December 2, 2023

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50+ Contemporary House Exterior Design Principles

50+ Contemporary House Exterior Design Principles

Contemporary House Exterior

The exterior of your home is not only the face of your house you show to the world but also the interface between the outside world and the private world of your indoor living space. When thinking about a contemporary house exterior the design principles to follow are predominantly modern in character; sharply angular windows and roof lines are typical, large windows to let natural light pour into the living space are common and restrained use of planting and lighting are preferred. Depending on which face of the property exterior you are working on, the design serves a different purpose; at the rear of the property facing a garden, the goal should be to open up the home into the garden as much as possible when desired, whilst on the frontage of the property more privacy is required. 

Styling, Materials and Colours

The contemporary house exterior has a few stylistic features which create a clean, modern and functional aesthetic. Glass is the primary material of the contemporary house exterior design, with large angular windows letting in light and opening up the interior to the exterior. Rooflines, windows frame and doors, take their inspirations from the modernist design philosophies of angular lines, minimal ornamentation and functionality. Other typical materials used in the contemporary house exterior include concrete, stone or wooden cladding, normally without vibrant colours and with large areas of homogeneous colour or texture. Modernist design typically favoured white exteriors and this keeps things looking clean, but don’t be afraid to go with greys or neutral shades of colour or even blend in wood and stone textures to make things more interesting. 

Plants and Lighting

The architectural aspects of your contemporary house exterior are key to making it look modern but those breathtaking lines and clean aesthetics may be enhanced by prudent choices of planting, to soften the hard geometric aspect of the design with a little natural softness and lighting to dramatise the view of your contemporary house exterior after sunset. Planting options include small trees and shrubs, either appropriately potted or planted in beds; the key is to avoid climbers or excessive planting which will detract from the streamlined feeling of your modern exterior. Light fixtures should also demonstrate modern styling to keep in character with the exterior and the use of buried uplights can really bring the faces of your contemporary house exterior to life. In the garden, festoon lighting can soften things and create a cosy atmosphere when entertaining outdoors.

Concluding Remarks

A contemporary house exterior takes design notes from the modernist tradition but carries it into the 21st century with the use of diverse materials and lighting, to create a striking interface between the inner world of your home and the outdoors. When designing your exterior, feel free to go as starkly functional as you wish or take a few elements from the tradition, whilst keeping things comfortable for you. Do it right and you can make any home look like a modern palace. 


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