I love architecture. I can drive through cities, towns, neighborhoods for hours looking at homes, offices, high rises, funky hot dog stands….anything at all. When we travel, I take tons of architecture photos because I find the shape, color and detail of buildings endlessly fascinating.
In my hours of random design web surfing, I come across lots of building exteriors. While America continues to build skyscrapers all in the shapes of tall boxes, other countries are more adventurous in their city building. One of the most creative areas architecturally is China (Dubai also comes to mind). My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting China a couple years ago and one of my strongest memories is of the unusual, often stunning architecture in the big cities (the other strong memory is of SO many people!).
The inspiration for this post is the following building under construction in China. With SO many people to house, it would be so easy to construct road after road of boxy, uninspired apartment towers. Instead, they develop this – called “Fake Hills” and I see the connection though to me it should have been called “Roller Coaster”.
Cool, huh? I could see myself living here (along with 5,000 other people!…so maybe not). However, I would love being on the water, love having one of those end terrace units, love being part of such a creative building and I’m sure I’d be inspired to have my interior be equally creative.
Blend Your Exterior and Interior Styles
Good home design begins with the exterior – it should direct what happens inside. It can be a little jarring to have a modern home with wide expanses of glass and straight angles but when you enter the home it’s decorated in froofy (spell check doesn’t recognize this as a word, but I’m going to assume you all know what I mean)Victorian style full of overstuffed furniture and busy, frilly patterns. When we can choose our house, the exterior of the homes we’re drawn to usually match our interior preferences.
However, sometimes we might find our interior sensiblities at odds with the exterior style of our home. If that’s the case, use a few tricks to balance the looks.
- Repeat an exterior color in the first couple of rooms as you enter the house.
- Use your entry way to transition styles by blending a little of the exterior style with what you’re going to see as you move into the home.
- Bring the greenery from the exterior to the inside – whether real or silk, repeat elements from your landscaping: trees, flowers, rocks, etc.
- Use accessories to reflect the age/style of your exterior. If your home is an older home but you don’t like antiques, vintage or retro looks, try adding 1 or 2 accessories appropriate to the era of the home, at least in the public rooms - a fun clock in the kitchen, a piece of art or sculpture in the entry, an accent chair or chest.
- An area rug using the colors from the exterior but the style of the interior will help blend the 2 styles.
- Repeat exterior lighting finishes on the inside of the home (doesn’t have to be everywhere, maybe in the powder room and/or dining room).
Do you have a problem matching your exterior and interior spaces? Do you even think it’s a problem if they don’t blend? How do you make the interior spaces work with the outdoors? Inquiring minds want to know….
Do you have a passion for architecture too? Send us pictures of your favorite buildings – any size, anywhere. Prove me wrong when I claim all American cities are filled with boxy skyscrapers. We’d love to hear from you.