The Ultimate Guide to Contemporary Exterior Home Design for Stunning Curb Appeal

If you’re looking for inspiration to update the exterior of your home, contemporary design might be just the thing for you. Contemporary exterior home design is all about clean lines, bold shapes, and a minimalist approach to decoration, resulting in a modern and sleek look that will make your home stand out from the crowd. In this article, we’ll explore some of the key features of contemporary exterior design and show you how to incorporate them into your own home. From choosing the right materials to creating a cohesive color scheme, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover how to give your home a stylish and modern makeover.

What Is Contemporary Exterior Home Design?

Contemporary exterior home design refers to the current style of designing the outer part of a house. This style has its unique characteristics that differ from traditional and modern designs. It is characterized by its clean lines, minimalism, and use of bold colors that make it stand out from other designs.

Characteristics of Contemporary Exterior Home Design

Contemporary exterior home design has specific features that make it unique and appealing. These characteristics include:

  • Use of Natural Materials: This design uses natural materials to create a perfect blend of modern and traditional concepts. Materials such as wood, stone, and metal are commonly used to give the house an effortless yet elegant look.
  • Clean lines: Contemporary exterior home design is known for its simplicity. It employs clean lines to give the house a neat and more organized look. This is achieved by using flat roofs, simple shapes, and geometric patterns, which help to create a sense of order and harmony.
  • Bold Colors: This design uses bold colors to make a statement. The use of colors such as black, white, and gray, combined with bright colors such as red or orange, creates a stunning effect that is both eye-catching and modern.
  • Large Windows: One of the standout features of contemporary exterior home design is the extensive use of large windows. These windows are designed to allow as much natural light as possible into the house, and they also help to create a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Simplicity: Contemporary exterior home design is all about simplicity. It creates a space that is free from excess or clutter, allowing you to focus on what really matters. It employs minimalism in its design, creating a more relaxed, calm, and spacious feel to the property.

Defining Characteristics of Contemporary Exterior Home Design

Contemporary architecture emerged in the latter half of the 20th century and quickly became a popular style for home design. Contemporary exterior home design emphasizes clean lines, sharp angles, and minimalism. This style often includes neutral colors, natural materials, and open floor plans.

Use of Clean Lines

Clean lines are one of the most defining characteristics of contemporary exterior home design. Unlike traditional or ornate designs, contemporary exteriors take a more streamlined approach with their shapes and angles. This style emphasizes simplicity with straight, geometric lines that add visual interest without being overwhelming. Lines can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal and may be used to create patterns or break up large spaces. Clean lines are often paired with flat or low-pitched roofs for a modernist look.

  • To achieve clean lines in exterior design, use materials such as steel, glass, wood, stucco or concrete.
  • Add contrasting colours to highlight your design even more


Minimalism is another defining feature of contemporary exterior home design. This style relies on simple forms, clean finishes, and a lack of ornamentation. Contemporaries do not use the traditional decorative elements such as moldings and cornices. They are replaced by simple lines and stained slates or stark white walls. The idea is to create a sleek, uncluttered appearance that draws attention to the home’s architecture and natural surroundings.

  • Use of a monochromatic colour scheme, no more than three colors.
  • Landscaping should be minimalistic, so choose plants that require little care.

Integration with Nature

Contemporary exterior home design aims to blend with and enhance the natural surroundings of the home. Windows are typically large and placed to allow natural light inside while simultaneously offering a view of the outside. Landscaping is typically used sparingly and only to draw attention to the property’s natural beauty. The result is a design scheme that complements and enhances the home’s surroundings, creating a natural feel that is both relaxing and refreshing.

  • Use skylights to increase natural light and improve indoor air quality
  • Place outdoor furniture in area with beautiful view of nature

Materials Used in Contemporary Exterior Home Design

Contemporary exterior home design is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who want to give their houses a sleek and modern look. When it comes to the materials used in contemporary home design, there are several options that homeowners can choose from, including concrete and steel.


Concrete is a popular material used in contemporary exterior home design due to its durability and versatility. It is a composite material that is made up of cement, water, and other aggregates such as sand, gravel, or crushed stone. The material can be molded into any shape or size, making it perfect for creating unique designs that homeowners love.

  • Stamped Concrete – can simulate the look of natural stone, brick, or even wood.
  • Stained Concrete- has a wide variety of color options available, providing homeowners with the opportunity to create a personalized look.
  • Exposed Aggregate Concrete- showcases the beauty of the natural aggregates used in concrete while creating a non-slip surface.


Steel is another popular material used in contemporary exterior home design because of its strength, versatility, and sustainability. The material is made from iron and carbon and is known for its durability and resistance to rust, making it a great choice for outdoor use. Steel can also be easily molded into different shapes and sizes, making it an excellent option for creating unique designs that stand out.

  • Corten Steel- A weathering steel that develops a natural rusty patina.
  • Galvanized Steel- A corrosion-resistant steel that is often used in industrial buildings but can be used in a residential setting as well to add a unique look.
  • Metal Panels- A sleek and modern option that provides homeowners with a broad range of customization options, such as color, texture, and finish,


Wood is a versatile material that has been used for centuries in exterior home design and can add unique warmth and character to a contemporary home design. Wood can be used in its natural form or can be treated and stained to match the design of a home. It provides an excellent finishing touch to the overall look of the home.

Popular Types of Wood Used in Exterior Home Design Pros Cons
Cedar Naturally decay-resistant, has a beautiful color and aroma Can be more expensive than other wood types, may require yearly staining and sealing
Redwood Durable, naturally decay-resistant Can be more expensive than other wood types
Pressure-treated Pine Cost-effective, easily accessible May not last as long as other wood types, needs regular maintenance

Color Palette in Contemporary Exterior Home Design

In contemporary exterior home design, color is an essential element in creating an impressive home exterior. The color palette typically used in contemporary exterior home design is focused on neutrals and contrasting accents to create a balanced, modern look. Neutrals are used as the base color, while the contrasting accents are added to provide depth and interest. Here are some of the colors that are commonly used in contemporary exterior home design along with the meaning behind each color and its application.


White is one of the most popular choices for the base color in contemporary exterior home design. Aside from its classic and timeless look, white also gives off a clean and sophisticated appearance. It also creates a background that highlights the contrasting accents. White is a color that never goes out of style, and it’s also perfect for small homes as it gives an illusion of a larger space.


Gray is another popular choice for contemporary home exteriors. It provides a calming and balanced look, making it an ideal color for modern home design. Gray is perfect for homes with architectural details and textures as it highlights these features. It’s a versatile color that can complement any color scheme, making it a safe yet stylish choice.


Black is a daring choice and is used to create a bold look. It’s typically used for accent materials like doors, trims, and windows, to provide a striking contrast to the base color. Black gives a sense of drama and sophistication, making it the perfect color to add character and personality to your home. This color is great for contemporary homes that have a minimalist design.

Wood Stains

Wood is a popular material in contemporary exterior design, and using a wood stain to enhance and highlight wood’s natural beauty is a great way to add warmth and texture to your home. Wood stains range from warm browns to cool grays, giving an illusion of different types of wood. The simplicity of wood is perfect for contemporary exteriors, and using the right stain allows you to match your home’s design style effortlessly.

Contrasting Accents

Contrasting accents are essential in contemporary exterior home design. They provide depth and interest to the overall look of your home. These accents can be of any color, from bright yellows to dark blues, but they must complement the base color. Metallic accents are also a popular choice in contemporary home design. For example, bronze and gold hardware can add an extra layer of sophistication, while copper or black metal sidings can make your home look chic and modern.

Using a combination of these colors can make your contemporary home look aesthetically pleasing. Remember to consider the color’s application with your home’s design style and your personal preference. Follow the rules of color combinations, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different hues. A well-executed color palette can make your home exterior stand out.

Landscaping in Contemporary Exterior Home Design

Landscaping plays a crucial role in contemporary exterior home design as it complements the house’s overall aesthetic, provides natural elements to the environment and can increase property value. A well-done landscaping design can make any home look like a work of art. However, it is imperative to follow some guidelines to achieve a cohesive and appropriate look.

Match the Landscaping to the Home Design

One of the essential guidelines to follow when creating landscaping for exterior home design is to ensure that it matches the home’s style. Matching is not limited to color schemes alone, but it also includes the shapes, materials used, and the functionality of the space. It is vital to choose plants, hardscapes, and other elements that blend well with the exterior features of your home. For example, if you have a modern home, consider using a minimalist approach to the landscape design by using a few plant species and geometric shapes.

Consider the Function and Location

When designing your landscape, it is essential to consider its location and function. Ask yourself questions like, will it be a place for relaxation or entertainment? Will it be a place for children or pets? The answers to these questions will help you to consider the necessary elements of your landscape design and the appropriate location to place them. For instance, if it is an entertainment spot, consider including a paved area or an outdoor kitchen.

Use Trees and Plants Selectively

Trees and plants play a significant role in the landscape design of a contemporary exterior home. However, it is crucial to use them selectively, choosing only those that are native or suitable for the environment and the overall design. It is imperative not to over-plant, as this can lead to overcrowding, potentially overwhelming other design features. Selectively choosing trees and plants will also reduce maintenance and upkeep effort and cost.

Use Hardscape Elements

Hardscapes are non-living elements that constitute the landscape design, such as rocks, stones, patios, pathways, or water features like fountains or ponds. Contemporary exterior home designs often incorporate hardscapes to create an overall cohesive look. When designing your landscape, consider adding hardscape elements that match the style of your home and select an appropriate size for your yard.

Consider Sustainability

Finally, landscaping designs should consider sustainability, choosing methods and materials that are environmentally friendly and suitable for the area’s climate. Consider incorporating plants that require minimal water and maintenance. Additionally, consider adding green spaces instead of using hardscapes to reduce the heat island effect in urban environments.

The Benefits of Contemporary Exterior Home Design

A contemporary exterior home design offers many benefits to homeowners. In addition to creating a modern and visually appealing look for your home, contemporary design uses innovative materials and construction methods to make your home more energy efficient and sustainable. Here, we’ll outline six key advantages of contemporary exterior home design that you should consider when designing your new home or making improvements to your existing one.

1. Energy Efficiency

One of the most significant benefits of contemporary exterior home design is the focus on energy efficiency. Contemporary home designers often prioritize features like increased insulation, triple-pane windows, and passive solar design to reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills. By reducing energy waste, contemporary homes can have a smaller carbon footprint and be better for the environment.

2. Improved Indoor Air Quality

Another benefit of contemporary design is the potential to improve indoor air quality. By using eco-friendly materials and proper ventilation systems, a contemporary home can minimize harmful chemicals and pollutants that can negatively impact air quality and overall health.

3. Versatility

Contemporary exterior home design is endlessly versatile. Its sleek lines and minimalist aesthetic can be adapted to fit a variety of architectural styles. Whether you’re building a new home or updating an existing one, a contemporary design can help you achieve the look you envision.

4. Easy Maintenance

Contemporary exterior home design often utilizes durable, low-maintenance materials like steel, concrete, and composite siding. This can make maintaining the exterior of your home much easier, and ultimately save you time and money.

5. Long-Term Aesthetic Appeal

Contemporary exteriors are designed to be visually striking, but they’re also made to last. Unlike trends that come and go, the minimalist aesthetic and cutting-edge materials used in contemporary home design have longevity and will continue to look stunning for years to come.

6. Increased Home Value

Perhaps the most compelling reason to consider contemporary exterior home design is the increased home value it can provide. By incorporating innovative design elements, energy-efficient features, and sustainable materials, your home’s resale value could potentially be higher than if you used traditional building methods.


Contemporary exterior home design is one of the hottest trends in residential architectural design. With its clean lines, minimalist aesthetic, and focus on functional space, contemporary exterior home design is a great way to transform your home into a stylish and functional space. Here are some frequently asked questions about contemporary exterior home design:

How much does a contemporary exterior home design cost?

The cost of a contemporary exterior home design can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your home, the materials you choose, and the complexity of the design. On average, a contemporary exterior home design can cost between $10,000 and $100,000 or more. To get a more accurate estimate, it is best to consult with a professional designer or architect.

What are some popular contemporary exterior home design styles?

  • Minimalist: This style features clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on functional space.
  • Industrial: This style incorporates raw materials such as concrete, steel, and brick to create a modern, edgy look.
  • Mid-Century Modern: This style was popular in the 1950s and 60s and features flat planes, large windows, and a connection to the outdoors.
  • Scandinavian: This style is characterized by a minimalist aesthetic, natural materials, and a focus on functionality.
  • Transitional: This style combines traditional and contemporary elements to create a unique look that is both timeless and modern.
  • Ranch: This style features a low-pitched roof, large windows, and an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living.
  • Craftsman: This style features handcrafted details, such as exposed beams, and a connection to nature.

What are some key elements of contemporary exterior home design?

Element Description
Flat Roof A flat roof is a defining feature of contemporary home design, creating clean lines and a minimalist, modern aesthetic.
Clean Lines Contemporary home designs often feature clean, straight lines, giving the exterior a crisp, minimalist look that is both modern and stylish.
Large Windows Making use of large windows not only lets in ample natural light, but it also helps create a connection between the outdoors and indoors.
Metal Accents Utilizing metal detailing accents the materials and colors used in the facade, creating a cohesive, modern feel to the home’s exterior.
Neutral Colors Neutral shades apply clean design principles to the material choice, making the landscape features and other architectural design elements stand out more brilliantly.
Uncluttered Appearance Simplicity is key in contemporary design, which means using a minimalist approach to avoid overwhelming the structure with numerous design elements.

Timeless Attraction: Embrace Contemporary Exterior Home Design to Upgrade Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Thanks for taking the time to read about contemporary exterior home design. We hope you’ve found some inspiration to bring to your own home design project. Remember, the exterior of your home is the first thing people notice and the last thing they remember, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine. We’d love for you to come back and visit us for more tips and ideas on how to improve your home’s curb appeal. Let’s make your home more attractive, one beautiful design at a time!

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