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.
Contemporary black exterior in Sydney with three or more storeys and a flat roof.

Justin Alexander
Contemporary black exterior in Sydney with three or more storeys and a flat roof.
Something about this is cute. Veranda is covered downstairs. Upstairs area has little garden and a verandah as well. Flat roof. All matching levels makes it look like a duplex in Paddington. - tegan_m

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey black exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.

Simon Whitbread
This is an example of a contemporary two-storey black exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.
Similar house, gal hand rails - wesa182

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Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey stucco beige exterior in Perth with a flat roof.

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey stucco beige exterior in Perth with a flat roof.
white render with grey conc tiles - designtolive30

Design ideas for a contemporary one-storey exterior in Perth with mixed siding and a shed roof.

Design ideas for a contemporary one-storey exterior in Perth with mixed siding and a shed roof.
contrast of textures; render, siding, stone - roisin_mcmahon

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

Angus Martin
Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Brisbane with mixed siding and a hip roof.
Modern Queenslander - webuser_478109992

Design ideas for a large contemporary white exterior in Sydney.

Design ideas for a large contemporary white exterior in Sydney.
i love that you can see the reflection of the water and i like the white. - eliza_schoenmaker

Photo of a large contemporary split-level brown exterior in Other with wood siding and a flat roof.

Photo of a large contemporary split-level brown exterior in Other with wood siding and a flat roof.
caged rock retaining and grass blocks driveway - craig_rodgers57

This is an example of a beach style white exterior in Perth.

O2V Mandurah
This is an example of a beach style white exterior in Perth.
Similar design to house grew up in - sharynmacpherson

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey stucco exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey stucco exterior in Sydney with a flat roof.

Sponsored
Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey stucco white exterior in Perth with a flat roof.

Taj Kempe
Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey stucco white exterior in Perth with a flat roof.
Roof line - webuser_645913837

This is an example of a large contemporary exterior in Adelaide.

Modern beach side home with butterfly roof, cantilevered canopies and commercial grade aluminium windows. A collaboration between Designtech Studio and Finesse Built. Photo: Scott Harding- hardimage@internode.on.net Builder: Finesse Built Landscaping: Green Team- Building and Consulting
Integrated front balcony - susan_lewis156

Photo of a transitional exterior in Other.

Photo of a transitional exterior in Other.

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

Photo of a contemporary two-storey black exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Love the wood paneling for the garage so it doesn’t seem like the house is all garage. And it looks pretty - eilatan44

Design ideas for a country two-storey white exterior in Other with concrete fiberboard siding and a hip roof.

Design ideas for a country two-storey white exterior in Other with concrete fiberboard siding and a hip roof.
Stairs at front - dmylee74

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

Dave Kulesza
Photo of a modern two-storey exterior in Melbourne with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Garage's wooden exterior, contrasts with white painted house - jonathanyangwo

Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Other with a shed roof.

Ann-Louise Buck
Photo of a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Other with a shed roof.
Driveway - avarney

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

Design ideas for a contemporary one-storey exterior in Other with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Mixed materials, large shad over high window - badajan

Contemporary two-storey black exterior in Brisbane with mixed siding and a flat roof.

Contemporary two-storey black exterior in Brisbane with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Panel inserts don't go all the way to the ground. Is that good or bad? - jason_houghton