9 Exterior Home Styles That Will Put Cookie-Cutter Houses to Shame

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Whether you're hunting for a new dwelling or revamping your existing pad, knowing the style of your home and others in the neighborhood can help you develop your property and pay homage to its history. From the grand structures of the 1920s to sleek and streamlined new builds, there are plenty of different real estate options out there with character. And the right exterior home style will ensure that the outside facade reflects you just as much as the interior.

After all, your personal tastes don't have to stay stuck within four walls. Here are nine exterior home style ideas to get you started.

1. Modern Farmhouse

Dreaming of a house that makes use of natural materials such as wood and stone? A modern farmhouse could be perfect for you. Think simple exterior colors, easily accessible materials, and a large porch for outdoor hang sessions (because you'll need a place to admire the view). This Texas farmhouse exterior features intricate paneling, natural wood details, and a galvanized steel canopy — the ultimate contemporary take on the farmhouse style.

2. Traditional

Traditional home exteriors can have a variety of features and often straddle the line between farmhouse and craftsman aesthetics. Simple facades (sometimes featuring shiplap), classic details such as shutters, and an inviting porch all work together to really make these homes feel welcoming.

3. Contemporary

It's all about the silhouette when it comes to contemporary home exteriors. A clean color palette is a must as well as large windows and sleek architectural lines. They make a strong statement and can be experimental; you can play with steel, glass, and concrete to create something that feels bold and fresh. If you're after something a little more 21st century for your home, don't forget to add a modern exterior door for extra style points.

4. Minimalist

As with modern styles, minimal exteriors tend to focus on straight lines and large windows that don't add any unnecessary detail to the landscape. They also typically consist of just one material and color. The window and door trims are also inconspicuous. If your home has a pared-down aesthetic on the inside, this is the exterior home style for you.

5. Craftsman

Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

When it comes to craftsman style and interiors, it's all about the charm. With natural materials, overhanging eaves, and inviting front porches, these houses are almost instantly recognizable thanks to their prominent features. If you want to read up on one of the leaders of the movement, check out Gustav Stickley. And in the meantime, here are some craftsman exterior color palette ideas and black craftsman house inspiration.

6. Midcentury Modern

If you want to create a home exterior that is modern with a touch of personality, a midcentury modern exterior will combine the best of both worlds. It merges form and function to create interesting architecture without the need for excessive ornamentation. If you're a fan of Palm Springs, this style will get you really excited. Think back to the architecture of the late sixties, built by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, and opt for clean lines, geometric shapes, and large windows. A bold midcentury front door will welcome your guests in style.

7. Art Deco

If you've been lucky enough to land an art deco home, chances are you won't want to alter the exterior too much. And seriously, we're a little bit jealous. Highly stylized with curved facades, intricate window and door trims, as well as additional sculptural details and pastel pops of color, art deco architecture is the very definition of opulence. This beauty, owned by Lucy of Hunting for George, was given a facelift with a fresh lick of paint and a Palm Springs inspired garden.

8. Mediterranean

We can't all live in Southern Italy, unfortunately, but we can bring the Mediterranean vibes to us instead. Get the look with a neutral stucco exterior and a patterned patio a la Emily Henderson, and don't forget to add plants and trees to accentuate the European vibes (see also our tips for designing a Mediterranean garden). Dinner al fresco? Don't mind if we do.

9. Desert

Last but by no means least, a desert-style home exterior is easy to get on board with. Typical features include exposed timber, an earthy color palette, a flat roof, and rounded corners. These types of homes were originally constructed with dried mud by indigenous groups over 1,000 years ago and were intended to blend in with nature. Take a lesson from the folks at The Joshua Tree House; they nailed the desert decor both inside and out.


Emma Jane Palin is a multi-award-winning blogger and freelance writer with a penchant for design and interiors.

View Work