Exterior Design Ideas

The front exterior of your home – the driveway, front yard, verandah and entrance – is a fantastic place to start making that all-important first impression on house guests. Even mailboxes and house numbers can have a wonderful way of grabbing people’s attention. The architectural design should reflect the overall style of your house and the family that live there; while your choice of materials will help your house blend in with its surrounds.

Browse the photos on Houzz for ideas and inspiration for the exterior of your house, and strike up a conversation with the architects and designers of your favourite picks. You’ll find house designs for contemporary, eclectic, modern, traditional styles and more.

How do I decide on the exterior style of my home?


Your location, overall sense of style, budget and current home layout will dictate the style of your exterior. If you’re renovating a period home, the materials and features you use should reflect the date in which it was built, while a unique colour scheme could add contemporary flair.

New homes may prefer to look to modern or contemporary designs with structural simplicity, whereas, if you live by the ocean, a beach-style design may better suit your locale. That’s not to say you can’t build a new home that has period influences. If you’re a traditionalist, you can borrow architectural details from the Art Deco period, for instance, or use finishes that reflect more of a Scandinavian style, too.

What exterior house colours and materials should I use?


Traditional homes typically use brick and timber building materials, while stone, board-formed concrete and metal cladding are popular contemporary options. Again, the materials you use will depend on your location and the statement you want to make. Your budget will also affect your choice. Vinyl siding is affordable and easy to install, while stone is more expensive but durable and low maintenance.

If you’re not ready to renovate but want to update the exterior of your home, you can still paint it. Look to your neighbours when choosing exterior house colours. Consider the streetscape and what type of colours are already in use, firstly, so you don’t replicate next door’s shade; and secondly, so you don’t stand out like a sore thumb. If you’re renovating a period home, you could paint features or intricate details in a bold, standout hue. Front doors, garage doors and window trims also look great in eye-catching colours, even if the rest of the house’s facade is neutral.

How can I maximise my home’s street appeal?


To spice up your home’s architectural design, landscape the surrounding area with plants and pathways that accent the style of your home. If you just need a quick revamp, look at your cement and pavers – these can split and crack over time; and repairing or replacing them can do wonders for your street appeal, especially if it’s a large area like your driveway. Plants, garden paths or low walls can can also add structure to your front yard.

Light up your home with sufficient outdoor lighting to make walking up to the front door easy at night. You could use bollard lights along your entry path, or replace tiny wall sconces with statement pendant lighting at the entrance or on your verandah. Decorative elements such as house numbers, mailboxes and doormats will also add character. And if you're looking to sell your house, it may be worth hiring a stylist to help make the most of your property.
This is an example of a contemporary white exterior in Melbourne.

Aspect 11
This is an example of a contemporary white exterior in Melbourne.
I just like all the contrast of this scene and the way the white and black anchors it. - rio75

Design ideas for a contemporary one-storey white exterior in Adelaide with stone veneer and a hip roof.

California House on display at 568 Fergusson Avenue, Craigburn Farm Mon, Wed, Sat and Sun / 1.00pm to 4.30pm
Design ideas for a contemporary one-storey white exterior in Adelaide with stone veneer and a hip roof.
I like the feature stone here. matching retaining walls and piers are appealing - nikolai_jermolajew

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This is an example of a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a gable roof.

Axiom
This is an example of a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a gable roof.
love the contrast extension - markrenee1994

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Melbourne with a hip roof.

A modern masterpiece featuring A&L Windows.
This is an example of a contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Melbourne with a hip roof.
rear balcony? - webuser_153773284

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Melbourne.

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Melbourne.

Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Brisbane with vinyl siding and a flat roof.

Deborah Macleod
Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Brisbane with vinyl siding and a flat roof.
Glass open look - donna_s_hart75

Photo of a large transitional two-storey stucco grey exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.

Photo of a large transitional two-storey stucco grey exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.
Grey wood paneling, to match the colour of the house? - claire_majumdar

Contemporary exterior in Sydney.

Contemporary exterior in Sydney.

Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Geelong with metal siding and a flat roof.

Photographer: Nikole Ramsay Stylist: Emma O'Meara
Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Geelong with metal siding and a flat roof.
The front facade with garage doors and above - julienne0000

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Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof and mixed siding.

Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof and mixed siding.

Inspiration for a contemporary split-level grey exterior in Sunshine Coast with a flat roof.

Inspiration for a contemporary split-level grey exterior in Sunshine Coast with a flat roof.
Newstead block front - andreacoull

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Perth with mixed siding and a hip roof.

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Perth with mixed siding and a hip roof.
modern glebe roof large windows - c_mac_conmara

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey brown exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey brown exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.

This is an example of a traditional two-storey grey exterior in Sydney.

This is an example of a traditional two-storey grey exterior in Sydney.

Large contemporary two-storey brick white exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof.

Amazing design elements in this outdoor living space at our luxury build in the Mornington Peninsula. This beautiful exterior features: Landscaped gardens Feature swimming pool HardiDeck to the Balcony External shower with stainless steel taps 2x 5000L Water Tanks Perfect outdoor entertaining space modern styling and beautiful greenery. This home has such a wow factor that it should be saved in all ideabooks.
glasses with good views. nice clean pool. - webuser_314089551

Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.

Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.
like - boxlike design but softened by use of materials - pipdeveau

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Photo of a contemporary two-storey concrete grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof.

BEN HOSKING
Photo of a contemporary two-storey concrete grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof.
Different textures, privacy, interesting layers - bbryant81

Tropical two-storey white exterior in Cairns with a hip roof.

Tropical two-storey white exterior in Cairns with a hip roof.