One of the crucial steps in the design process at Ventura Homes is taking time to look to the past for inspiration. What truly sets our homes apart is the infusion of the character and enduring features more often found in older homes, with the commodities that current day families expect in a new home. In the office, we often find ourselves calling our homes “cottages” because they are designed to be charming and feel homey, no matter the style. It all goes back to those ageless and historical design cues we love. Here are four ways we give our homes a touch of cottage charm.
We hear time and time again how easy it is to tell which homes in a neighborhood are Ventura builds. The exteriors always give it away! We put a lot of thought into the details and materials used on the face of a home to set the tone for the beautiful interiors within. If we’re designing to create a more regionally styled look, we dive into the books in our office in search of inspiring features that are true to the concept. We look at different cuts/colors/stacking methods of exterior stone, compare painted brick vs. lime-washed brick vs. stucco, and intentionally choose specific decorative materials – tile, metal, natural wood. A balanced blend of textural materials is always a go-to in creating cozy curb appeal.
(Stone and stained wood pop on a canvas of tooled painted brick.)
(Stone on brick on stone on brick on stone!)
Bringing exterior finishes inside
While we’re on the subject of texture…nothing exudes cottage comfort more than un-touched natural finishes on the interior of a home. One of the most beautiful features of historical cottage homes is their “unfinished” interior walls, meaning that the stone or brick on the exterior is mirrored on the interior. We love to recreate this feel by cladding an interior wall in the stone that was used on the front of a home to accent it.
(This stone accent wall is a nod to the stone on the exterior of the home.)
(Exterior siding looks amazing inside, too…)
Who doesn’t love older homes for their custom details and handcrafted feel? Those one-of-a-kind feeling elements can be implemented in new builds with a little extra care and planning. Windows are a great opportunity to take advantage of here. Whenever possible we spec decorative windows in unique shapes/dimensions, order window casings in fun accent colors and specific dividers within the glass panes. Fun windows do so much for the charm factor of a home. The same goes for asymmetry – while we tend to ensure features on each “wing” of a home exterior have some mode of symmetry, we have a knack for creating cohesive elevations that aren’t necessarily “matchy-matchy”.
(This home is famous in our office for showcasing ALL the fun window sizes/dividing patterns.)
(Dark painted casings on the interior side of a window is something ya don’t see every day, huh?)
Calming color palettes
This one is kind of a given. But instead of classically calming whites, creams, and greiges, we’ve loved the dark color palette trends as of late and think they look gorgeous in a cottage-style setting. Natural stone paired with a dark painted front door and dark window casings, dark siding paired with light brick, or dark painted cabinets throughout a home – there are so many good combos. We’re excited to explore this cozy trend further in future Ventura projects to come!
(Bead board accents look extra sophisticated painted in a darker hue.)
(Sneak peek at one of our newest homes, all dressed up in dark siding!)