First impressions

DECOR

First impressions

The facade of your house is often a good indication of how well your interiors are designed. So, how about a facelift for the facade? A Dyuti offers some options.

Altering the facade of your house involves modifying three elements — form, decoration and colour. Colour lends life to form and decoration. Most house exteriors require at least three colours — siding colour, a contrasting colour for windows and door trim and accent colour for shutters, doors, railings, window sashes, etc.

The trend is to smear a bold hue only for the facade and reserve conventional colours for the other walls. The danger lurking here is that of overkill. Avoid contrasts. Select related colours. Also, pick colours that look good throughout the day; under direct sunlight, clouds and in the dark. Remember, light colours make your house appear larger. Also decide on the paint‘s sheen — glossy, semi-gloss or flat.

You can create a fresh look for the facade by altering the existing texture, material and colours. A time-honoured trick is to highlight one part of the facade, usually the flat surface next to the main entrance or that portion housing the staircase indoors, by splashing it with a colour different from the overall scheme and trim colours. Else, coloured granite, marble or ceramic tiles fill that space. A mural, which is a piece of artwork painted or sculpted directly on a wall, forms another option. The artwork is available in terracotta, granite, ceramic or mosaic tiles, wood, fibreglass, enamel or metal. The style could be abstract or ethnic. Artistically-arranged decorative tiles (ceramic, tumbled-marble, porcelain, glass, travertine) imitate famous, classical art-pieces or have contemporary themes. Mixed media currently dominates our mural art scene.

Now, pay attention to the front door. Opt for a fresh coat of paint. Choose a colour that complements the house colours. While dark tan or dark grey impart a formal look, funky colours like red, yellow, turquoise, strawberry pink and emerald green also find favour among house owners today.

Your guests may always use the doorbell, but an elegant door knocker in carved brass or wood lends style to the facade. Ever thought about the plaque that will proclaim the name, number and address of your house? Combine functionality with aesthetics to bolster the beauty of your house. Plaques set at the main entrance are most commonly made of granite with the letters hewn onto them. Slate plates are durable. Confine treated wood to your main door or the wall leading to it, where it’ll be relatively more sheltered. Metal plates, especially brass ones, are timeless. Couple them with a timber frame and bevelling for that subtle finish. Stainless steel, ceramic or acrylic plaques add a dash of novelty. As for the shape, pick from among round or oval shapes if you’re tired of the usual rectangle. Another option is to have straight edges at the sides and the bottom with the top being arched.

Grand entry

Enhance the entrance’s attractiveness by adding a stone arch, rectangular posts, plastered columns or stacked-brick pillars with an awning above the door, new wall sconces and a handsome new mailbox. Topiary plants on either side of the door lining the walkway, a well-manicured lawn bordered with flowering plants, window boxes with annuals and perennials, vines twining around pillars, plants creeping up a portion of your front wall to make vertical gardens and hanging baskets overflowing with flowering plants suspended from your porch ceiling are instances of employing nature to spice up the facade.

Windows, which provide views, day lighting, ventilation and even solar heating in winter, play a very important role in making a house look and feel as it does. The window design should be in consonance with the overall design of your house. It should optimise usage of heating and lighting devices, minimise maintenance effort and fit your budget.

Choose from among casement, double-hung or slider windows such that they maximise views and natural light. Operable shutters can be replaced with sliding screens without losing security and sun-shading advantages. Double-hung windows maximise ventilation. But, you needn’t adhere to the traditional proportions and installation. A modern touch can be given. Clean lines, minimalist design and modern sensibilities can co-exist with green glazing.

As for the roof, consider tiles, at least for some portions. Today, roof tiles made of different hard materials like stone, metal, glass, ceramic and even plastic are used the world over. Modern technology has not only toughened them but also enhanced their appearance. So, they are not merely purely utilitarian in nature, but also decorative. You can also create a semblance of tiles with concrete and brick-red paint.

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