2/10 ways to create luxury home oomph: entry and exit
What does your dream home look like? Chances are that if it is a contemporary house you are after some wow effect. But there are dozens of ways to do it. In this series of posts I will try to cover 10 ways that really make a modern house stand out.
In a well-designed house you can feel the atmosphere before you go in and when you are leaving.
It means that a design is able to create apprehension. When you arrive first time you already have some expectations of what the interior is like and while you are waiting at the door you are drawings some pictures in your mind. The best way to create a wow effect is to completely blow people’s expectations the first moment they come in. This can be done by designing something that they would not expect. Surprise them.
However, a surprise does not necessarily mean that interior should be the opposite of exterior. On the contrary, people tend to expect that the internal design will differ from the external. Yes, you see what I am driving at. Make the entry a continuation of the outside and you will immediately make people gasp.
There are several ways to do it. Let’s start by looking at what elements of the exterior design can continue into the house. We have: floor, walls, ceiling. On the walls we probably have some finish. These are the physical elements. There are also such elements as line of sight, scale, proportion and light. This list is not exclusive of course but let’s just concentrate on these tricks for now.
If we start with the elements with the largest surface, we will look at the walls. If your exterior walls have some special finish, like this timber cladding in the photo above try to budget for bringing this cladding into the entry hall. You can try to create an effect of a band so that your cladding would look like it goes around uninterrupted, dives into the house and dives out to the exterior again.
Floor is the second largest surface. Again, if you continue the same material into the hall the effect will be just as powerful. You will immediately create this flow which will work too for a situation when you leave the house. Think whether you can continue your polished concrete to the porch or farther or whether you can use your timber flooring externally. Alternatively, consider extending your exterior floor into the hall only if you do not want it throughout the house.
The same approach will work for the ceiling. Ask your designer to consider the porch in consonant with the hall. You might think not only about finish of the ceiling but also about its shape.
This brings us to the idea that in addition to the materials your entry could be also surprising in terms of height. Think about the contrast between a modest porch and a double height entry hall, which is not new but still very powerful. It also allows you to create a welcoming point where you can display your family photos, portraits or other accessories that will create a homely atmosphere.
Since entry is often not a very large space you might consider a special light effect. A simple and traditional approach is buying a designer light. It works very well but aim to plan for it right from the start to make sure your designer light and your room proportions complement each other.
Another approach is to use daylight and windows. Skylights work particularly well in a double story entry and can create a dramatic effect.
Custom made windows can also be used for equally strong impression. Forget about standard windows. Place your windows strategically: at the floor level to see outside gravel path (the gravel then must be very good and in pristine condition – no dirt), or in a corner to cast light on the wall at a very small angle (in this case your wall will have a 3D finish). Or consider a window of a unique shape. Again, this window will not be used to provide general or task light – it will be your design statement. See how it works in the example below.
As you can see, entry point is very important in terms of design. Even though it is relatively small, if you pay attention to the design you will be able to set the mood the first second you arrive. Similarly, it will be the last space of the house that you go through before you leave. And you know of course, people remember the last several seconds better so think about what you want to remember each day when you will be heading out. It will flicker in your mind for some time and it will be your feeling of a home that you will be carrying with you every morning.