Now that the pecan tree is gone from our front yard, and the house is more visible, I’ve been dreaming about how I want the front of the house to eventually look. I show this picture quite often, which was done for me by a reader who is a retired architect.
The overall look is what I want – the extended front porch, the double gable roofline. But because I hadn’t made any decisions on exterior finishes at the time, she used the existing stone and siding combo that we currently have, and just changed the colors a bit. And the free trial version of the program she was testing had limited options for columns, so she used Craftsman style front porch columns. I would opt for something much more traditional in style, like this…
Anyway, I’ve mentioned before that one reason I have trouble making design and decorating decisions on this house is because I like so many different styles, and it’s hard for me to narrow down exactly what I want into one cohesive look.
Interestingly, as I’ve been looking, and thinking, and dreaming about the exterior of my house these last few days since the pecan tree was cut down, it’s helped me narrow down the design struggle that I have. I seem to continually have three different and distinct design styles fighting for top place in my mind, and unfortunately, I like them all equally, so it remains a constant struggle for me.
First, I love classic, traditional design. And in my mind, when it comes to exteriors, nothing is more classic and traditional than a red brick home. The photo above is a perfect example, and this is also a classic…
Obviously, that house is a just a tab bit more on the “grand” side than my house. 😀 But red brick is classic, and I love it. There’s a new red brick home that was built just a few streets over from my house in the last few months, and every time I drive by, I slow down and stare. There’s just something about red brick.
And when you combine red (or reddish) brick with a German smear technique…wow. It doesn’t get any more perfect than that in my opinion.
Everything about that last house is perfect, in my opinion. The charming curved sidewalk, the huge trees, the landscaping, the brick, the shutters — it’s perfection.
So that’s my classic traditional side, summed up with red brick either with or without the German smear over it, although I really do prefer it with.
And then there’s the bright, fun, colorful side of me that’s always fighting to come out. That can be summed up with colorful siding, and yellow is my favorite.
There’s just something so happy and cheerful about a yellow house. But while I’m partial to yellow, I like other bright, fun, happy colors as well. I remember seeing the most perfect very light aqua house a few years back, and I could kick myself for not saving the picture. But just about any happy color is fine with me. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to paint my house pink, but I certainly admire the person who can, and perhaps I even envy their fearlessness.
And as if it weren’t enough to have my classic, traditional design side continually competing with my colorfully colorful design side, I also add one more into the mix.
I love contemporary design. I’ve always admired it, and while I know myself enough to know that I could never live with/in it, I still find myself drawn to it.
But what I really love are elements of contemporary design combined with traditional style. In interiors, that may manifest itself in a traditional style coffee table painted in a super high gloss black lacquered finish. In exteriors, that may manifest itself in a traditional style house painted in a very high contrast black (or very, very dark) and white.
So those are the three styles or elements that always seem to emerge when I’m looking for inspiration, or trying to make a design decision — classic and traditional, bright and colorful, and influences of contemporary design . Those three things are always competing for top place in all of my projects. I know that I can learn to merge the three in the interior of my house. It shouldn’t be difficult to add classic, traditional elements with a bit of bright, fun colors and a touch of contemporary here and there. That’s definitely doable when decorating a room.
It’s not quite so easy on the exterior of a house, though. I don’t see any way to combine classic red brick with a German smear technique with bright, happy colors, and high contrast black and white on the exterior of one house in a tasteful way. And even if it could be done, I probably wouldn’t like it, because when it comes to these styles, I like each one to stand alone on an exterior. So that means I’ll have to choose. And right now, that seems impossible.
Thank goodness I’m not ready to start on the exterior immediately, so that means I still have a while to decide. I’m really hoping that one emerges as the front runner over the other two in the next six months or so. If I were forced to make a decision today, I don’t think I could. Or I’d change my mind on an hourly basis. 😀