Exterior Design Style & Designing for All

Defining one’s exterior design style isn’t easy — even for experts like us. We worked for months to develop a style quiz that would help our clients, prospective clients, or even casual blog readers have some language to use in talking about what they like, what they don’t like, and how they might want to change their curb appeal. But of course there aren’t hard-and-fast rules that, for example, ONLY mid-century homes can use breeze block walls. Or that you have to park some Adirondack chairs outside of your coastal home.

As a company that offers a service, a big part of what we do is listen to our clients. We ask them to tell us what they do and don’t want to change about their exterior. Our designers look through any inspiration photos they send our way, seeking commonalities amongst them. We consider how these inspiration photos differ from the ‘before’ photo they’ve submitted, and what it would look like (literally) to make that ‘before’ photo look more like the inspo. Our team reads these client entries again, and again, and again.

We bring our expertise to the equation, of course. But it’s not about our style. Rather, it’s about helping our clients love their curb appeal.

Read on for why it’s important to us to work with a variety of exterior design styles, and how we design for all.

Our virtual exterior design service provides guidance and creative direction to the homeowner who wants to give their home’s exterior simple — yet impactful — cosmetic updates. Learn more about what we do.

Virtual exterior design of a contemporary home

Exterior design style tastes vary

As we mentioned in our post on takeaways from the HomeAdvisor powered by Angi study on U.S. home styles, tastes vary! If everyone in America (and the world) had the exact same exterior design style, taking a walk through our neighborhoods would be pretty boring.

Just because you love a home style doesn’t mean your neighbor will — and they might love a style you hate! We liken it to musical taste. Some people love country music, some love metal, some love both… At brick&batten, our goal is to listen to our clients and really understand both their style and their wants and needs for the exterior update they’re planning. We then use our expertise on what works to give you a design you love.

Urban stucco home rendered in a light blue

Location makes an impact

Urban, suburban, or rural… lakefront, mountain side, desert… harsh winds, four distinct seasons, tropical… setting is a HUGE factor in exterior design. Your location has only a small impact on the interior design of your home — seasons and window placement will effect natural light, for example. But your exterior is a different story.

A few examples:

  • How much natural light your home gets is key in choosing an exterior paint color. You don’t want to be blinded by a color with too high an LRV in a sunny location, or use a paint color that looks off-white on the swatch but reads purple on your home’s east-facing walls in the evening light.
  • Looking for ideas for how to visualize a hot tub in your backyard? A large rural property is far different from a small urban lot. Being economical with space often matters in the city, and ideal hot tub placement might merit solutions for privacy (think: screens or fencing).
  • We’ll always help clients looking to source hurricane-safe building materials if it’s important to them in their setting… which is something our Midwestern clients simply don’t consider.

Commercial exterior design for pet resort

Exterior design isn’t just for homeowners

At brick&batten, it’s part of our mission to deliver exterior design updates that will give you a solid ROI. This is important to homeowners, who want to be sure they aren’t over-investing in their largest asset, or that they’re being efficient with their budget when prepping for sale. Commercial property owners often have another consideration: attracting customers or clients.

If part of the goal of your brick-and-mortar business is to attract foot traffic, then exterior design updates are a no-brainer. Experts estimate that 70 percent of first-time sales are based on curb appeal. Of course, you can’t sell to someone who hasn’t walked in the door.

The exterior design style of our commercial clients also takes into account things like signage, parking, and security lighting.

Swiss chalet style home with black wood vertical cladding

Modernize ≠ modern

Many of our clients come to us hoping to ‘modernize’ their exterior. Sometimes this means they want to give it a contemporary look — whether with industrial design elements or cutting-edge cladding options. Other times it means they want to use of-the-moment building materials while honoring an Old World aesthetic (see above). We’re here for all of it!

Charming stucco home with xeriscaped front yard

Function is paramount

Your property’s exterior should be beautiful, but it also needs to be functional. Above, we provided a xeriscape visualization for a homeowner in a drought-addled climate. Cable railings offer assistance in getting up the steps for elderly guests. Pathway lights are pretty and are an excellent safety measure. We love providing our clients with win-win solutions.

Before and after of home with a cottage exterior design style

Work with what you have

One of our biggest tips for clients and those considering an exterior update is to work with what you have. Whether it’s something you absolutely love about your property, or something that’s not in the budget to change, we will work around what we call your fixed elements.

The home above sits on a 6th generation family farm. It burnt down and was rebuilt by the current owner’s grandpa in the 1940s. Some more recent additions felt disjointed, and they were hoping to bring back the English country cottage look while remaining true to the history of the home. Our goal was to work with the beautiful existing masonry and to offer updates that would increase the home’s longevity. These included new roofing, new windows, updated dormers, and chimney caps. We also expanded the existing portico into a covered porch. One of our favorite touches is how the designer repurposed the star from the portico on the stone cladding to the left.

This home had a gorgeous foundation, and a beautiful story. Our recommended updates capitalized on everything that was already there. Now, the exterior shines.

Virtual design of a Victorian home rendered with an olive green field color and white, red, and yellow accents

Designing for all

Whether you could talk about your exterior design style for hours, or don’t know much beyond your results from our style quiz, we’re ready to partner with you to help you see your property’s potential.

In many ways, we’re like your favorite hairstylist – some clients come to us just looking for a ‘trim’ and others want a whole new look. Plus, the more you tell and show us about what you want, the more we have to build off of in bringing it to life! But we’ll also happily redesign your exterior when given carte blanche. So sit down in our virtual ‘salon chair’ and tell us what you want to see. We’re here to make it happen!

Want to know more about how brick&batten works? Schedule a call with us here. Ready to get going right now? No need to wait — we’re ready, too! Get started here.