Enhance Your Home's Style with Exterior Details

Door Knocker
Enhance the exterior of your home by borrowing details from a classical architectural style. We've selected four popular house styles and gathered products to show you how to replicate each look.

New Orleans Style

New Orleans, like many port cities, boasts a mix of home styles with influences from around the world. Architectural styles include the double-gallery house, shown here, most popular from 1820 to 1850. This style of home has distinct French details, a side-gabled or hipped roof, and an asymmetrical placement of windows and doors. It is traditionally raised on piers and can have a brick, wood, or stucco exterior.

Garden Gate

The homes and courtyard gardens of New Orleans feature iron balconies, railings, fences, and gates, made even more attractive with elaborate scrolls and finials. Get this look with the Essex Garden Gate, which stands 5 feet tall and fits a 3-foot-wide opening with room for hinges and a latch.

Essex Garden Gate from Amazing Gates




Hose Holder

Scrolls and the look of old-world iron (it's actually recycled aluminum) make this hose holder an appropriate detail for a New Orleans-style home.

Whitehall Perrault Hose Holder from MailBoxWorks




Hanging Lamp

Just under 2 feet tall, the Casa Marseille hanging light includes clear hammered glass, rich detailing, and a black finish, and would fit right in near the entry of a New Orleans-style home.

Casa Marseille Outdoor Hanging Light from John Timberland Lighting




Window Box

Even if your home does not have iron fencing or railings, you can add a touch of New Orleans with iron window boxes. They adjust to almost any size railing, or they can be wall-mounted.

Over-The-Rail Iron Window Box from Smith and Hawken




Contemporary Style

Modern homes share a common goal: Keep it simple. These homes boast clean lines, bold angles, and flat unadorned surfaces. Often, they will marry natural materials (such as the wood plank siding here) with metals and glass for a softened industrial look.


Modern homes often make use of traditional plank siding in distinctly contemporary ways, such as the horizontal planks shown here. This fiber-cement siding comes in a variety of textures and can be painted once a sealer and primer have been applied.

Hardieplank Lap Siding from James Hardie Building Products

Prices vary



Wall Light

For those who prefer modern design, minimal looks equal maximum style. This 16-inch titanium-finish outdoor wall light makes a smart accent.

Atlantis Dark Sky Outdoor Wall Light from Hinkley Lighting




House Numbers

These clean, sans serif numbers are made of weather resistant Corian mounted on black tiles.

Weather Resistant House Numbers from Eichler Numbers

$60 for two digits, $90 for five digits



Sleek and crisp, the vertical stainless-steel mailbox is a prime example of form following function: an important plank of the modern style platform.

Stainless Steel Mailbox from Salsbury Industries




Garden Edger

Available in black or matte gray, these wire edgers define pathways and contain plants with simple geometric style.

Modular Edgers from Smith & Hawken




Spanish Colonial Revival Style

In the early 1900s, a revival of Spanish Colonial architecture took hold in the United States, bringing a style based on early Spanish construction in the Americas into the modern era. Loosely called Mediterranean style, the Spanish Colonial Revival look includes a smooth stucco exterior, chimneys, and a low-pitched roof of red clay tile. Other hallmarks of the style are board-and-batten shutters, arched doorways, courtyards and glazed tiles on the floors and walls.

Patio Tiles

These tiles have a bricklike look that is ideal for porches and enclosed courtyards.

Vesubio-Klinker Tile from Gres Catalan

$1.97 to $4.36 per tile


Wall Lamp

Thanks to its rugged, hammered-iron design, this old-world-inspired, flush-mount lantern fits with the Spanish Colonial Revival look.

Villa Escala Outdoor Flush Pocket Lantern from Minka Lavery




Mail Slot

Details such as a mail slot can add a finishing touch to the simple lines of Mediterranean architecture.

Adena Mail Slot from The Craftsman Homes collection




Victorian Style

The common theme among Victorian-style homes is devotion to detail and embellishments. With modern building techniques starting to take hold in the mid-19th century, builders could create houses with irregular floor plans, turrets, overhangs, and other novel features. They could also get mass-produced millwork, introducing the scrolls and other fanciful details that distinguish Victorian homes.


This stone planter is cast from an antique cut-stone original in England, giving each copy the detail that is a hallmark of Victorian style. The surface is moss-friendly and ages gracefully.

Somerset Pot from Gardener's Supply Co.





Whether cut from wood, as on original Victorian homes, or crafted from paintable cellular PVC (as these modern embellishments are), balusters, brackets, and gable decorations add a touch of gingerbread to Victorian architecture.

Balusters and Corner Brackets from Vintage Woodworks

Prices vary by size




Roof shingles are a home's crowning glory. The overlapping geometric pattern of these shingles (shown in Brownstone) suits the Victorian look.

Carriage House Roof Shingles from Certainteed

Prices vary



Wall Lamp

With a curvaceous bowl and textured glass panels, this 19-inch outdoor fixture can illuminate a Victorian entry.

Lynnewood Garden Outdoor Wall Light from Kichler




Door Knocker

Just over 7 inches tall, this lacquered, polished-brass door knocker evokes Victorian style with its detailed base plate and bearded Neptune face.

Neptune Door Knocker from Brass Accents Inc.



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