5 Ideas to Steal From These Gorgeous, On-Trend Exteriors, by HOUZZ
Boost your home’s curb appeal with eye-catching materials, finishes and more
1. Look to Nature
Embrace the biophilic trend and celebrate your natural surroundings with an unpainted wood exterior. Add a clear coating to preserve the wood’s original hue or let it weather to a beautiful soft grey, as seen on this home in St. Joseph, Michigan. Its acetylated wood siding pops against the black window frames and is low-maintenance, durable and resistant to rot, insects and fungi.
Acetylation is the process of modifying wood with a concentrated vinegar, “which makes it so that the wood doesn’t stay wet,” says Tim Svarczkopf, a technical manager at Accoya, a company that creates acetylated wood. It reduces the shrink and swell by 75% and allows Accoya to offer a 50-year warranty. “If the wood hardly swells and doesn’t rot for 50 years, the applications are virtually limitless,” Svarczkopf says.
2. Go Monochromatic
Exude modern sophistication with a dramatic exterior in a single color. Ideal for transitional-style homes, like the one seen here one in Bethesda, Maryland, it can work well for a multitude of aesthetics. The key is to vary the tones and textures to bring much-needed depth. The siding seen here was charred using the ancient Japanese technique of shou sugi ban.
If painted wood is more your style, be sure to choose lumber that won’t swell or shrink too much — movement causes cracks. “The coating is going to last significantly longer that way,” says Ty McBride, a renovator in Oklahoma City. He uses acetylated wood — which is resistant to bowing, twisting and warping — for his projects, keeping maintenance and future repair costs to a minimum. Svarczkopf adds, “It can be used without maintenance of any kind and still not decay. If the owner wants the wood to look nice, they’ll likely want to clean it annually.”
3. Embrace Bold Minimalism
Modern minimalist architecture, with its clean lines and simple color palettes, continues to pop up in Houzz’s most-saved photos. Impressive use of volume, shape and contrasting materials — such as sleek metal and textural stone — adds visual interest and turns heads.
Acetylated wood decking brings visual warmth to the modern home in West Vancouver seen here, acting as a counterpoint to the expansive glass and rough concrete. While salt crystals may form on the planks, the coastal environment won’t have any effect on the wood itself, Svarczkopf says. The deck won’t splinter and can be enjoyed all year round with minimal upkeep. “Friends who use acetylated wood in coastal regions rave about it,” McBride says.
4. Opt for Expansive Glass
Let in the light with large glass doors and walls of floor-to-ceiling windows to create an airy, welcoming look both inside and out. This popular design trick will visually expand your home and connect you to nature and all of its soothing effects. Use glass or thin cable railings on decks to maintain clear views.
The house in Auckland, New Zealand, seen here fully embraces the trend with plenty of indoor-outdoor spaces. Its acetylated wood windows and doors help with insulation and keep energy bills down. The low-density material traps heat in air pockets, Svarczkopf says, stopping it from traveling quickly from the inside to the outside and vice versa. “The density is really great for thermal insulation,” McBride says. “It doesn’t conduct heat the same way as aluminum and vinyl.”
5. Combine Styles
Mix contemporary and traditional styles for a new exterior look that’s all your own. “Sleek” and “simple” are the watchwords of this approach to help you avoid anything too mismatched. Think neutral hues, clean lines and minimal detailing. For example, consider one large picture window instead of multiple mullioned designs.
A modern addition imbues this shingled home in Bellport, New York, with fresh style while preserving its historic character. The new space features simple windows and charred acetylated-wood siding, chosen for its durability and sustainability. Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, among others, the siding is fully biodegradable. “The waste isn’t going to impact the environment, as opposed to cement board, vinyl or aluminum,” McBride says. Svarczkopf notes, “It’s also a very fast-growing renewable resource and a carbon-sequestering product. The fact that it lasts for so long and needs less maintenance enhances the life cycle benefits.”
This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.
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