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.
Inspiration for a traditional two-storey brick red exterior in Sydney with a gable roof.

Inspiration for a traditional two-storey brick red exterior in Sydney with a gable roof.

This is an example of a contemporary one-storey white exterior in Perth with a hip roof.

This is an example of a contemporary one-storey white exterior in Perth with a hip roof.
roof and white good lighter door and framing - webuser_709872552

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Photo of a contemporary one-storey black exterior in Brisbane with metal siding and a shed roof.

Christopher Frederick Jones
Photo of a contemporary one-storey black exterior in Brisbane with metal siding and a shed roof.
Stairs for back patio don’t have to be solid concrete same for laundry stairs - heathmeredith

Contemporary grey exterior in Brisbane with three or more storeys and a gable roof.

Contemporary grey exterior in Brisbane with three or more storeys and a gable roof.
Front Facade - adrianhage

Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Brisbane.

Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Brisbane.

Design ideas for a modern two-storey concrete grey exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.

Architecture by Bruce Stafford & Associates Interior design by Hare + Klein Engineering by Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners Photography by Nicholas Watt
Sandstone & colours of finishes - newhouseforlesa

Design ideas for a large contemporary exterior in Melbourne.

Design ideas for a large contemporary exterior in Melbourne.

Inspiration for a modern exterior in Sunshine Coast.

Paul Smith
Inspiration for a modern exterior in Sunshine Coast.
great ways you can play with slop, Jetson-like - andrew_kelly58

Large contemporary two-storey white exterior in Sydney with stone veneer and a flat roof.

Brett Boardman
Large contemporary two-storey white exterior in Sydney with stone veneer and a flat roof.
like the color and the color of the stone for the front entrance - mardi3190

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Photo of a mid-sized tropical one-storey beige exterior in Sydney with a hip roof.

This special and unique house really needed something special to tie the landscaping in with the house. Our Design team worked closely with our client to produce a beautifully aesthetic masterpiece.
Nice, possibly with stone pillars or brickwork - pehughes

Contemporary exterior in Sunshine Coast.

Scott Burrows Photography
Contemporary exterior in Sunshine Coast.
External timber - terrylloyd2

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

Photo of a transitional two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a gable roof.
Texture - georgiemayo

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.
Interesting variation in wood grain - vicky16773

Contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Perth with a shed roof.

Parklyn Constructions
Contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Perth with a shed roof.
Ideas for front balcony plus side carport - svkumax

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

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Brisbane with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Steel window trims - louiseelizabeth

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.
black window frames with white ?? - dana_shreeve10

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

Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof.
concrete and dark timber - dana_shreeve10

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

Facade // Signature by Metricon Modena residence, on display in Newport, QLD.
Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey exterior in Brisbane with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Like the wood and boxiness - webuser_683187935