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 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

Inspiration for a midcentury two-storey grey exterior in Sydney with mixed siding and a flat roof.

Architect: Architects Ink Photographer: Sam Noonan Photography
Inspiration for a midcentury two-storey grey exterior in Sydney with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Simplicity - webuser_572342407

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

External shot from the front of the property.
Photo of a large contemporary two-storey concrete grey exterior in Melbourne with a flat roof.
White stoves, small plants, timber posts, timber stairs - ross_cameron30

Photo of a tropical two-storey brown exterior in Cairns with a hip roof.

Photo of a tropical two-storey brown exterior in Cairns with a hip roof.
frente de mi casa - webuser_661891224

Photo of a contemporary two-storey exterior in Melbourne with wood siding.

Photo of a contemporary two-storey exterior in Melbourne with wood siding.
Doors to outside, grass and deck - aitkenkelly

Design ideas for a modern two-storey grey exterior in Canberra - Queanbeyan with metal siding and a flat roof.

Design ideas for a modern two-storey grey exterior in Canberra - Queanbeyan with metal siding and a flat roof.
Metal vertical siding, flat roof, garage door - badajan

This is an example of a mid-sized contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Sydney with wood siding and a hip roof.

Photography: Robert Walsh @robertwphoto Builder: Siltala Constructions, www.siltalaconstructions.com.au
This is an example of a mid-sized contemporary two-storey beige exterior in Sydney with wood siding and a hip roof.
Every thing maybe bigger eaves to protect windows . Different textures garden - tracey_hambly

Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey exterior in Sydney with wood siding.

Anthony Fretwell
Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey exterior in Sydney with wood siding.
DS - a little bit too top heavy but i like it - tassie007

Large contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Sydney.

Large contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Sydney.
The style of the building - josephine_mauro

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Design ideas for a contemporary two-storey white exterior in Melbourne with concrete fiberboard siding and a shed roof.

The extension to the rear of the renovated Victorian weatherboard home is distinctly and deliberately contemporary. This serves to both meet the client's modern lifestyle, but also to preserve the heritage value of the original home in that doesn't seek to mimic or copy, but rather allows it to stand in own right. Peter Clarke Photography
5. Location: Melbourne, VictoriaWhy we love it: This extension is unapologetically modern to suit the lifestyle of the family within. - sbann13

Design ideas for a large contemporary two-storey white exterior in Gold Coast - Tweed with concrete fiberboard siding and a flat roof.

The design was perched on a steep embankment overlooking west to the Gold Coast Hinterland Range. Two rectilinear forms intersecting to create privacy from the entrance & private pool courtyard beyond. The entry sequence is skewed on an angle that slices into the two storey form to set up a view axis to the hinterland range. Natural material selections add a warmth & appropriate response to the Hinterland setting. Ground floor walls open out with large stacker doors blurring the enclosure & connecting the occupants with the natural bushland setting. Built by Makin Constructions. Photos: Andy MacPherson Studio

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Brisbane.

Inspiration for a contemporary two-storey grey exterior in Brisbane.

Photo of a contemporary exterior in Melbourne.

Photo of a contemporary exterior in Melbourne.
Do we have a step down from the alfresco area towards the lap pool ? - das_nair

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

This is an example of a contemporary two-storey exterior in Sydney with mixed siding and a flat roof.
Like the use of steel and timber and cantilevered roof. Warm color scheme - webuser_879392906

This is an example of a contemporary stucco beige exterior in Melbourne with three or more storeys and a flat roof.

This is an example of a contemporary stucco beige exterior in Melbourne with three or more storeys and a flat roof.
The landscape. - sue_chang92

This is an example of a mid-sized tropical one-storey brown exterior in Wollongong with a gable roof.

This is an example of a mid-sized tropical one-storey brown exterior in Wollongong with a gable roof.

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Photo of a mid-sized contemporary two-storey concrete grey exterior in Sydney with a shed roof.

Photography by Simon Whitbread
Photo of a mid-sized contemporary two-storey concrete grey exterior in Sydney with a shed roof.
Potential good design for Cyprian Block - michael_farrell91

Photo of a large contemporary one-storey white exterior in Brisbane with wood siding and a gable roof.

Photo of a large contemporary one-storey white exterior in Brisbane with wood siding and a gable roof.
large triangle window - webuser_70756186456