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We all want a magnificent home that stands out amongst the rest. However, we also want a villa that blends with its natural environment and neighborhood.


Designing the exterior of a home can be a complex process of color choices, materials, and balancing shape and lines. It’s an overwhelming and exciting experience for designers and homeowners alike.


So, we’ve put together a few basic exterior design principles that will help make your home a haven with a visually appealing exterior.






Balancing Shape with Symmetry


As will all types of design, balance and symmetry play an essential role in achieving a well-designed exterior. Every home requires some semblance of balance and symmetry to create an aesthetically pleasing design.


It may be the eye-catching allure of a symmetrical contemporary home, where the windows are large or a smaller front door with smaller windows.


It could be a home where the balance is achieved through roof lines and outdoor pergola elevations to balance the heights.


Regardless of your home style, there are a variety of ways to accomplish an exterior that is proportional to your home – some through obvious symmetry, while others are a bit more subtle.


Either way, a properly designed home has an exterior that is proportional and balanced.






Form Follows Function


Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor, invented the phrase, “form follows function”. Essentially, this means that the purpose of the building should be the foundation of the design.


When designing your exterior consider the following: What is the purpose of your villa? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider your family needs and then decide what is required in your home (or yard) to accommodate those needs.


Ultimately, The exterior of your home will mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen.


Materials and Textures


With the surplus of options, it can become overwhelming deciding what materials you should use on your home exterior. Between wood, marble or flamed granite, aluminum, steel, Porcelain, paint , and natural concrete finish – how do we make our final decision?






It’s always best to balance durability with aesthetics. Naturally, you want the exterior of your villa to reflect your personal style. For example, if you prefer a rustic look you may want tumbled crazy cut stone stone and wooden bark.


If you are a modern minimalist, you may prefer the lines of sleek steel or simple wood panels. At the end of the day, stick with the theme of your home and what blends best with the natural environment.


Landscaping is Essential


Landscaping your home requires far more than simply planting a tree in your backyard. When designed the right way, your yard will become an extension of your home and personal tastes.


From gazebos and pergolas to living walls and custom water features, your yard should be a peaceful retreat for you and your family.






Don’t let your yard fade into the darkness when the sun sets. Proper lighting is essential for home safety and nighttime appeal. Choose lights that mimic the style of your home.


For example, traditional villas look fantastic with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entrance, or flanking the garage. Modern homes look amazing with angular steel lights.


Not only will these custom lighting fixtures look beautiful, but they will also keep you yard lit and functional into the wee hours of the night! Looking for a few more landscape ideas? Check out our 10 Tips to Enhance your Landscape Design.






Create an Outdoor Entertainment Area


Spending time outside with our family and friends dining and entertaining is a fun and memorable experience. Yet, dining al fresco is only part of the fun!


Outdoor kitchens and living areas are an amazing way to add value to your home and quality to your life. An outdoor kitchen or living area allows you to cook, eat and entertain comfortably in your backyard.


Between pergolas, gazebos, waterfalls, and fire pits, there are many amazing options to incorporate into your outdoor living space that will make it an essential part of your daily life.


While the design of your home exterior can be a complicated process that is full of decisions and choices, a well-designed home can be achieved with patience and a little help!


During the design process, we suggest that you follow the above mentioned tips and when in doubt consult a professional. The Milestone Design Team is always ready to help you achieve the home of your dreams!



Whether you’re decorating a small office, modest villa, or a petite room in your home, the dimensions don’t have to limit your design possibilities.


With a little creativity and strategic planning, it’s possible to transform your small space into the room, villa, or office of your dreams. In fact, there are plenty of easy design-proven solutions that will make your space look stylish, open, and just plain bigger.



Blog-photos-SmartInt-01Photos from Pinterest



Paint and Accent Wall


A cool and calm color scheme will leave your space feeling bigger and brighter. Leave your walls white, ivory, sand or beige to lend the illusion of expansive space. Dark paint colors often make a room seem smaller.


Opt for lighter shades to instantly create a breezy, spacious feel. Another trick is to use multiple but similar colors, such as white and beige or pale pink and mauve.


If you are into colour, go bold and bright or even dark and cozy but only on an accent wall. You can even use the same color on the trim to add a little extra height to your space. You’d be amazed what an inch or two can do!


Incorporate Floor Length Mirrors


Adding a large floor length mirror is the easiest way to open up a room, making it appear double its size. Mirrors reflect both artificial and natural light making the room seem lighter and brighter.


Smaller mirrors are also nice for decoration but larger floor length mirrors are the way to go when you want to open up your space and provide the appearance of depth. You can even double up, placing two mirrors side-by-side.



Blog-photos-SmartInt-02Photos from Pinterest



Limit Bold Accents


When it comes to bold accents, less is more! Limit any big, bold prints to decorative accessories, such as blankets, throw pillow or fabric choices for smaller pieces of furniture, such as a stool or ottoman. Larger commanding pieces like your sofa should be solid and light..


Let There Be Light!


Dimly lit rooms have a tendency to disappear. To avoid this, add table lamps, floor lamps or wall sconces in the corners of the room. Placing these accents at the corners not only maximizes your floor plan but also brightens your space.



Blog-photos-SmartInt-03Photos from Pinterest



Floor to Ceiling Curtains


Make your ceiling appear taller by adding floor to ceiling curtains. When selecting drapes, be sure that they are the same color as the walls within the room. Sticking to the same color scheme will help the curtains to blend in, creating a streamlined effect.


If privacy isn’t a concern, consider leaving your windows bare. Not only does this produce an unobstructed view, it also makes the room feel bigger by incorporating the extension of the outdoors.


Invest in Hybrid  Pieces


When you find furniture that performs double duty, you’ll need less of it! Think storage ottomans that also function as seating, trunks that moonlight as coffee tables, or dining tables that drop their leaves to become smaller breakfast tables.


Ultimately, the less furniture you have, the more space you have.



Blog-photos-SmartInt-04Photos from Pinterest



Clutter Free is the Way to Be


Let your furniture breath. Resist the temptation to push pieces together, as this can create a counter-effect, making a room feel crowded. Instead, allow plenty of space between furniture, and try “floating” larger pieces in the middle of the room.


While you may not be able to add square footage to your office, villa or small room, you can use a little creativity to make your space feel much larger. Stick to these tricks, and you’ll be on your way to creating a comfortable design scheme with endless space!


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We’ve talked about ways to improve your exterior and backyard with amazing design ideas, sizzling outdoor kitchens, gorgeous pools, and lush gardens, so we thought it would be fun to show you a few awe-inspiring designs that surely turned a few heads!


There are thousands of impressive and unique designs and styles to add to your collection of garden landscaping ideas, but we’ve listed ten here. Have a look!


The Garden Studio


A beautiful garden design will transform your backyard into a little heaven. Designing a space where you can relax, surrounded by the peace and tranquility of nature will do wonders for your mind, body, and soul.


This garden studio is mesmerizing and offers a beautiful place to unwind and relax. What we love: The pergola inspired shed creates a space to sit and dine and the lush green Murraya Jasmine  spreads a lovely fragrance.


Who wouldn’t want to sit back and unwind here?






Maximizing the Space


Your backyard doesn’t have to be huge to turn it into a space that you will absolutely love.


This backyard is short on space, but the designer maximized every square foot by incorporating Stone clad retaining walls, patio furniture for outdoor eating, and cantilevered pergola to cover the outdoor kitchen area.


What we love: this sleek pergola not only creates a separate space but also offers relief from the sun and heat during those warm summer months whilst you cook.






The Asian Pergola


What’s not to love about an Asian-inspired backyard? From the tiered roof to the Zen inspired greenery, every detail of this stunning design is a sum of the larger design scheme.


What we love: the outdoor seating, sun loungers are  embedded within beautiful greenery and carefully collected outdoor sculptures and a pool set within spacious, clutter free garden gives the area a vibrant feel.






Backyard Lagoon


This backyard design has a lot to love! The massive pool resembles a sparkling lagoon, with a jacuzzi and water feature. Not only is this area peaceful and relaxing but it also adds value to the home.


What we love: the decorative stone wall stretches past the stone pool deck to hide the pool pump room and shower and tropical Balinese feel brought by the Palm trees.






The Terraced Garden


This stunning home full of windows offers a beautiful view of the garden and pool, while the raised steps adds the culminating touch through the lighting.


This thought-provoking design once again proves that you can do a lot with a space with careful choice of levels. What we love: the steps and pool deck, flanked by the outdoor bar and Barbeque area, giving it a simple open modern feel.






The Remote Hideaway


If you’re looking for seclusion, off the beaten path, this is the yard for you. The resort like feel, meandering grass, different levels, multiple seating spaces create a feeling of being far away from the busy world.


What we love: as the sun sets, curl up on the gazebo cushions and sip a drink, chat with friends and enjoy the serenity of the calming space around you.






The Estate


From what we’ve seen so far, the most impressive backyards have dedicated spaces for each area. The yard below has a fire line incorporated within the bar counter encircled by chairs to entertain and relax with family and friends.


Further, back is the outdoor dining area and water feature. What we love: the unique foliage and architectural designs add just the right amount of character to this amazing back yard!






The Outdoor reading corner – Inspiration


I would love to have a corner like this! Everyone needs is a cave retreat when you want quiet time outside to write your vision, dreams or simply to think.


What we love: the beautiful wall tiling pattern, neutral colors beautifully combined, natural bamboo surrounding the little area.


Cool Children Play Areas


This cool children play tent creates a cozy corner for them to relax and play. It’s a little tent, very cost effective and cute. What we love: A special corner for children in any shaded area.



top-ext-07Photos from and Pinterest



Garden Dining Area


Modern and spacious, a 3 m long table sits in the center of a waterproof pergola. What we love: Solid wood shade structures, bar and a warm feel to this garden. Totally clutter free!  Stunning!






From lush gardens to manicured yards, there is inspiration to be discovered in a variety of backyards. If you’re looking for a little help to turn your backyard into a relaxing getaway, the designers at Milestone are always ready to help.


Already have an amazing backyard? We’d love for you to share it!


  • Editorial Note: some images were picked up from the net as inspirations from Pinterest and


Every year, as summer slowly fades into fall, professionals from the interior design world start talking about their expectations and predictions for the upcoming year. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the new year.


Yet here we are, rounding out the year and trend forecasters and designers are already thinking well into 2017! The new is year is full of exciting design trends that are sure to shake things up. Here are a few of the top interior design trends for 2017.


Rescued, Distressed and Shabby Chic Looks


What’s old is new again as vintage pieces and antiques make a huge comeback. If it looks slightly loved, worn, rustic or shabby, it will be in style next year. Shabby chic is still a favorite for home decor in 2017.


Design experts suggest this trend reflects our inner desire to create a more relaxed space. Reminiscent of days gone by, whether it’s the real deal or an antique replica, these intriguing artifacts and accents will add character, texture, and warmth to almost any design scheme.


Be sure to keep these pieces as close to their original state as possible without completely repainting or refurbishing beyond recognition. Their vintage appeal and “slightly loved” look is what lends this trend its recurring charm!



topinteriors-01Photos from Pinterest



Cork Accents


You heard it hear first – cork is making a comeback! Last year cork chalkboard walls were all the rage and this year it’s all about walls covered with cork. It might seem odd at first, but when you think about it, cork is the ideal material for accent walls.


You can pin photos and artwork directly to the wall, and it’s perfect in offices for pinning notes and papers. Not only is cork a stylish decorative material it instantly adds warmth and texture to your space.


As an added bonus, cork is ideal for absorbing noise in large, open floor plan homes. You can even get creative in your home office, adding a cork accent wall that doubles as a vision board! Cork finish wallpapers look very stylish too.



topinteriors-02Photos from Pinterest



Statement Bedheads


Artificial leather bed heads are where it’s at in 2017. Traditionally found in hotels or period mansions, statement bead heads are making their way into mainstream interior design and it’s about time!


This year consider accenting your bed frame with a luxurious faux leather bedhead. Detailed backboards, lavish velvets, and stunning shapes will effortlessly transition into your existing décor scheme.



topinteriors-03Photos from Pinterest





Technology is shaping more and more of our lives and every once in a while we need to unplug and unwind! It’s only natural that design trends would start to shift offline.


Reading nooks, minuscule office spaces and places to escape accented with relaxed furniture will be one of the interiors must-haves for 2017.


This trend is perfect for those individuals operating with a tight budget because you can work with what you’ve got! Consider extending a window seat, carve out a recessed space in a wall or transform the cupboard under your stairs into a reading nook.


The possibilities are limitless!




You may be familiar with contouring makeup, and now the trend appears to be moving into our interior design. Contouring finds its inspiration in the natural lines found in nature.


Whether it’s rock formations, crevices or river beds, you can expect to see this movement mimicked prominently in the surface design of statement pieces, such as kitchen islands or tables.


You can also opt for a more subtle approach, injecting the style as a print on ceramics or other soft furnishings.  



topinteriors-04Photos from Pinterest



Jeweled Tones and Metallic Accents


As always, certain colours come and go with the passing years. 2016 year was the year of the pastels, but next year, get ready for intense tones inspired by eastern design. Amethysts, emeralds, and opals will add a luxurious splash to your interior design.


Not to mention, metallics, metals, raw-cut quartz, Lucite, and opal will add a dash of dazzling sparkle and interest to your space. This is one trend we hope sticks around for awhile!


Interesting Wall Accents


Are you are a true-blue follower of animal prints? Perhaps your mathematically inclined mind likes the indulgence of geometrical prints? Or does your romantic side simply falls head over heels in love with butterfly prints?


Well, if you can answer yes to any of these questions, 2017 is the year for you as interesting wall accents is where it’s at! Think metallic artworks, wild animal prints, bright butterfly prints, and iconic metal automobile wall accents to spruce up that simple wall.


These unique wall pieces will add an interesting and fun appeal to your space.



topinteriors-05Photos from Pinterest



While out with the old and in with new may temporarily spruce up your space, just remember that trends come and go. What’s in today may be out tomorrow.  


Remember to stay true to your personal tastes, incorporating what works with your space, and you can never go wrong!