Exteriors 180 Stories

One of the downsides of modern architecture is that expression is often relegated to manufacturers’ products. Choices of glass, metal panel, brick, whatever the case may be, determine a modern house’s character to a large degree. Still, architects find ways to create unique expressions through how they use these very...
Roots of Style: Where Did Your House Get Its Look?
One of the most common questions people have about their own home is, What style is it? This is not always an easy question to answer. "Style" is an elusive term, because it can be applied to many different things, and style is frequently...
Modern or Contemporary: What's the Difference?
What is the difference between modern and contemporary architecture? Why the distinction? At their most literal, "contemporary" is the architecture being produced now, the architecture of the moment. "Modern" architecture breaks with the past — specifically...
9 Top Siding Materials
The siding of a house is like the clothing we wear. Our choice of clothes depends as much on location (a T-shirt and shorts wouldn't be comfortable in a Midwest winter) as well as the fashion statement we want to make. And of course there's the budget...
Stucco Smooths Modern Home Exteriors
The Museum of Modern Art's 1932 exhibition "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922," curated by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, set aside social ideals and promoted modern architecture as a style. Now-familiar elements like horizontal...
Fiber Cement Siding Takes a Front Seat
Fiber cement contains a mix of cellulose fiber material, Portland cement, silica, sand, water and other additives, according to Victoria Ballard Bell's helpful book Materials for Design. Panels made with it...
10 Ways to Bring Charm to Your Home’s Exterior
Whether you have a cottage that needs a little TLC or a nondescript colonial you’d love to inject with a bit more personality, deciding on changes to the exterior can be tricky. It’s important not to force a completely unrelated style on your home,...
Guardians of the Gate
You may have seen dog statues outside older homes, but did you know that historically they are more than just decoration? Like many architectural motifs, dog symbolism has meaning, and these statues can give us a clue about the people who built the house,...
Window Wizardry: 7 Clever Approaches to Privacy
Creating privacy while letting in light and views can be an issue for many suburban homes. We often see frosted windows or deliberate screens as the only method of dealing with the issue. Luckily, we now have design alternatives that not only offer...
Purple on the Outside
In Christina Harris’ experience as a color consult and forecaster, two colors elicit the strongest reactions: purple and orange. Harris, the owner of Colorific, says those feelings are magnified...
How to Touch Up Your Home’s Exterior Paint
A pristine exterior paint job not only increases your home’s curb appeal; it also helps protect its trim, flashing and siding from damage from the elements. That’s why maintaining your paint is so important — letting it bubble and flake between...
5 Ways to Hide That Big Air Conditioner in Your Yard
If you live in a hot climate, your air conditioner is probably your favorite major appliance. However, it can quickly become a major party crasher in the middle of your backyard summer barbecue. That same hulking, boxy piece of machinery...
How to Choose a Front Door Color
Don't let your home blend into the background — even if you're not in the market for changing your exterior color scheme, a new coat of paint on your front door could be just the makeover your home needs. Use our color guides to each color...
7 Questions to Help You Pick the Right Front-Yard Fence
Choosing a front-yard fence should be a calculated decision — a fence changes the way your home is seen, affects the layout of the landscaping and lasts, typically, the life of your home. And with the hundreds of fencing options out there, it’s no...
How to Install a Green Roof
Until relatively recently green roofs were rare, the stuff of fairy tales and Tolkien novels. But with climate change a growing concern, more people are turning to living roofs as a sustainable — and stylish — way to help insulate their homes, reduce...
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