Adding Architectural Interest to Your Home’s Exterior

We previously wrote about how to add architectural interest to your home’s interior, so now we’d like to share some of our favorite tips on how to add architectural interest to your home’s exterior. Sometimes when one buys a home, it has a lot of great attributes, but feels like it is missing some curb appeal or visual interest. If you feel like your home looks more cookie cutter than one of kind, consider some of these tips to elevate the exterior design of your home as a part of your next remodel!

Dormers on Georgian HomeDormers

A dormer is a window addition to a sloped roof that creates additional living space, lighting and storage. If you’re looking for living space, a dormer can be a great place to add a reading nook to your home. If storage is what you need, many people add built in storage benches below the window portion of the dormer. Dormers can be customized to fit not only your needs, but the style of your home. Because of this they are a great way to add exterior architectural interest, while also adding usable space. Some popular styles of dormers are shed, gable, hipped and eyebrow. 


Architectural Interest PorticoPorticos & Porches

A great and useful way to add architectural interest to your home’s exterior is to add a portico or porch. You can weigh the pros and cons of each, as well as the style of your home to determine which option is best for you. A portico is a smaller roof structure with columns outside the front door of a home. This adds nice curb appeal and also provides a bit of additional shelter when coming in and out of your home. A porch is similar in style, but often much larger than a portico. It is not uncommon for a porch to extend out the entire front of your home, or even wrap around the side of it. Porches can help add interest and a grounded look to your home. You can choose to customize the accents of the porch such as the columns, railings, steps, ceiling and lighting. 


Architectural Interest Slopped RoofRoof

Most people quickly notice a home’s exterior when driving by, but focus on the material of the exterior walls. While that is a huge portion of what makes the home unique, the roof is equally important in the design. When planning a custom home, or if you’re simply remodeling your current home, you’ll want to consider both the roofline and the roof material. Popular roof materials include asphalt shingles, clay tiles, metal roofing, slate and cedar shingles. Each has pros and cons and can greatly impact the style of your home.

While your roofing material is easier to change than your roofline, it is possible as part of a larger remodel.  Your roofline significantly defines the architectural style of your home. Some popular rooflines that can impact the style of your home include saltbox, slopped, gable, A-line, hip, mansard, and gambrel. To learn more about the pros and cons of rooflines and materials, check out this article from Elevated Roofing. 


Custom built home in Arlington Heights with a three car garage. Home was built using stucco and has stone and brick accents.Exterior Material

An item that you’ll want to consider when adding architectural interest to your home’s exterior is the exterior material. If you aren’t a fan of your home’s current exterior material, you can update it! Popular exterior materials include vinyl or cedar siding, stucco, brick and stone. To really add interest to your home, consider mixing some of these materials. For example, you may have horizontal cedar siding on the majority of your home, but may choose to add cedar shake siding to a dormer. Stone accents can also be a great choice for the lower portion of your home. Not only is this a durable option, but it definitely adds visual interest to your home.  


Architectural Interest Window StylesWindow Styles

Windows are a great way to impact the architectural interest of your home. Because of the variety of shapes, sizes, grid styles and accessories you can add, they can provide a myriad of options for your home. Some popular windows shapes are the standard rectangle, eyebrow, circle top, cathedral, circle, and quarter arch. To keep your home’s exterior from looking too busy, we recommend using a standard rectangle window for the majority of your windows. Then, utilize other shapes to add more interest to the exterior. The nice thing about starting with rectangle windows is that you can change the look of them with the grid style. Popular grid styles include, colonial, Victorian, and prairie. 


In this blog, we reviewed quite a few ways to add architectural interest to your home’s exterior. There are some great ideas here, but we highly recommend consulting with a design build remodeler to help you implement these ideas. The designers can help you to add the interest and character that you are looking for, while maintaining the original integrity of your home to help you create a place you love. If you’re looking to tackle any of these ideas as a part of your remodel, contact us today. We’d love to help you create your dream home!

Written By Katie Finn