There are a million and one ways to approach decorating your interior, but the best place to start is most definitely with your exterior. The architectural style of your home literally and figuratively lays the foundation of its aesthetic, providing the perfect point of reference for your interior style.
Of course, you don’t have to decorate your interior to match your exterior, but doing so provides several distinct advantages. For starters, it makes your home instantly appear seamless and cohesive. Maintaining style fluidity from the outside to the inside gives your home a polished, thoughtful appearance that results in an equally stylish and welcoming environment.
Additionally, matching your interior to your exterior maintains the integrity of the architectural style. Chances are, you put a lot of thought and consideration into the type of architecture you bought, so designing an interior to complement it is a great way to honor the architectural style that you fell in love with.
Finally, taking this approach simply makes the whole process of decorating your interior way easier. There are infinite interior styles to choose from, which can make the process more than a little overwhelming. Choosing to match your interior with your architectural style helps you hone in on your options, making it that much easier to make big design decisions.
If you’re not sure how, exactly, to blend your exterior with your interior, here are a few essential tips to consider, no matter the architectural style of your home. And in our new "Design by Style" series, we'll share more specific tips and examples for how to design for individual architectural styles, so stay tuned in!
The colors you choose set the tone for the entire house, so it’s a good idea to give mind to your exterior hues when choosing a palette for the inside. But that doesn’t mean they have to exactly match. Instead, focus on the tonal quality of your hues to ensure alignment. For instance, if your house features a soft brown, then consider incorporating similarly soft neutrals, like sage green, in your interior.
Weigh Furniture Options
Once you’ve chosen a color palette, it’s time to pick your furniture styles. If you’re rocking a mid-century modern home, then it probably goes without saying that mid-century furniture is a great complement. But if your home’s architectural style doesn’t have a distinct furniture style to match, then consider the overall vibe of the home. For instance, the regal feel of colonial-style home blends well with Victorian and traditional furniture. Meanwhile, the homespun quality of a farmhouse lends itself to shabby-chic or vintage pieces.
Another great way to blend your interior and exterior is through the use of materials. If your exterior features a lot of stone or wood, then incorporating interior features like wood floors, stone fireplaces, and concrete accents is a great way to marry the two. Additionally, if you have a lot of plant life on the outside, such as creeping ivy, then it’s nice to incorporate some interior botanicals to match.
The silhouettes of your home’s exterior can also play a role in interior decor. The sleek lines of a modern/contemporary home, for example, lend themselves well to the airy silhouettes of mid-century and Scandinavian furniture. And the soft edges and sweeping arches of a spanish home are a perfect match for the organic hues and materials of southwestern decor.
Of course, all of this starts with owning (or renting!) a home with a particular architecture style. If that's what you're looking for, try using our Search With Style® tool to narrow your search for homes in your favorite style.