KEEPING IT INTERESTING: MAKING A STATEMENT WITH YOUR HOME EXTERIOR

by Michel Van Devender

I always admire those homeowners who aren’t afraid to take risks and keep things interesting, especially when it’s done well :). Take for instance the often overlooked home exterior, most of us play it safe, opting for white, gray or beige. But what about taking the opportunity to make a statement, rebelling against the boring, the ordinary, stepping outside of the exterior design box?

Towards the end of summer, I cut down a street in our old Charlotte neighborhood, Elizabeth. I drove past a house that caused me to stop, put my car in reverse, back up to park on the street for a better, unhurried look. The entire exterior of the two-story home had been adorned with colorful, painted flowers. And I think my black exteriors are bold… this is next level bold! What a beautiful, happy surprise of a house! And who couldn’t use more good cheer and happy houses these days. I sat there in my car for several minutes with a smile on my face, scrolling with my eyes, digesting all of the lovely, different flowers, colors, shapes and variations. 

Mind you, this house is in one of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods, one without a historic commission. Otherwise, something so unexpected and creative would’ve never happened. I imagine some neighbors absolutely love, while others are less than thrilled to have a rebel house. Having had one in this neighborhood, I know first hand how it goes. The Elizabeth neighborhood has been split for years over whether there should or shouldn’t be a governing body to police and regulate homeowners on what they do with their homes. Most recently, a group of well-organized neighbors rallied to gain support, but ultimately, the neighborhood voted against having a historic commission. I say good for them for maintaining the eclectic, unique, independent vibe of the neighborhood!

Then there was another home exterior art project by a local Charlotte artist I love, Nico Amortagui. He painted the exterior of a multi-family dwelling located in Myers Park with the most amazing black and white Picasso-esque figures. It’s quite the striking out-of-the-box graphic design, making a statement in an otherwise traditional, vanilla neighborhood. It’s without a doubt always the highlight of my drive down that stretch of Queens Road. 

Seeing these creative residential exteriors peaked my curiosity… What other statement home exteriors are out there? I’ve of course seen murals painted on the sides of commercial buildings, but hadn’t seen as many examples of art on residential homes. Perusing Pinterest, I found lots of inspiration, including more floral examples as well as some geometric designs. Some are painted and others are exterior wallpapers (Who knew?). Some are traditional houses while others are modern. Some are bold, some more subtle. They are all interesting and different.

So, right now, I’m loving artful applications/expressions for your home exterior! It would certainly require some major commitment, an all in, and wouldn’t be for those who prefer to blend into their surroundings. But for the creatively brave and daring, I’m digging this as an option for the exterior. Perhaps you’ll see some inspired version on my next home! What do you think? Would you dare to make a statement with your home exterior? Let me know…

🖤💙,

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