Have you looked a vinyl siding and trim lately? You’re sure to be surprised at how many wonderful details they offer to make your home as personalized as you like.
Accessorizing is one of my favorite parts of a decorating project. I like it because it takes a well designed and planned room from public to private. In other words, anyone can put THAT sofa with THAT chair and area rug, but it’s the “stuff” as Matt calls it that really makes a room personal.
Well, accessories can work the same magic on the outside of your home. This time I’m not talking about flowers and benches with pillows. I’m talking about the accessories you add right to your home.
I’m going to talk about three different exterior scenarios. One, you already have insulated vinyl siding. Two, you are getting ready to vinyl side your exterior. And three, you haven’t even thought about or perhaps can’t change your exterior.
So, let’s start at the beginning. If you have a vinyl sided home, don’t even think about settling for a bland, run of the mill, exterior. Take a little time to look around your neighborhood or find books at the library that showcase home exteriors. Find homes that are similar to yours but have that extra pizzazz. Many times, that added pizzazz is in the details.
How about adding vinyl shutters to your home? This is the perfect opportunity to bring in another color, another layer, and a whole lot of interest. Shutters come in the traditional louvered style, a raised panel design and you can get a combination of both where the louvers are at the top and the raised panel is at the bottom. Or there’s a neat board and batten shutter for a country or rustic look.
And there’s even such a thing as accessories having accessories – how exciting is that? You can get shutter tops for your shutters if you have rounded windows. The shutter top has a curve on the inside near the window because if you were to actually shut the shutters, the rounded edge would have to be along the rounded edge of the window. And don’t forget decorative hinges and “S” hooks to really dress up your home and add those extra details.
Have you seen these half round sunbursts? They come in an elliptical shape as well, which is just a bit squattier. These can be used over windows and combined with shutters or I’ve seen them over entry doors combined with door trim and door shutters. It really makes an impressive statement. And, they come in about 10 different colors.
So my second scenario is if you are thinking about residing your home with insulated vinyl siding. If so, I want you to also avoid creating a blah exterior. Did you know that you can get vinyl specialty shapes? You can find them in shapes that imitate cedar shakes or Victorian scalloped shingles. The vinyl cedar shakes are made from molds of real cedar shakes, so they look exactly like wood. And the Victorian scalloped shingles are just one pattern….just look at all the options; round, hexagon, mitered corner and half cove. And actually, there are even more shapes than this.
These are wonderful for accenting a gable or just creating visual interest that extends all the way around your home. Take a look at how they used a combination of styles on this home. On the bottom, the look of regular lap siding and on the top, to accent the gable, they used the look of real cedar shakes. And don’t forget about adding columns and railings to porches or balconies. You can’t deny the personality that this brings to this home.
Also keep in mind that from a functional standpoint, you want to investigate the variety of different mounting blocks like these shown.
They allow the electrical connections to be made over the top of the house wrap and facilitate efficient installation of lighting fixtures, meters and vents to give your home the highest quality finish.
Now in my third scenario, you aren’t even thinking about insulated vinyl siding. Well no matter what your home is made of, details still make the difference.
Details like Dentil Trim that can be placed at the top edge of your exterior walls. Dentil trim is a wonderful way to add a little class to any home, whether it be vinyl, wood, or even brick sided! It creates a nice textural depth and visually interesting interplays of both light and shadow. Bet you never thought about it that way!
Other pretty details are simple gable vents. They come in all sorts of shapes from round to half round, rectangular and square and this nice octagon shape as well. Of course they can actually be functional if you need to vent an attic space, or they can be decorative like the one here.
You can see the pretty white one on this red house along with a variety of other nice details like the classic window headers with the keystone look. And here are those board and batten shutters I mentioned earlier. Notice too how they have taken the fascia board above the first window and rounded it because of the keystone. By rounding it, they give the keystone a little bit more room. It’s a really nice detail.
And this is an excellent time to mention, since I’m showing you a picture of a red house, that the cedar look shakes and specialty shingles come in a wide variety of deep rich colors like the barn red, sable brown, spruce and pacific blue.
Oh, and remember too that all of the little additions to your home can be insulated as well to keep the integrity of the insulated vinyl siding that you’ve already, or are planning to add, so that’s good news.
So did I surprise you with all of the wonderful accessories you can add to the exterior of your home? And just think, we didn’t even talk about door surrounds or decorative windows. We barely mentioned porches, there are even brackets and gingerbread! With so many interesting accessories available, you never have to settle for a boring exterior, ‘cause the possibilities are endless!!
Many thanks to The Foundry Specialty Siding for their lovely home photos! Check out their site for even more at http://www.foundrysiding.com/.