching effect, in which they act like sails on a boat.

Awning and Hopper Windows

It is easiest to describe them as horizontal casements. While awning windows are top hinged, so that they offer partial ventilation, unobstructed views and respectable security. Hopper windows are their inverted image. They hinge at the bottom and due to their very good ventilation properties are often used as a complement for a door or another window.

pinterest image
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/

Horizontal Sliding Windows

They feature a single or multiple panels that are fixed and one or more panels that slide in horizontal tracks. The drawback of this design is that in the best case only half of the window can be opened at a time, providing only partial ventilation. However, an advantage of sliders is that no space is required for a sash to swing in or out, making them ideal for small spaces.

Bay Windows

This three-window set is easily recognized from the outside as it protrudes from the house wall, and forms an interior bay. In addition to great light gathering characteristics, bay window offers much wider view angle than any other type, save the seamless corner windows. A central window is flanked by two side ones that make 30 or 45 degree angle with the house wall.

In order to fulfil their different needs, windows come in many sizes, types and functions. When choosing windows for your home, consider architectural aspect, the window purpose and budget.

We all need a place where we can relax and unwind. Some do it with the comfort of a book wrapped in a blanket in their favorite sofa. Others love nature and want to relax outside. If you have a big yard, you can remodel it to this particular need. A place where you can watch the stars in the evening while drinking a big glass of wine.

The deck

You are will have to hire a contractor for this. You want it to be flawless and you are not the best person for the job, unless you are a DIY nut. Anyway, you need to research what kind of wood would you like for your deck. The best choice is to use composite lumber. This composite is a mixture of timber fibre, plastic and an agent that bonds the material. It is the most eco-friendly option available on the market if you want to keep that timber look but you also want to think of the environment. Next, you need to decide on the finish. The available methods of treating wooden decking are painting and staining.

http://eachbatt.com/
Image credit http://eachbatt.com/

Furniture

When searching for the best piece of furniture on the market, be sure to make the durability of the material the paramount in your choice. The outdoor furniture is susceptible to weather and its condition can deteriorate over time. You need to familiarize yourself with the materials and how they are maintained. If you are into trends, then be sure to check out what is new and stylish for 2015. Timber furniture is the best option since it is cheaper than metal and looks better then plastic furniture. Additionally, when it gets cold outside, it is still more comfortable to sit in than metal furniture. For a more rustic style, you can buy wicker furniture. It is cozy, light and versatile. You can move it indoors and use it as living room furniture.

https://www.localsearch.com.au/
Image credit https://www.localsearch.com.au/

Décor

In order to add elegance and taste to the overall impression of your outdoor space, some decorations would be in order. Start with lighting. If you prefer not to have the space illuminated, opt for fire pits. Nowadays, fire pits can be bought in any store that specializes in outdoor furniture. They provide that unique lighting and warmth only fire can deliver. If you plan on reading outside when the weather is nice you will need a proper lighting. Outdoor ceiling lighting is a nice touch and it goes well with classically stylized wall lighting. One of the freshest trends is putting a rug and curtains on your patio. It adds the feeling of being in a living room. When you decide to add a carpet and curtains, remember to remove them when the weather conditions worsen.

For party animals

If your outdoor nook is meant to be a place where you and your friends gather to unwind together or just hang out, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. When you choose from the wide range of grills, think about everything each one has to offer. Gas grills are fast but they do not give you the authentic charcoal taste. Charcoal grills are for hardcore barbecue fans. However, the best choice is a portable grill as you can always switch it up and even cook inside. No matter which one you choose, you will be immensely satisfied with how your nook looks like since it is tailored according to your wishes and your wishes alone.

 

Since ancient times, architectural development has followed the development of a society. You will remember a place by the looks it has, and great works of architecture will influence the look of a city in great amounts. This is the list of the ten greatest award-winning people standing behind great buildings.

 

Zaha Hadid

(born October 31, 1950)

Zaha Hadid

 

Hadid is an Iraqui-British architect of neofuturistic buildings characterised by ‘multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life’.  Her greatest works include the Bridge Pavilion and the Third Millennium Bridge in Zaragoza, Spain; the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria; and the Central Building of the BMW Plant in Leipzig, Germany.

 

Frank Gehry (born February 28, 1929)

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

 

A number of this Canadian-American deconstructivist architect’s buildings, including his private residence, have become world-famous tourist attractions, such as the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; and Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, France. It was the aforementioned Gehry’s private residence that lift him from the status of ‘paper architecture’.

 

Renzo Piano (born September 14, 1937)

Nemo Science Centre at night

 

The architest of the Nemo Science Centre in Amsterdam and the Living Roof of the California Academy of Sciences, this Italian architect was selected by TIME as ‘one of the 100 most influential people of the world’. However, his world-famous building is the Shard London Bridge, an 87-storey skyscraper in London, standing approximately 309 metres, and currently being the tallest building in the European Union, and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom.

 

Leogh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917)

Louvre Pyramid in Pari

 

L.M. Pei, a Chinese-born American architect, is often referred to as ‘the master if modern architecture’. His most famous buildings include the Louvre Pyramid in Paris; John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, USA; and the National Gallery of Art East Building in Washington DC, USA. His most recent jewel is the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

 

Santiago Calatrava (born July 28, 1951)

Liege Guillemins railway station

 

Calatrava is a Spanish neofuturistic architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter. His greatest architectural achievements include the Liege Guillemins railway station, Belgium; the Athens Olympic Sports Complex, Greece; and the Bridge of Strings (or the Chords Bridge) in Jerusalem.

 

Tom Wright (born 1957)

Burj Al Arab

 

This British architect is the designer of the Burj Al Arab hotel, the synonym of Dubai. The yacht-sail-shaped hotel, causing the ‘wow effect’ in any viewer, reflects the seafaring heritage of Dubai in a combination with ‘a modern aspect moving forwards into the future’. On its rooftop is a helipad and the world’s highest tennis court.

 

Jean Nouvel (born August 12, 1945)

Louvre Abu Dhabi

 

This French architect is the designer of the future Louvre Abu Dhabi art museum. His famous buildings include the Arab World Institute in Paris, France and the Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne, Switzerland; and the Philharmonie de Paris, France.

 

Moshe Safdie (born July 14, 1938)

Habitat 67

 

Safdie is an Israeli/Canadian/American architect, urban designer, educator and author, most famous for Habitat 67, a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada; as well as the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem and the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex in Anandpur Sahib, India.

 

Adrian Smith (born August 19, 1944)

Burj Khalifa

 

This American neofuturistic architect’s best works include the Burj Khalifa, – the world’s tallest skyscraper in the world, in Dubai, UAE, and the Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China.

 

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (both born 1950)

Allianz Arena in Munich

 

These two Swiss architects are world famous for the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China, also known as the Beijing National Stadium built for the 2008 Olympic and Paraolympics Games.

 

 

It is winter outside, but in a couple of months, when the spring sun brings a little bit of warmth into our gardens, we will want to spend all of our time outside. Comfortable chair, warm coffee in our hands and sun shining down upon us is all we need to truly enjoy beautiful morning before we start with our daily schedule, but having a beautiful scenery around will make that free time you spend there more enjoyable. So if you are not that imaginative and talented when redecorating is in question, we have a couple of landscape design tips from world’s top experts on landscaping design on how to create your own little backyard paradise.

Your Own Oasis

First thing you need to think about when deciding how to change your garden is where you are going to place your garden furniture, and then everything else will come naturally.

Right in the center, among all the flowers, hidden behind tall shrubs and trees, you need peaceful and comfortable sun bed where you can spend your days reading books while escaping the reality.

You can always go shopping for the usual garden furniture, like wooden chairs and decks with pillows that cover them, but think a little harder, and consider building a sturdy construction for  a big comfortable rocking hammock with a lot of cushions, where even two people can sit together if needed.

Another inevitable thing you need to have for this to truly be your personal oasis is Koi pond.

Those are little ecosystems with plants and fish that require special care and treatment, but it is worth it. They create perfect harmony and balance in your garden, and inside of you, while you are resting with the sound of the water trickling in the light breeze.

Koi Pond
image source: Pinterest

Warm Romantic Nights

There have probably been moments in the evening when you wanted to spend some quality time with your better half, sitting somewhere in the meadow, roasting marshmallows, while stargazing.

But the problem of today is that you are usually too tired to sit in your car and drive off, so you really need a cozy corner in your yard where you can put the firewood and light it to keep you warm while you and your dearest talk about the day you had, or simply enjoy the silence of the night.

A bottle of wine and a soft blanket for you two to roll under and cuddle up next to the flickering fire is all you need to create that romantic movie atmosphere.

Masonry Fire Pit
image credit: landscapingnetwork.com

Stonehenge

By now you have probably seen many beautiful garden pathways made of stone and little rocks, but you can be a bit more creative with it, especially if you have larger stones you can use to make yourself a unique sitting area.

They might be a bit heavy to move and work with, so you will need an extra set of hands, but once you pile them up, one by one, you will create a couch like no one else has ever seen.

They could be somewhat uncomfortable, so always carry an extra cushion or a blanket with you to sit on, but what it will be perfect for is a hot summer – simply lay on the cold stone and enjoy the beautiful day.

Stone Couch
image source: amazinginteriordesign.com

Stairway to the Garden of Eden

If your backyard is not a flat surface, and you need a few steps to reach some of its corners, try to be as creative as you can. Make them out of stone, as this natural material will look perfect in combination with the big grass surface that you already take such good care of.

However, if you feel that stone makes your scenery look a bit cold, you can always decorate it with your favorite flowers – leave some space between the blocks, and plant whatever you wish, just do not forget to water it regularly, and be careful not to step on it on your way up.

Garden Stairway
image source: Pinterest

An Old Teapot

Finally, not one garden should be without a fountain, and if you have an old pot that you do not use anymore, but you are emotionally attached to it, there is a way to create an interesting little stream of water.

So if you have always wanted to live in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, now you can recreate this mystical land with a little DIY project, with an old pot and a water pump, surrounded with colorful flowers.

Old Teapot Fountain
image credit: wonderfuldiy.com

At The End

So in the end you do not really need a designer. Just think carefully what you truly need in your garden to make you feel comfortable while sitting, and pleasing to the eyes.

A lot of flowers, natural materials, some old furniture, and even things that you thought you will not use anymore can do the trick and help you make the back of your home your own paradise on Earth.

Whether it is for houses or buildings, exterior design is very important. Precisely because it doesn’t have to be in unison with the interior, architects have the freedom to do what they want and create what they want, with the permission of their clients of course.

Whereas most people design and build their houses so as to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood, there are some who just purposefully stand out.

Exterior in modern architecture is trying to break out of the cookie cutter design, and instead strive for something new and unexpected, and inspired by layout, location, function, texture, etc.

Here are some intriguing exterior designs to make you think and wonder if you would ever have the guts to pull those off.

 

Colorful Mykonos

image credit: zilinskas.net

 

This house situated in Mykonos, Greece represents a wonderful mixture of traditional architecture characteristic for this region and naïve playful painting.

Even with the design that is very traditional for this region, using blue color to cast away evil spirits, this example is a very bold one, with a bold choice of color.

Clear Cut

image credit: freundevonfreunden.com
image credit: freundevonfreunden.com

 

Most people hire an architect to build their dream house. The couple from this home did the entire job almost entirely by themselves. This is a classic urban style from northern countries, a bit closed off from the exterior world, but inside sheltering an intimate atmosphere.

It is meant to interpret nature in a way, with its rough edges, stone-like shape, materials used etc.

 

Seashell Seashell By The Sea Shore

image credit: beautifullife.info
image credit: beautifullife.info

 

In areas close to the sea architects sometimes get all sorts of inspiration. Coming from Mexico, this is a house formally known as the Conch Shell House on the island of Isla Mujeres, the house of the famous artist Octavio Ocampo.

Using pretty traditional materials as well as old recycled and found materials, this house stores a pretty unusual design. It heavily interprets nature in the sense of organic formation of objects.

 

A Bold Design

image credit: apartmenttherapy.com
image credit: apartmenttherapy.com

 

This house was designed by a famous Mexican artist Juan O’Gorman, and it is known as the Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo house.

The style is industrial modernism, and it uses the bright color as an architectural tool for point out the form of the shapes and flat surfaces. The repetitive use of nature with the cactuses and trees in the background is used to sustain the symbiosis with the object.

Old And New

image credit: inool.com
image credit: inool.com

 

Geometric is sometimes good and sometimes bad, but it’s never good to carry it out at any cost.

In a broad mixture of styles, cubic forms are combined with broad glass surfaces look very modern and are there to point the vision in the direction of good vistas, but the choice of material is not good for this as it is rustic, and doesn’t complement the contemporary build.

 

Transparency Is Key

image credit: homedit.com
image credit: homedit.com

 

Once again, a design that is not very fitting next to its neighbors. Nonetheless, this house in Japan is very bold and transparent. It seems the architect has decided to completely cut out privacy by bringing in transparency in everyday life with so many glass surfaces.

What is visible in the inside shows a contrast between the dynamic of the interior and the down-to-Earth exterior.

 

There’s Something Fishy Going on Here

image credit: homedit.com
image credit: homedit.com

 

This is Hus. Ett, a Swedish micro designed house.

Even though small, this haring shaped house the elements on the inside of the house, as well as the vast window area create an atmosphere full of light. It is a contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture.

 

Tin Man House

image credit: inool.com
image credit: inool.com

 

This house sort of reminds us of a metal container. Even besides the good form and the very interesting arrangement of openings such as windows, doors, etc, the selection of finishing materials is not the best.

In this case, concrete and wood would be a much better combination than the present metal and wood.

 

Lego Blocks

image credit: telegraph.co.uk
image credit: telegraph.co.uk

 

The use of shipping containers for living purposes is something that greatly sets the Trinity Buoy Wharf house in east London apart from many others. This is actually a home for an entire community which is where these containers come in great use.

Furthermore, the architect did a wonderful job to show off the playfulness of the design by combining different colors and geometrical shapes.

 

The Little Green House

image credit: archdaily.com
image credit: archdaily.com

 

The first thing that is apparent when seeing this design is that it is trying to go back to nature. The architect is giving us the message that he is trying to give back to nature what was unrightfully taken from her by building this house.

The mixture of geometric wholes is apparent.