20 Tips for Exterior Design


Design is fun. It’s even more fun when you know it will look good. So I put together this list of tips and trick to guide you through designing your new exterior. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Plant Seasonal Color

A pop of color in your flower bed can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. You can get many varieties and colors to match your home’s look for every season. When looking for annual plants, keep in mind your irrigation, soil, and space to ensure you get the most out of your new plants.

Decoration artificial flower

2. The Little Things

There are so many little details you can change about your home’s exterior that makes a world of difference when they come together. Details, like updating your mailbox, changing out your home’s address numbers, and replacing outdoor art such as wind chimes, can take your home from forgettable to photo worthy.

House build brick and wood in countryside. soft flare sunlight.

3. Clean

This seems pretty basic, but I’m not just talking about raking the leaves and cleaning the gutters. Going the extra mile and having a clean car in the driveway, washing the foot stop on your front door, and getting the smudges off your windows are a bigger game-changer than you think. Every notice the siding is spotless in all those realtor pictures? Probably not, but if they weren’t, you would. 

4. Entry Way

It’s the first thing (usually) people see up close when they walk up to your house. Spice it up! Paint your front door, put up some art, get a better-looking door bell. And throw out that old welcome mat. It can’t actually clean anyone’s feet when it’s that dirty. 

5. Fresh Materials

Materials matter for every aspect of your home. From the stairs and porch to the pots and siding, how the materials look together matter. And having a once beautiful marble birdbath that is cracked in three places with 4 chips missing isn’t doing your home’s aesthetic any favors. 

6. Lines

If you’re in any design orientated field, you know how important lines are. They lead the eye, focus attention, and they can be a huge asset if used correctly. 

7. Balance

Having too much gone on (or too little) on one side on your home can throw off the balance. Not to say it needs to be completely symmetrical, but rather that having a balance between everything listed here is important and you should constantly be standing back taking the whole image in when improving your home’s exterior. 

8. Color

I couldn’t go through this article without mentioning color. While accents may be fun, don’t forget about the prime color of your home. Find the balance between having eye catching pops of color (whether it’s siding, seasonal flowers, or trim) and the less popping color of your home. There are lots of tools that allow you to see your home in different colors so if you’re not sure about it, snap a picture and see it before you buy.

9. Lights

Most people only mind to what their home looks like during the day. While this is understandable, having a beautifully lit home at night not only impresses but it also deters people with not-so-well-meaning intentions. Trees, porches, and water are great places to add light. Many landscapers offer tools to allow you to see what lights will look like in different places so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark looking for the perfect spot.

Beautiful Rockery Garden in Front of Small House. Vertical Photo.

10. Potted Plants

The possibilities with container gardening are endless. You can achieve pretty much any look and there’s almost no limit to the number of options you have that get delivered straight to your home. Check out Amazon for some inspiration. 

11. Furniture

The furniture on your porch speaks volumes to what the inside of your home will look like. Take care to get furniture that will do well in the outdoor conditions of your particular climate and how they will go with other features of you homes exterior. 

A covered lifestyle garden with indoor and outdoor living

12. Garage Door

Yeah. You knew it was coming. Think of your home’s face as a bar graph. How much space does your garage door take up? Yes. That is how important it is to your home. In many homes, it’s the most prominent feature and that can’t be taken lightly. You can check our garage door design guide here to get inspired!

13. Driveway

I have a feeling people are going think I’m going to tell you to get a fancy, spiral brick design. That’s not it at all. You don’t need to lay any new material to make a difference. Just power washing can make a HUGE difference in your driveway. Seriously. Look at this before and after:

Now, if you want to spice it up, you can see thousands of ideas on Pinterest or do something like laying down a poly layer making you driveway look glossy while filling in cracks. 

14. Landscape Maintenance 

Trimming hedges, inspecting trees, and mowing the lawn seem like pretty basic concepts but it’s so important. Having bushes that are overgrown can be a distracting eye sore that can seriously take away from your home’s aesthetic. You can do smaller projects yourself, but always hire a professional for tree trimming. 

15. Fence

If your fence is visible from the front of your house, it’s just as important as landscape. Having a broken down fence that’s warped and rotting isn’t a good look. Look at your home when deciding what material you want to use for your fence. Generally, homes look best when their fence blends into their home. Of course, if you want a beautiful horizontal oak fence, show it off!

16. Environment

Are you near a lake? The ocean? Industrial area? Your surroundings are important to your home’s design and it should always be considered when deciding on pretty much everything. Having a polished landscape in the middle of the forest just doesn’t look right. 

17. Security

I touched on this earlier on the lighting, but this is truly important. When putting art or a rare tree up, keep in mind that you’re putting these items outside of your home. On the same note, keep your security system in mind. Depending on whether you want to deter or catch, you can integrate your security system into your design.

18. Water

Water can add an entirely new element to your home design. Whether it’s an interesting drainage system or a Koi pond, you can do so much! Keep in mind, with water comes maintenance so be ready!

19. Neighbors

What do you neighbors’ homes look like? If you 100% modern, will your home look like a space station in the middle of a suburb? This falls into the environment topic, but it’s different because it’s people. You own this home and those are your neighbors. You don’t want this remodel to put you on their naughty list. 

park in lujiazui financial center, Shanghai, China

20. You

Ultimately, this is your home and your vision. You’re the one that needs to look at your home every day so make it you. 

idillyc house in a meadow

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SD Garage Doors focuses on the customer. We go above and beyond with each client to ensure all their needs are met and often times one of their biggest concerns are about curb appeal. Enter blog!

We love our work and we hope you'll love all we have to share about how to improve (and choose) the look of your home.

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