Are you planning a Transitional Exterior Design for a remodel or a new build? These tips will make selections a breeze! This post is sponsored by Glen-Gery, however, all opinions are 100% my own.
Designing the exterior of our home was something I struggled with the most (along with our floor plan). I’m very much a visual person and you can often find me returning things because once I see them in place I don’t like them anymore. Well, as it turns out you can’t return an exterior ;). So let’s talk about our Transitional Exterior Design Plans and some tips on how we came to our final decisions.
The first thing we had to do was come up with our exterior design. This included rooflines, windows, doors, siding, stone, etc. Our neighborhood has a stone requirement which means a certain percentage of our front elevation had to be stone. One thing I’ve never been a fan of is using stone just along the bottom of the siding. I mean no offense if you have that on your home, it’s just not my style. I love seeing a full wall of stone!
We opted to do one of the front walls in stone, however, originally I had the little bump-out on the right side (where the dark siding is in the photo) and as I looked at it I thought… it doesn’t make sense to have the stone out front like that. It’s a heavier product and would be used more as a back wall. And that’s what lead me to swap the stone section and then I was able to use the dark siding as an accent.
The photo below doesn’t show this, but we actually wrapped the stone around that front corner by about 1′ to make the veneer look more like solid stone and it made a huge difference in the look of the stone!
Choosing the Stone
When it came time to choose a stone I wasn’t finding what I wanted at our local dealer so we ordered this Cashmere Limestone from Glen-Gery and it is seriously the prettiest stone! It wasn’t easy picking and I was back and forth between a few. I knew I wanted something light that would look great over grouted because that was always a must for me! The three I considered are below.
Glen-Gery Stone Options
Southern Malt || Cashmere Limestone || Beechnut Limestone
Things to Consider for Exterior Stone
- I cannot stress enough to get samples because it’s very important to see how the stone looks to any siding or other materials you will be using. This also allows you to look at it outdoors and see what undertones you see in the sunlight!
- Know what color mortar you want. Do you want the mortar to blend with the stone, or are you looking for a contrasting color?
- Make sure your stone complements your other building materials. If you are using brick, they should contrast, but have the same tones.
- Don’t forget about your roof color. The roof is often overlooked, but it plays a very important role in the exterior design of your home and it should coordinate with your stone.
My gut reaction looking online was to go with the Cashmere Limestone. It had that sort of old-world yet modern look I was wanting. However, with the samples arrived I almost went with the Southern Malt because I was afraid the Cashmere Limestone was too light and would blend with my siding. This is why it was so important to take the samples outside. Once I saw everything in the direct sunlight I realized the stone wasn’t as “white” as I thought it was and honestly had a more creamy gray color to it. This offered the exact type of contrast I was looking for – subtle, but noticeable.
Choosing Mortar for Stone
Once we decided on the Cashmere Limestone from Glen-Gery I had to start thinking about mortar. Standard Mortar has sort of a concrete gray color, which wouldn’t have looked bad at all, but I didn’t really want to see the difference between the stone and the mortar. I wanted it to look older like the stone had just always been there and was a little reminiscent of a European home. Which lead me to choose a white mortar with an over-grouted style. Our masonry subcontracts were awesome, and he worked with me on some samples of the mortar. Always, always, always get a sample of your mortar. There’s not a whole lot you can fix once it’s up!
Below is the white mortar, which was a little wet still in this picture. It’s amazing how it dries differently, so make sure you give it time to fully dry before making any final decisions. I feel like ours wasn’t the actual, final color for about 2 days.
Choosing Exterior Siding
I won’t lie, I really wanted a cement board type siding that I could paint, but it just wasn’t in the budget, and vinyl siding is extremely common in our area. Originally I also wanted a dark exterior, but I just couldn’t get the look I wanted with vinyl and dark colors, so we went with white. To be honest, I’m glad we did. I love how bright our house is and it feels like a timeless beauty and that was an important aspect of the design for me.
Our siding is a standard white from Mastic and it pairs beautifully with our Cashmere Limestone! There aren’t a ton of different options when it comes to white siding, although different brands have slightly different undertones, so it’s still very important to bring samples on-site!
When we were designing our exterior I found these things important when it comes to exterior materials
- Have an odd number of siding textures (Horizontal Siding – Vertical Siding – Stone)
- Have an odd number of exterior colors. (White Siding – Dark Gray Siding – Stone)
Obviously, those are not hard rules, but they provided the balance for me that I was looking for. This gave our exterior a nice texture, balance, and cohesiveness that resulted in a beautiful home to look at!
I’ve been dreaming of black windows for years. In my opinion, they are gorgeous on the exterior, and from the interior, it looks like framed art. This was just hands down at the top of my list!
Accessories and Accents for a Transitional Exterior Design
Once we had the main elements of our exterior in place, I had to start considering the accessories and accents. Our beams were my next decision. I had to fight against everything in me to not do a natural wood. I love natural wood, but it wasn’t blending with the overall aesthetic and brought in a farmhouse feel that I didn’t want. Not all natural woods make a home look like a farmhouse, but with the shape of our home, it definitely did.
Our beams ended up being custom stained to a black that matched our doors. Because the wood is cedar, it definitely took on a warm tone, but I LOVE that it did. They turned out gorgeous and complement the exterior perfectly. These beams also balanced out the dark siding on the right side of our front elevation which was feeling a bit heavy before we added these black beams in. I also like how the beams mimic the roofline of the dark siding.
For lighting I also stuck with black even though I felt like our exterior was a little bland, I know I can add in some landscaping to really make everything pop!
Transitional Exterior Design Details
I hope these tips can help you with any remodeling or new build project you may have on your horizon! Shop our Transitional Exterior Design below:
Thank you soo much for some great ideas! These are the plans and ideas that will help create a new architectural aesthetic for your home. Whether you own a historic home, want to maintain the look of your original house or are just looking for an update, This can help you achieve the look and feel you are seeking. Dental Implants Willoughby
Shane Long says
Love it! I really appreciate your post on planning a Transitional Exterior Design. I am working on redesigning my home and had a lot of questions about how to approach the process. I’ve been wanting to build a small studio space to rent out and would love to start off with a design that will look good when it’s done. This will be a great help for me and I’m so glad you mentioned that that you wanted to start a blog after your remodel to share your experiences with others!
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Gerad Sasidharan says
Superb! Your post Transitional Exterior Design Plans & Ideas was created to serve as a resource for planning, budgeting and inspiration for homeowners with transitional and historic homes. Not only does Transitional Exterior Designs help define the design of a home, but also offers homeowners the information and tools needed to easily create the look of their home of choice.
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Awesome Outsourcing says
The Cashmere Limestone from Glen-Gery sounds divine, and your choice of white mortar is inspiring. I used a concrete gray mortar in my project, but I can see the appeal of the white, especially in creating an old-world charm. And oh, the black windows! They’ve been on my wish list for some time now. Your description of them looking like framed art from the inside has me even more eager to make this dream a reality!