Make an Entrance

Landscape and interior designer Kathryn Prideaux of Prideaux Design shares her top design tips for modern curb appeal, and making an entrance all your own.

Three Images, white modern house, Kathryn Prideaux, Modern House Numbers, 8" Palm Springs numbers in matte black
top: photo credit Matt Vacca bottom left: Kathryn Prideaux FAPLD, Allied ASID | Photo credit: Fletcher & Co. right: 8" Palm Springs numbers, matte black  

We love your approach to harmonious, modern design. Tell us more about how you create a thoughtful indoor / outdoor connection.

"No matter where we live, outdoor spaces can become a lovely extension of our indoor environments. In my work, it's all about balancing beauty and splendor with flow and function. Design creates a connection, like a thread, that weaves together moments and experiences using details, materials, and textures."

Kathryn Prideaux's Design Tips:

  • Be selective: create moments and vignettes
  • Be yourself: design to reflect your style
  • Be wise: use durable materials
  • Be modern: be minimal in detailing
  • Be playful: design to conceal and reveal 
Modern House Numbers, 6" Palm Springs numbers in brushed aluminum, Photo Credit: Fletcher & Co.
6" Palm Springs numbers in brushed aluminum | photo credit: Fletcher & Co.

Entrances and courtyards feature prominently in your work. What are your top three tips for creating a memorable, modern entry?

White modern house, desert landscaping, Photo credit: Liam Frederick
photo credit: Liam Frederick

1. Conceal and Reveal!

The experience, from the curb to the door, should include visual cues that let your guests know a little about the kind of space they might find inside. House numbers, mailbox, and other design features like landscape and hardscape, communicate a certain feeling that should be consistent with your home and your personal style. I love to leave hints along the way that lead to the whole home and interior reveal.

Southwest home, desert landscaping, Photo credit: Logan Havens
Photo credit: Logan Havens
2. Greet your guests with a hug!

Courtyards are a fantastic way to formally greet your guests and to give them confidence in finding their way. An entry courtyard is both a warm welcome and a lovely, bonus outdoor space. A good entrance also greets guests with a beautiful set of Modern House Numbers.

In my projects, I often use two sets of Modern House Numbers. We'll install one set closer to the street, and another closer to the house. This is especially important for properties with some distance between street and front door. Guests really do love confirmation that they are in the right place! The guest experience begins at the curb.

Modern House Numbers, 6" Palm Springs, brushed aluminum, Photo Credit: Fletcher & Co.
6" Palm Springs, brushed aluminum | photo credit: Fletcher & Co

3. Layering!

I layer design and landscape elements, like low walls, breezeblock, boulders, large pots, and lighting, as a primary way of defining space. These 'layers' help to guide the way and create the feeling of an enclosed space. In Arizona this might look like a 'wall' of Mexican Fence Post cacti, vertical steel plates, large planters, and boulders from the site. In other regions, I would choose design elements that integrate well with that specific location and climate.

A great set of Modern House Numbers is an important part of each of my exterior design projects. They're stylish, high quality and extremely durable which is important especially here in Arizona. I also love that they're made by a family-run business in Tucson. 

Modern House Numbers, 6" Palm Springs, dark bronze
 6" Palm Springs numbers in dark bronze | photo credit: Matt Vacca
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rick mclain, author

Rick is a licensed architect at Repp McLain Design & Construction. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona and an MS from the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When he’s not designing and fabricating he enjoys spending time with Brandy, Jack, Avery & Taylor and restoring his grandfather’s Ford pickup truck. Learn more about Rick on LinkedIn.

You can learn more about Rick on the Repp McLain Website, on LinkedIn, at the AIA Website, or on Facebook.