The Difference between Landscaping and Exterior Design

When it comes to exterior home renovation, you must consider two main aspects: landscaping and exterior design.

Although these two add to your home’s curb appeal, they are different. Join us as we delve into the differences between these two components that can add to the value of your home or property if done right.

A). Exterior Design

Exterior design can make or break the value of your property or home. This has to do with your home or property’s exterior design or look. It is the mix and mash of all outside components that a person uses to make or draw the first impression of your home/property.

The external visuals of your home or property set certain expectations about what a person will see inside. A bad exterior (design) gives people a negative perspective about the whole house, weakening your bargaining power and overall property price. Exterior design is what you see on the outside of the house. It’s what your eyes land on first. Let’s use the example of a book; what you see on the book cover will give you an idea of what you will get inside the book.

What Makes Exterior Design?

Exterior design involves the architectural structure, the paint, furniture, decorations that make a home or property suitable for outdoor use.

The exterior design takes into consideration:

  • Exterior architecture
  • The design of your compound
  • Garden
  • Patio
  • Walkways
  • Parking space
  • Decorations or suitable furniture for the outdoors.

Exterior architectural design

This is the outside part of a building that is open to view from the outside. It includes the architectural style, the general arrangement or layout or setting of the exterior components, the type of texture of the building materials used on the exterior, style, type of windows, doors, lights, and all other exterior features or fixtures.

It also includes the security of the premises. How secure is your home? For this reason, exterior doors are more robust/stronger, providing security/protection and resistance from all-weather elements. Because of security consciousness, exterior doors are made from steel, wood, fibreglass and come in different design styles depending on your tastes and preferences. They can also come as panel or glass doors with secure designs.

Examples of exterior doors include:

  • Front and back entry doors
  • Garage door
  • Sliding glass windows
  • Patio doors.

Paint job

When it comes to exterior design, the paint matters. This is because there are a lot of different textures and imperfections on the outside of the house.

Most exterior paints are latex or alkyd-based and come in low lustre, flat, gloss, and semi-gloss finishes.

Flat finishes are hide imperfections, making them great for exteriors that are harder to clean and not often used.

Low lustre (satin or eggshell) paints, on the other hand, don’t hide imperfections. The semi-gloss withstands light scrubbing, making them great for exterior trim work and casings.

And lastly, gloss. Gloss is the toughest finish that you can use. For this reason, it is great on window casings, door jambs, shutters, and other trim works.

Your home’s shape and size

Exterior design also includes your home’s shape and size, how it fits or blends into the surrounding neighbourhood, streetscape, and landscape, and how it impacts its site. So, your exterior design should be in harmony or fit with your neighbourhood.

Exterior design takes into play:

  • The shape (especially of the roof)
  • Size and height of your house in relation with other nearby homes
  • Cladding materials
  • Window styles
  • Roofing colours.

It also takes into consideration:

  • How you make use of other natural features
  • How you minimize the impact of your house’s existence on your site’s landform
  • How you wisely integrate the landscape and garden of the property
  • How your aesthetic tastes mix/combine nature and cultural history
  • How you built your house in relation to the weather, ecology, and horticulture of the region

Exterior Design also considers the effect of your house’s design on a structure, parking, location, drainage, walkways, etc. That is why you should use the geographical information system when designing the exterior components of your home. It will help you make the right decisions when it comes to making house plans that favour the geographical aspects of exterior design.


B). Landscaping

Landscaping is a subset of exterior design. It’s a combination of different activities that modify the physical or visible features of a piece or area of land. Landscaping is a process whereby changes are made on a piece of land.

The changes can happen in three different ways:


Gardening involves beautifying your compound with nature’s living elements of flora and fauna. This involves plant addition. You can add different landscaping plants, say, edible, native and ornamental plants.

Terrain change

Before landscaping or tampering with the land, it comes in different terrain shapes/ landforms. To meet your tastes, you change the shape and layout of land through digging, mounding, grading, terracing, levelling, and backfilling.

Abstract elements

This involves manipulating weather and lighting conditions to get the atmosphere you desire. You can install or construct structures like walls, fences, patio covers, decks, raised planters, and other built features.

In summary, landscaping is all about beautifying your yard. It is a combination of ideas, a blend of art and science. You use your knowledge of horticulture to transform your property into beautiful scenery.

Note: If you decide to do the landscaping yourself, always make a plan first. The results will be catastrophic if you don’t. Make a plan that lays where what will go where. Landscape plans turn your ideas into planned and organized visuals.


Getting the best of both worlds (landscaping and interior design) will make your home look great and increase your property’s worth. To get quality service, contact us now.

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