OUTDOOR TRENDS BRING FOCUS TO THE FRONT OF HOMES

While updates to the exteriors of homes have traditionally considered the backyard, Jane Chertoff of Realtor.com writes, many of today's popular outdoor design trends are bringing an added focus to the front of houses. The website shares several of the hottest design ideas for exteriors just as the weather warms outside.
Front Yards and Porches as an Extended Living Room
The front porch is having a moment again—and not just in the South. Homeowners everywhere are embracing the idea of an inviting front-of-home space that almost mirrors what's on the inside.
"People are rediscovering the joys of using the front yard and porch as an extended living room," Pablo Solomon, a designer in Austin, Texas, says. "This gives the homeowner actual benefit from the front yard other than just showcasing the house from the street. And by having neighbors enjoying their front yards, it creates more of a sense of community."
Mixed Materials
Layering materials is the new, modern way to build, says Duane Draughon, outdoor living designer at VizX Design Studios, in Illinois. “Outdoor living projects are changing in an interesting way, because past projects would ... all be one material throughout,” Draughon says.
“Now we're designing with different materials and colors," he explains. "The walls could be built out of concrete with a wood bench, while the floor can be a porcelain tile with concrete steppers.”
Statement Doors
Statement doors are majorly trending this year, says Annabel Joy, interior designer and co-founder of Trim Design Co., in Massachusetts.
"We're seeing more and more people painting their front doors in a different color from the trim and exterior as a fun accent to their home's facade," Joy says. "I also predict that the current trend of ceiling beams and farmhouse kitchens will lead to a resurgence of the Dutch door style, especially for side and back door."

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