Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Shape Up Your Derriere
We've all heard it and most likely said it: It takes curb appeal to sell a new home.
We've all heard it and most likely said it: It takes curb appeal to sell a new home. Front elevations must excite and thus invite the drive-by buyer to stop and explore beyond the front door.
There are tried-and-true elements to create excitement on front elevations that, employed correctly, also can help improve the rear of the home.
Rotundas at the entry and in the rear soften the façade. Their round shape also creates depth on the elevation.
Single-story massing elements, such as hip and shed roofs, help keep an elevation proportional to human scale. Balconies that project beyond the wall plane are effective, as are wall-mounted trellises and arbors. Courtyard walls and patios often help define and support the character of an elevation. These are also effective in conditioning the pedestrian approach as we try to create anticipation before entering the home.
Breaking down the box and creating smaller components with multiple planes add layers to the elevation when coupled with balconies, deep, recessed windows and various trim accents. Execution of the detailing is what brings it all together. The manner in which material is used to develop color and texture and the transition of one material to another affect horizontal or vertical relationships on a façade.
There are many ways to achieve interest, depth and variety on front elevations. Articulation at the rear of homes is not always as easy to accomplish. For best results, design elements must go beyond applique. Shutters and window trim should be viewed only as an acceptable beginning. For substantial results, real architecture - on all four sides - must be brought to the rear. Sophisticated forms and variation in exterior style convey a "whole" architecture that satisfies the senses and strengthens the neighborhood.