Going Green Part 2: How to Blend your home with surrounding nature
Nature never goes out of style. So if you’re looking for a timeless design for your new home, look no further than your outdoor surroundings. No matter where you’re building, design build firms like Kehoe Kustom can help you work with the natural environment to create a home that seamlessly blends into the landscape. If a natural look and feel is something you’re interested in, here are some things to keep in mind:
Allow Good Lighting
Designing your home to make the best use of natural light isn’t just aesthetically pleasing — it’s actually better for your health. Doctors are discovering that natural light can boost your mood, alertness and even your metabolism. Consider which rooms you’ll use the most, and then discuss how to design those rooms so you can soak up the sun. Since windows do tend to be one of the biggest heating and cooling drains on a home, talk to your home designer about how to make your windows as energy efficient as possible, and how to position your home to be best protected from the elements and weather in your area. Also keep in mind which direction your windows are facing, and how that will affect the sunlight. East-facing rooms get the most sunlight in the morning, while west-facing rooms get the evening light. So if you want to watch the sunrise from your patio, be sure your home is situated correctly to make that work.
If you have nearby neighbors, or maybe even if you don’t, most people like the added privacy and protection of a fence around their house. Consider using natural elements that blend with your surroundings. People in more arid climates could plant a row of cactus plants, while more northern climes might prefer lilac bushes or boxwood hedges. Be sure to research what soils the plant will thrive in, what sort of upkeep it requires, and what it will look like through each course of the season so you’re not stuck with something that only looks picturesque for a portion of the year.
Let the natural lay of the land inspire your landscaping choices. Instead of trying to force a cookie-cutter lawn into an area that doesn’t grow grass well, visit with your local Extension agent or other plant/soil expert for tips on what will work best where you are. Think about that as you’re designing your home, so you can be sure to blend all of the elements together for a cohesive look and feel.
USE NATURAL MATERIALS
Is there a type of stone your area is known for? Are there certain trees that everyone has? Find a way to incorporate those into your building process. Ask your home’s designer how to use those materials inside and out to help your home blend into its surroundings.
For urban dwellers, perhaps the best way to blend in is by magic. Well, more of an optical illusion. A technique known as “invisible architecture” uses mirrored panels to on buildings that creates a surrealistic camouflage. Some buildings use steel panels that aren’t perfectly aligned, creating an optical illusion-like effect, while others reflect their surroundings so well they are almost entirely invisible if you don’t realize what’s there. If you live in town, or just like the idea of hiding in plain sight, this might be a unique option for your builder to try. Consider incorporating solar panels into the design to create a unique and eco-friendly home design.
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