Overhaul Exterior Style with Stone Detailing

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

The recipe for a great home exterior is different in every case, but one thing’s for certain: mixed siding designs have a leg up on plain single-style looks. Layered exteriors that combine a few different colors and textures produce beautiful dimensionality, and there’s no better way than to use natural materials to achieve it. Here are some key points to help you choose the best stone for your home for great curb appeal!

Eldorado Stone LedgeCut33

LedgeCut33® in Birch color is a bold yet appropriate stone accent for this modern home. Its subtle tan tones offset the rich wood siding beautifully and the rough yet refined texture is a perfect complement for the architecture and setting.

Matching Colors

The color of stone accents will be seen from afar and up close, and even small applications will have a large effect on the overall picture. Start narrowing your options based on two qualities: the temperature and amount of variation on and between each piece.

In most cases, pairing warm with warm and cool with cool will create the best overall look. There are plenty of different stone options within color temperature families to prevent matching siding materials too much, so check them out before thinking about crossing over for more contrast. On a canvas as big as a house, it is difficult to do well and usually results in a design that stands out for the wrong reasons. If you insist on a healthy dose of contrast, leave it to the front door and shutters.

Variation across the stone surface dictates its vibe; a fairly monotonous stone is decidedly crisp and best suited to a contemporary style while a wide range of colors provides a more natural and rustic feel. A mix of very light and dark hues makes a bold statement, while a subtle array is much softer. Think about the effect you’re after and consider your settings, too; some pop against the background is fine, but you wouldn’t want too much if your home has to fit into a neighborhood.

Eldorado Stone RoughCut

A neat traditional home is given a fitting accent with the range of shapes and subtle hues available from RoughCut® stone veneer, shown here in the Vineyard Trail color.

Shapes, Sizes, and Shadows

Color is obvious, but stone siding has numerous other qualities. Imagine a very clean, brick-like appearance versus a variety of rounded stones that show a lot of mortar in the spaces between them—even if they’re the same color, they are worlds apart in terms of style. Long, narrow stones are common in residential settings, but larger, blocky ones have a more industrial background. Easily stackable varieties that appear precision cut create clean lines appropriate for modern designs, while rougher edges and surfaces make for an organically unique application every time. With so many characteristics existing on their own spectra, there are plenty of fitting looks available for each house.

Try a uniform stone type for a sleek exterior; whether all pieces are the same exact cut, have the same texture, or just the same vertical height, they’ll produce a chic look. Increase variability to move into a transitional or even older traditional genre—perhaps more uneven surfaces that add shadows would be good, or rugged irregular shapes that look like they’ve been taken from the environment. Dramatic styles that have outward angular profiles with lots of visual depth can actually go both ways; just consider the other characteristics that go along with them.

Eldorado Stone CoastalReef

Using CoastalReef® around outdoor living spaces gives this modern home a nice natural touch. The warm color matches the deck nicely and the sharp lines between each stone keep with the contemporary aesthetic.

Where to Highlight

Perhaps stone is already specified in the blueprints or you’re adding it to spice up a boring exterior—in either case, it’ll probably end up in one or a few key locations. Most commonly, it is applied to reface concrete foundations and turn something very plain and unappealing into a beautiful complement for the rest of the house. Some people take it farther up, allowing stone to cover the bottom half of the façade or even all the way to the roof, to give a nice sturdy impression from the street.

More often than that, though, stone is used to highlight individual shapes and areas in the architecture. Take a gable and fill it with stone from the foundation to the peak for a traditional look, or set the front porch apart with masonry columns. Outdoor living spaces, especially those that include a grill or fireplace, are also perfect candidates for stone, as they merge interior comforts with natural exterior beauty, and you can’t go wrong with a noncombustible siding choice there of all places.

If you’ve decided that any of these looks would be a design asset, check out the vast variety of stone veneers from Eldorado Stone. Lightweight, easy to install, and hand-painted for authenticity, these products provide real looks with convenience and reproducibility that you won’t get with quarried stone. Upload a picture and use their Visualizer to test out different options or contact their Design Services for assistance and to maximize curb appeal!

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