Exterior cottage style homes

Table of Contents

  • Cotswolds Cottage

    Needing a weekend escape from their busy lives and stressful careers in London, designer Caroline Holdaway and her photographer partner, Fatimah Namdar, relish the peace and quiet of their eighteenth-century cottage in the Cotswolds.

    See inside here.

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    Living room decoration

  • Paolo Moschino Farmhouse

    The location and exterior of this Sussex farmhouse were enough to persuade Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen to buy it on the spot. Although decorated exquisitely with carefully chosen furniture and objects, it is a far cry from a typical county cottage.

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    The best ideas for bedroom decoration

  • Seaside Cottage

    ‘This is really my home,’ says writer and former House & Garden features editor Christopher Stocks, of his eighteenth-century cottage overlooking Chesil Beach in Dorset. ‘I live and work in London during the week, but I rent my flat there, while this cottage is my own.’

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  • Passionate Planting

    Little wonder that the Oxfordshire garden of art dealer, writer and broadcaster Philip Mould, should be so appealing. Mould has had a life-long passion for plants and his 18-acre garden, a combination of wild meadowland and expertly-tended-to formal beds, demonstrates this love of horticulture.

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    Philip Mould’s perfect English garden

  • Roald Dahl’s Gipsy House

    No rural English garden is complete without a garden path. The stone walkway leading to Gipsy House, the home of the late Roald Dahl, was laid by the author himself. He was assisted in his efforts by a gentle giant of a local builder, Wally Saunders, who provided the inspiration for one of Dahl’s most popular novels, The BFG.

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    51 amazing English gardens

  • Bookish cottage

    It is a book room with rather more to it than meets the eye. Wanting a place to display her treasured collection, Emma Burns, senior decorator at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, transformed a converted barn at her country home into a sitting room and guest cottage full of hidden suprises and witty details…

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    Ideas for glass houses and conservatories

  • Sussex farmhouse

    When interior designer Harriet Anstruther took possession of her run-down Sussex farmhouse, she put her eclectic mark on it while keeping its original features.

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  • Arne Maynard

    Created from nothing in the space of eight or nine years, Arne Maynard’s garden at Allt-y-bela, an ochre-walled, late-medieval farmhouse, shows that he is still very much a hands-on gardener.

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  • Alexandra Tolstoy

    This enchanting Oxfordshire cottage – originally a worker’s cottage – is perhaps not the most obvious Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler project. For a start it is tiny, and secondly its decoration has evolved piecemeal, retaining the personality of its owner, Alexandra Tolstoy.

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    Living room decoration

  • Cornish Cottage

    A picture perfect thatched cottage in the grounds of Trewarren, a stately home on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula. Granite and thatch are the hallmarks of Cornish cottage vernacular.

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  • La Vie en Rose

    Climbing roses are a classic choice for country houses, guaranteed to add a fairytale-like quality to any exterior.

    More advice for beautifying the exterior of your house with plants.

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    The most idyllic gardens designed by members of The List

  • pleached box hedge

    Here, a pleached box hedge on the left of the picture seperates this house from its neighbour.

    Our Garden Editor Claire Foster says: ‘Hummocks of clipped lavender work well in a southfacing front garden. For small spaces, repeating shapes can be most effective. Try contrasting the lavender balls with taller plants such as alliums or verbascum in between. For shady front gardens, you can’t go wrong with clipped box (Buxus sempervirens) or bay tree standards with hart’s tongue ferns to create different shapes.’

    If you want privacy, it’s better to opt for a mature hedge – a 1.5-metre yew hedge costs £200-300 a metre and is easy to keep nicely clipped. Lollipop-pruned hornbeam or box also offer privacy without looking dominant. Try pleaching the trees on a horizontal plane, allowing them to grow together to form a living wall.

    See the full Before & After story here.

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  • Wisteria Lane

    A wisteria has been trained over the front door of this house using stainless-steel vine-eyes fitted in to the brickwork.

    ‘There are many plants to train up the front of your house, but beware of those like Clematis montana and Virginia creeper that will quickly rampage up and over everything,’ says our garden editor, Clare Foster. ‘Climbing roses and wisteria are the classic country house choices. For urban spaces, Trachelospermum jasminoides is one of the easiest climbers, happy in sun or semi-shade. Climbers are best trained using a wire and vineeye system. Screw the vine-eyes into the masonry to create a system of taut wires, either vertical or horizontal, and about 45cm apart. For smaller climbers such as clematis, screw a wooden trellis to the wall. Try Green Wall Systems or Stainless Steel Solutions for ready-made kits.’

    See the full story here.

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  • Eco Farmhouse

    The previous owners, Georgie and Mark Rowse, have a track record for renovating interesting properties. ‘We were incredibly lucky,’ explains Jo. ‘They have an eye for magical places and an ability to renovate them in a way that enhances them. They’d done this place beautifully, with chimneypieces sourced from Belgium and doors found in France – and even Michael Caine’s old loo bought at auction,’ she says, laughing as she points out the mahogany thunderbox. ‘The house was a beautiful blank canvas to which we’ve been able to add our own mark as the new custodians.’

    The pretty exterior of the farmhouse.

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  • Debo’s Door

    As Sotheby’s auctioned the collection of Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, we looked inside the home of the last Mitford. The doorway to the Old Vicarage is replete with blousy roses and a horseshoe for luck.

    See inside the house


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  • Lavender Beds

    It is an understatement to describe Mount Algidus, a 53,000-acre cattle station on New Zealand’s South Island, as isolated. It occupies the high country between two great rivers and the Southern Alps.

    Flower beds of lavender and incredibly neat lawns contrast beautifully with the wild outdoor surroundings. The front door of the house is painted light blue, as are the window frames.

    See inside the house

    See the garden


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  • Wiltshire House

    After moving from London to Wiltshire, Ed and Polly Nicholson brought this Georgian house to life with eclectic art, antiques and an abundance of flowers from their cutting garden, from which Polly now runs a floristry business. The exterior of their house is preceded by a river and woodland.

    See the inside the house

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  • Cotswolds farmhouse

    Richard Parr moved his family from London to this farmhouse in the Cotswolds, and has developed it into an inspiring setting for his architectural practice. In front of the house, there is a kitchen garden.

    See inside this Cotswolds farmhouse.

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    Get carried away with these dreamy designs for rooms with a view

  • Ludlow house

    In a double-fronted Georgian town house in Ludlow, Caroline Harrowby has used a soft colour palette and elegant furnishings to enhance the classical proportions of once dark interiors. The garden features a narrow canal flanked by lavender.

    See inside this Georgian house in Ludlow.

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  • Sleeping beauty

    This historic eighteenth-century house enters a new chapter as a family home with careful restoration and renovation, sympathetic interiors by Hugh Henry and gardens that open out to the surrounding woods, streams and coast beyond.

    The house was ‘turned around’ in the 1870s, with the north front refaced as the main entrance and the south front, pictured here, becoming the back of the house.

    See inside the house

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  • Manhattan house

    Situated on a leafy street in Manhattan’s West Village, Jos and Annabel White’s six-storey town house has been extended, gutted and completely renovated to create open-plan interiors tailored for family living.

    Window boxes, ivy and black paint bring life and cohesiveness to this exterior.

    See inside the house

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  • Restored Rectory

    Rupert and Anna Bradstock weren’t planning any home improvements when their seventeenth-century rectory was destroyed by a fire. With help from an interior designer and furniture historian, they rebuilt the much-loved home they lost. Here is the exterior of the house after the reconstruction.

    See inside the house

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  • Notting Hill Terrace

    Here is the garden terrace of a five-storey Notting Hill town house, in which a dramatic use of geometric pattern teamed with modern furniture creates a playful yet sophisticated effect.

    A transformative piece of glazing is the double-height grid of window panes that sits between the seating area and the garden; along with two sets of full-height french windows, it completely opens up the ground and first floors. All this window play gives a feeling of being at once in a London town house and a contemporary Parisian apartment.

    See inside the house

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  • London Front

    We were invited into the enviably sleek and stylish London home of Chloe Macintosh, who is known for her work as creative director at Made.com. Chloe studied architecture in Paris before doing an internship at Foster + Partners in London. Her Fosters training demanded a considered architectural approach. She ended up working with Bureau de Change Design Office, a practice set up by two ex-colleagues from Fosters.

    See inside the house

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  • Inchyra House

    More than a decade after inheriting their Perthshire estate, James and Caroline Inchyra have realised its full potential, turning this bustling family home into the setting for three thriving business ventures.

    Inchyra House is a beautiful Regency mansion overlooking the Ochil Hills outside Perth. It was in the Fifties that James’s grandfather, Frederick Hoyer Millar, bought Inchyra, then described in Country Life as ‘the most perfect small estate in Scotland’. Here is the imposing façade of the Regency mansion.

    See inside the house

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  • The Château

    Thirty years on from a life-changing meeting with the man who was to become her husband, the Scottish-born Amelie, Duchesse de Magenta, remains at the helm of the Château de Sully in Burgundy. Here is the approach to the chateau, one of the oldest in the region. The blue front doors date from 1803.

    See inside the château

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  • Robin Muir

    Built in 1770, Robin Muir’s cottage has a new glass extension by Cantifix. ‘From the beginning, I had an image of a glass structure linking the old and the new, but was not sure how to make it work,’ said designer Caroline Holdaway.

    See inside the cottage

    Taken from the October 2014 issue of House & Garden.

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  • Carskiey Estate

    Tom Helme and his business partner Martin Ephson took over the paint company Farrow & Ball in 1992. In 2007, the company was sold and the pair set up the fabrics firm Fermoie in 2011. You would think that setting up a new business might be enough but, not satisfied with one challenge, Tom decided that same year to take on another: the purchase and renovation of Carskiey Estate. It consists of 7,500 acres of pasture, hill and sandy beaches, combining a beef herd of Aberdeen Angus, forestry and the Edwardian Carskiey House and Shore Cottage, all with spectacular views of the islands of Sanda and Rathlin on the furthest point of the Mull of Kintyre.

    See inside the house

    Taken from the February 2016 issue of House & Garden.

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  • Ferry van Tongeren

    A lifelong interest in natural history inspired Ferry van Tongeren to turn his back on a successful career in advertising to set up a business as a taxidermist, so it is no surprise that his home in the Dutch city of Haarlem is filled with weird and wonderful creatures. Here is the exterior of Darwin, Sinke & van Tongeren’s studio.

    See inside the studio

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  • The Hampshire Vicarage

    This Hampshire vicarage with its Dutch-gabled brick facade probably dates back to the seventeenth century. The garden stretches from the side of the house, towards the church to which it once belonged.

    Taken from the November 2011 issue of House & Garden.

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  • Louise Jones’ Victorian cottage

    Complete with a picket fence and climbing roses, this house gives the feeling of being in a country village despite being in West London.

    Taken from the March 2016 issue of House & Garden.

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  • Faringdon House

    The Palladian exterior of Faringdon House in Oxfordshire. Writer Sofka Zinovieff is pictured walking back towards the house with cut flowers.

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    Sarah Stewart-Smith reconfigures the ground floor of this Victorian terrace

  • Eighteenth-century House in Virginia

    Anne Massie’s home in Viriginia was built as a small plantation house, perhaps as early as 1758, with later additons in the American Federal style. The exterior is in classic white clapboard – the section to the left, including a lower ground floor is an addition made in 2011 in the same style.

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    Beautiful garden rooms

  • The exterior of Slackwood Farm

    At Slackwood Farm in Lancashire, the owners are keen birdwatchers. Architect Paul Archer was aware of this and so designed a spiralling glazed garden room with panoramic views. Vitra’s ‘Grand Repos’ chairs and footstools furnish the interior, while a glass circle covers an old well.

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    Get carried away with these dreamy designs for rooms with a view

  • Beach Club

    Every room in all of the nine residences and public areas of the Playa Grande hotel is different, and each is painted in what interior designer Celerie Kemble calls ‘faded bathing-suit colours’, and layered with art, objects and vintage furnishings. The exterior is colonial, a style typical of the area.

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    Outdoor dining areas

  • Sussex Newbuild Exterior

    This timber-framed barn belongs to architect Ptolemy Dean and can be found in the lush green gardens of his Sussex farmhouse.

    This was taken from the June 2016 issue of House & Garden.

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  • Sussex Farm South-Facing Exterior

    The south-facing rear of architect Ptolemy Dean’s modern rustic farmhouse is connected on the left side to a former byre.

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    Stately Homes

  • Traditional French House Exterior

    This is the exterior of the house of food writer Mimi Thorisson. A lot goes on in her home – a nineteenth-century house in the Médoc – which she shares with her photographer husband Oddur, seven children and nine dogs.

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    Living Rooms

  • French Farmhouse Exterior

    This pretty eighteenth-century village house in rural Burgundy belongs to antique-textiles dealer Susan Deliss and her husband Max. The house – as beautiful as it is tranquil – backs onto the Serein river.

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  • Azure Blue Traditional Farmhouse

    At this farmhouse in Andalucia, Spain, the sitting room leads out to an azure-blue-painted loggia. It is surrounded on three sides by a shallow pool, with plants in terracotta pots arranged along the edges.

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  • Modern Medieval Manor

    Erik De Maeijer designed the concept for the garden at the Nyetimber estate; the lake is original, and reflects the manor and surrounding outbuildings in its mirror-flat surface. The house is on the far left, with the White Barn in the middle and the Medieval Barn on the right.

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  • A New Build in the Scottish Borders

    Set in the green landscape of the Scottish Borders, this new house was built over the foundations of a derelict cottage four years ago. The property belongs to artist Sue Phipps who has filled the space with interesting objets and curiosities.

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  • Flint House

    The exterior of Flint House was designed to echo the geology and landscape of the area. It consists of a main house and an annex, sitting 50 metres apart.

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  • New York Home Exterior

    Made up of two adjacent brick buildings, the charming house is situated in Greenwich Village. The single door on the left is for everyday use, while the double doors on the right are used for more formal occasions.

    When two architects bought one of the smallest houses in New York, they transformed the interior, creating a bijou interior with a sense of spaciousness that belies its exterior appearance.

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Fall in love with our ultimate guide to Cottage home decor and style. Hundreds of photo examples.

Welcome to the Cottage interior design style guide where you can see photos of all interiors in the Cottage style including kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, foyers and more.

Related: All interior design styles | All residential architectural styles

Cottage Style Homes (Exteriors)

Check out these spectacular homes showcasing the Cottage style architecture.

1. Lovely Sagaponack Cottage by Axis Mundi

Brick cottage house enclosed in green hedge plants that blend in with the lush lawns and trees. It has gray framed windows and a wood plank walkway leading to the staircase. The outdoor ambiance adds a welcoming tone to the already inviting house.

See more. Designed by Axis Mundi

Relaxing back part of the house with an elevated patio and tinted glazing. It is bordered with stone pathways that contrast the green lawn for a more interesting look. A gorgeous tree stands in front to give an added shade and beauty to the overall look.

2. Cagney Cottage Sparks Old Hollywood Charm

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Front view of the cottage house showcasing pristine white walls with stone accents for added texture. Subtle greeneries in front softened the modernity of the house along with the concrete driveway.

See more. Source: Redfin

This is the backyard where towering trees surround the cottage house for optimum privacy and completing the serene landscaping at the same time. Lush, green lawn complements the sparkling swimming pool with integrated jacuzzi and a nice flagstone paving.

3. 4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Cottage-style Home Near the Heart of Culver City

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A lovely cottage house features a vibrant blue front door that stands out against the textured gray walls. It is framed with wrought iron railings with matching pipes as their support. Lush green lawn with hints of red-colored plants completed the look.

See more. Source: Redfin

The backyard consists of an outdoor lounging area that showcases sleek wicker furniture accented with blue pillows and a barrel bin. It sits in the middle of concrete tiled flooring which transitioned from the green lush lawn.

4. Cottage in the Treetops with 3rd-Level Roof Deck and Separate 1st-Floor Apartment

Bright apartment in cottage style with white beadboard walls contrasted by gray gable roofing. There’s a tall staircase on the side designed with terracotta treads and decorative tile risers leading to the side entry door and a spacious roof deck with beautiful treetop views.

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See more. Source: Redfin

The side part of the house showcasing glazed windows and a gray garage door breaking the monotonous white scheme. Green shrubs and tall plants add life to the simple cottage apartment.

5. Beautiful Tiny Beach House Cottage on Cape Cod

Breathtaking beach view sets a magnificent backdrop to this two-story cottage with a beaming white front door that stands out against the old brick walls. It has white framed windows with green shutters and a red brick chimney that sits in the middle of the gabble roof.

See more. Source: Redfin

The garden in front extends to the right side of the tiny cottage house bringing an added touch of nature. We can also see a street lamp over the lush lawn which perfectly suits the beach theme.

6. Quaint Nantucket Timber Frame Colonial House circa 1735

This exceptional cottage house features brick paneling above the stone base and side staircases in front with a shared landing leading to the gray front door. It is fitted with plenty of white framed windows and a concrete chimney on top of the roof.

See more. Source: Redfin

The backyard has a serene ambiance with its luscious lawn that transitions to terraccotta pavement where cozy white loungers sit. On the sides are wood fences and a stone retaining wall filled with green plants.

7. St Adolfe d’Howard Cabin by Jean Verville architecte

An A-frame cottage beautifully nestled in nature boasts dark brick walls along with sleek glazed windows and front door. It has an enchanting surrounding that balanced the contemporary look of the house.

See more. Designed by Jean Verville architecte

The back part of the cottage offers more glazing and wood plank furniture that complements the majestic forest. It has a combination of flat and A-frame roofing which blends with the brick walls maintaining coherency.

8. Rugged Vega Cottage Project by Kolman Boye Architects

This sleek cottage house with a minimalist structure perfectly blends in with its surroundings. Magnificent mountain along with rocky slopes completed the picturesque view.

See more. Designed by Kolman Boye Architects

A closer look at the back of the house showing the aluminum roofing and rich wood paneling that runs throughout the exterior. It harmoniously goes well with the environment because of its neutral wood color scheme.

9. Cross Laminate-Timber Cottage project by Kariouk Associates

A modern cottage that sits in the middle of the enchanting forest showcasing flat roofing and full-height windows that overlook the lakefront view. There’s a straight staircase on the side that leads to the upper-level patio which is a perfect place to unwind and chill.

See more. Designed by Kariouk Associates

Full height windows are echoed at the backside of the cottage allowing expansive natural views. It is complemented with towering trees and green lush lawn.

10. Innovative Gate Lake Cottage Project by Boom Town

Boxy cottage house with sleek beadboard walls and stone bricks on the side breaking the monotony. It includes stone pathways that perfectly blends with the surrounding.

See more. Designed by Boom Town

Flagstone paving with neutral tones leads to the cottage house which features an open patio and glazed windows warmed by wood plank walls. There are hints of bricks that add texture and character in the lake cottage.

11. Base Architecture Adds Ultra Modern Addition to 19th Century Heritage Cottage

Street view of the large cottage house enclosed in a concrete fence that complements the modern structure of its exterior. It has a contrasting black and white hues softened by tall plants in front.

See more. Designed by Base Achitecture

This is the backyard where modernity is boost through its glazing which runs throughout the house. Its sleek architecture is balanced by vast greeneries. Swimming pool and pond completed the ultra-modern look.

Cottage Style Interior Examples (by Room)

The following are photo examples of Cottage-style interiors (room-by-room). Below each photo are links that take you to extensive Cottage-style photo galleries for each room.

The following examples are from this house (Source: Redfin).

Living Rooms

See more Cottage-style living rooms here.

This cottage living room showcases a cathedral ceiling with exposed beams in white and natural wood matching with the wide plank flooring. It is furnished with cozy seats and a dark wood coffee table over a jute rug seated across the corner fireplace.


See more Cottage-style kitchens here.

This kitchen offers pristine white walls and a shiplap ceiling contrasted by a large wooden beam. It is equipped with stainless steel appliances and an undermount sink fitted on the kitchen bar that’s illuminated by an oversized copper pendant.

Dining Rooms

See more Cottage-style dining rooms here.

Cottage dining area on an open concept house featuring a wooden dining table flanked by wicker chairs and a striped cushioned bench. A large wooden framed mirror stands out against the white walls.


See more Cottage-style bedrooms here.

The wooden bed and matching nightstands complement the white walls and ceiling in this cottage bedroom. It is styled with sleek drum table lamps and a framed artwork that brings a pop of color in the room.


See more Cottage-style bathrooms here.

Black granite countertop contrasts the white shiplap walls and sink vanity cabinets in this cottage bathroom. This is filled with a walk-in shower and black-framed artworks along with a rectangular mirror that creates a larger visual space in the room.

Entry Halls

Source: Houzz

See more Cottage-style foyers here.

Cottage Style Home Landscaping

See more Cottage-style home landscaping ideas here.

What is Cottage Home Decor?

Thinking about a Cottage Interior Design Style? Shabby-chic comes to mind. Relaxed, laid-back and comfortable furnishings. Well-lived in. A vacation place where you kick-back your shoes and unwind. There are flea market finds, treasures upon treasures of bargains, repurposed bits, and pieces, wash and wear fabrics, simple in aesthetics yet still exuding elegance, fun, and taste.


Cottage Houses has its origins in peasant villages in Great Britain’s English countryside. It is the humble home of laborers, miners and peasant farmers who used to be called cotters.

Small homes, usually two floors, a ground floor, and a second landing, divides the interior of cottages. And many of these homes have thatched roofs. One can imagine Christmas villages and locations of most Disney fairytales.

Cottages are welcoming, cozy and really chic. They have the ability to draw us in and bid us enter to share of its warmth, home-cooked goodness, and charm.

It is also often interchanged with country houses, a place to retire to during hunting season. A smaller, much more comfortable abode than the large manors and Victorian houses of the aristocratic community.

Now in modern times, these quaint houses have become vacation destinations. Think of Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod (prime real estate of the rich and famous), beautiful cottage houses of New England and country homes of the south.


Elegant but cozy furniture are signature elements of cottage interiors. The shabby chic concept heavily dominates the designs. From expensive, luxe sofas, covered in chintz or linen, mostly in white, beige, ecru to pastel throw pillows, cushions, oversized love seats to vintage heirloom cupboards and flea market finds, cottage interiors would seem jampacked but mostly laden with comfy delights.


Whether new or repurposed from old scraps, the cottage house sofas would have overstuffed upholstery, covered in a light monochrome or pastel fabric. These sofas can be made of wood, wicker or even distressed metal.

Modern sectional sofas have found it’s way to cottage homes as well as large Victorian sofas dressed in the shabby chic fabric in solid whites or printed light warm colors.

The whole house will have lots of these sofas and individual stuffed chairs strewn all over the place so that owners and guests alike could just sit, read, nap, do crafts, or for a writer, think.


End tables, coffee tables, Dining Tables, Breakfast tables, all of these would have more charm when repurposed, distressed, repainted or reclaimed.

As most cottage furniture would have been painted over and over through the years, it’s vintage charm shines through when made to undergo the process of distressing. Various colors would come out of obscurity and will add to the vintage value of the piece.

Cottage tables would still have some kind of Victorian design incorporated into it. Or it might actually be an authentic Victorian piece. As cottage homeowners and shabby chic designers tend to look for flea market finds, many real Victorian pieces make it into these homes.


The beautiful craftsmanship that goes into cottage home cabinetry is truly rustic and quaint. Again, predominantly made out of wood, glass and some metal accents – cabinets, cupboards, armoires, among others – would have that country aesthetic reminiscent of French country homes.

Distressed wood, matte painted in white or varnished lightly, these pieces of furniture lighten up the house and give off a cheerful ambiance.


Wrought iron beds or carved wood frames dominate the bed styles of a cottage house bedroom. Daybeds, romantic four-posters, large beds, and really comfortable mattresses are staples.

Chenille throws, linen pillowcases, lace accents will be seen in a cottage house bedroom design.

Seemingly mismatched cushions will find harmony and balance through the predominantly light color scheme.

As most bedrooms are on the second landing where ceilings follow the slopes of the roof, pretty window seating would complete the storybook fairytale bedroom, where one can daydream, read a book or just chill.


Mismatched chairs in uniform or theme colors would not be out-of-place in a cottage home. They lend a vintage touch to the dining table.

A pop of color though would be a welcome addition to the most neutral and pastel theme. A visual outburst to enhance the mainly light-colored furniture and furnishings.


To break up the monotony of light colors, riveting artworks with bold strokes and palette must be strategically placed throughout the house. Though gentler watercolors could also be placed to dress up a colored wall.

Antique bric-a-brac from flea markets would also add romance and nostalgia to any room of the house.


Taking inspiration from French and English country kitchens, the cottage kitchen interiors would have a rustic feel but with modern state-of-the-art appliances. Blending the old with the new into a seamless and cohesive design.

50’s type oven facade but with modern technology functions, Pink or white Stand Mixers, as well as stainless steel refrigerators, countertops, and modern sinks can blend well in a cottage kitchen. It’s the eclectic mix that adds to the charm of the place.


The color palette for cottage interiors are mostly neutrals or monochrome from shades of whites, beiges, pastels.

Robin’s egg blue is also a favorite color choice for both the walls and the furnishings.

Another neat theme is light browns and mocha. These colors will be on the walls and furnishings. As these colors were mostly related to each other, a pop of red, yellow or blue and green would serve as statement pieces


Hardwood doors and farm tables could be repurposed into a dining table and wood scraps can be turned into cupboards, headboards, chairs, among others.

Wicker is another favorite. It brings in elements of nature and is beautiful in their sleek lines and classic designs.

Metal provides streamlined design elements to furniture.

As for the upholstery of stuffed pillows, overstuffed chairs, sofas, and elegant sectionals, printed chintz fabric, linen covers, shabby chic white cotton are go-to for fashion and style.

Distressed furniture adds vintage magic to an otherwise drab space.

Tiled floors or parquet, wooden planks, exposed ceiling beams, and repurposed glass are just some of the elements of a quaint cottage home.

Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.

Tags: Cottage Style Categories: Custom Home Designs

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42 Stunning Exterior Home Designs

Home exterior designs are a crucial part of your home’s curb appeal. They’re the first thing anyone sees about your home, and they play a big role in how your home is perceived. So why settle for a standard, plain, or boring home exterior design, knowing how important it is to your house as a whole?

Exterior Home Designs

These 42 designs will show you just what’s possible when you start thinking outside the box.

1. Cottage Style

Just because a house is small on size doesn’t mean that it can’t be big on style, too. The light colors and bold trim of this cottage house makes it appear to be larger than it really is, while the sunroom addition gets a bold treatment in matching soffits and window trim.

2. A Regal Painted Lady

Once upon a time, nearly all homes were painted to show off their architectural features to their best effect. If you have an older or Victorian style home, why not show it off and bring that “Painted Lady” back to life.

3. Wrap Around Style

While the porch may offer some continuity around the front of this home, it’s the contrast in siding on the upper story side of the house that really brings it to life. The vertical paneling around the windows alongside the chimney helps draw the eye up above the porch, adding dimension at the same time.

4. Naturally Beautiful Style

When you’ve created unique home to meet your particular needs, don’t cover it in an everyday siding. Instead, use an irregular shingle to contrast the lines and size of the home and give it a lot of dimension and added interest at the same time.

5. The Sum of the Parts

Older homes that are made up of many different, smaller buildings put together have unique style needs. In this case, the problem is easily solved by using a combination of shingles and board-and-batten style siding. The siding is matched by shingled and metal standing seam roofs, which helps to further emphasize the different shapes.

6. Multi-Level View

When you have views this amazing, you need to make sure you match them. This multi-level home is built into the side of the hill, and needs to look as though it belongs there. The mixtures of cedar-look planks and architectural panels emphasize its clean lines, drawing attention to its height.

7. Mix and Match Facades

Who says that your home exterior design needs to feature just one type of material, let alone one type of siding? This home makes great use of brick, fiber cement lap siding and fiber cement shingles to create a look that has depth, interest, and a style all its own.

8. Chateau Style

If you have a home in a rural or vacation setting, make sure it matches its surroundings like this chateau-style home. The cedar-look planks and shingles in a rich brown stain keep this façade simple, letting the detailed woodwork come shining through.

9. Top and Bottom Style

Differentiate the different levels of your home by switching up your siding. This home exterior design features horizontal lap siding on the lower half of the house, while the above section features board-and-batten siding for a pleasing contrast in texture.

10. A Place to Get Away from It All

Your home is your refuge and should reflect that, right down to the exterior design. This home’s screened porch is designed to catch the sea breeze, while the board and batten style siding on the outbuilding calls to mind a simpler time of life where you can go to get away from it all.

11. A Naturally Beautiful Look

Sometimes the most effective way of bringing out your home’s best is to help blend it in with its surroundings. In this case, the natural fieldstone nearby is complemented by the Flagstone gray textured shingles on the home. The effect is organic, natural, and makes the home appear to belong right where it is.

12. Hips, Gables, and Towers, Oh My

Breaking up the roofline of a home can really help add interest and style. To further emphasize the differences in the exterior, a variety of siding styles are also used including panels, trim, and shingles to get a look that’s traditional, yet unique at the same time.

13. Shingled Out for Perfection

A lot of people feel that shingles are best used on cottages and rustic looking homes. This isn’t necessarily the case, however; this home makes great use of shingles to add texture to the space. Panels and fieldstone help complete the look, giving the house as much dimension as it does rooflines.

14. Classic Good Looks

There’s something about a white picket fence that makes a property feel wholesome and complete. This home uses Snow white siding and trim to match that fence, right up to the ceiling of its two porches for a polished, cohesive design.

15. Curves for Days

When you want more detail than a simple horizontal lap siding, but standard shingles just aren’t getting the job done, look no further than half-rounds. These curvy shingles dress up the home’s exterior while providing matching detail on either side.

16. A Contrast in Vision

When you want to call attention to an area, it helps to make it stand out from its surroundings. This home exterior design uses not only a contrasting texture, but a contrasting color as well to make it stand out from the homes on either side.

17. A Warmer Modern Façade

People are used to thinking of contemporary designs are cold, sterile, and impersonal. Wood-look panels with a realistic-looking wood grain completely changes this perception, while still helping to maintain a contemporary appearance for this home.

18. Town Houses with Personality

Just because your town house is linked to others on either side, doesn’t mean that it can’t have its own personality and its own look. These three homes have vastly different appearances despite being built together. Horizontal lap siding, board-and-batten, and irregular shingles all in different colors help to set these homes apart.

19. Different Uses, Different Styles

Today’s buildings often house a wide range of different people, businesses, and purposes inside. So why keep the exterior the same all over? Instead, change up the exterior to match the many different ways the building can be used. Mix and match color and style to create an apartment building as unique as its inhabitants.

20. A Style All Its Own

This contemporary home uses a lot of glass to open up the foyer and bring in the light. To balance this, a section of the exterior is done in a vertical cedar-look siding that helps warm up the façade. Meanwhile, the architectural panels and horizontal lap siding help keep the windows as the focal point of the design.

21. Moving in All Directions

Who says that walls have to flat to be effective? Why not add some additional dimension to your building with some areas that emerge from the sides to challenge your views. This bold lemon/lime color further calls attention to the building’s protrusions adding to the effect.

22. Contemporary Elegance

Many people associate a contemporary home with a cold, sterile feel. This is hardly the case for this home, however, where rich, cedar-look lap siding in contrasting colors warms up the façade. The home is modern, yet warm and inviting at the same time.

23. Irregular Beauty

Every good design needs one “off” note to make the rest of the space come to life. In this case, it’s the irregular shingles used on the upper portion of the design. They contrast the more formal appearance of the rest of the home, giving it character and major curb appeal.

24. Naturally Appealing

Homes need to match their surroundings to some degree in order to maximize their curb appeal. And in rustic settings, you need a home exterior design that can coordinate with the natural beauty around you. This cedar-look home pairs perfectly with peeled wood logs and river stones to create the perfect rustic lodge.

25. It’s In the Details

Opting for a neutral façade doesn’t have to mean creating something boring. This home features a lot of detail with a two-tone palette of neutral colors. Half-round and irregular shingles along with decorative trim add a lot of interest to the lap siding used elsewhere on the home.

26. Bold Color, Bold Texture

Who says that your home’s exterior needs to be boring? With vivid, textured, architectural panels that never fade, you can create an eye-catching façade for your home or building. The changing texture and color of this building’s exterior keep it fresh from top to bottom and ensure that it’s never too much of one thing.

27. Bungalow Charm

You don’t need to have a large or a fancy home to enjoy a beautiful exterior design. Bungalows, cottages, and other smaller homes like this one can still look great with the right trim, and a little attention to detail, such as the board-and-batten siding on the bump out.

28. Rambling Ranch

For smaller homes that don’t have a lot of detail or changes in plane or direction, sometimes just using a more interesting siding is enough. These irregular shingles in a deep green against the bright white trim add texture and depth this single story home.

29. Mixed Materials Make a Marvelous View

Too many homes are covered in a single type of siding or cladding, which makes too many homes that look too much alike. This home breaks the mold with a variety of different looks and textures working together as one. The use of fiber cement panels, lap siding, and fieldstone add a lot of depth to this modern home.

30. It Is Easy Being Green

Don’t be afraid of a deep, rich color for your home’s exterior. This saturated Forest Green is paired with bright white trim and black shutters to show it off to perfection. The change in paneling beneath the windows helps break up the siding, adding even more dimension to the design.

31. Eye-Catching Detail

The use of cream colored trim on this Cypress-colored home creates a softer appeal that goes well with its surroundings. To balance out the fieldstone along the bottom of the exterior, detailed trim is used just beneath the gables, creating an exterior home design that’s simple, yet full of character and detail all at once.

32. Interconnected Panels Are Like Child’s Play

There’s nothing more spectacular than a well-done ship lap installation. This home exterior design features a deep red-brown wood-look siding installed in a ship lap above architectural paneling for contrast. The ship lap continues right up under the soffit, creating a unique, three-dimensional look for the home.

33. Life on the Farm

There’s something appealing to many people about the appearance of barns and farmhouses. The image invoked is one of a simpler way of life that can seem charming to many outside observers. Give your home some of the same appeal though some of the details, such as board-and-batten siding on sections of the home, as well as color that is reminiscent of a true barn red.

34. A Simpler Look

Larger homes don’t have to be ostentatious or overly done to make a statement. Sometimes a simpler design is what’s needed in certain situations. This Autumn Red home keeps things simple with a horizontal lap siding, letting the focus be on the large, wrap around front porch. Vertical porch skirting adds a little contrast to the rest of the façade, adding just the right amount of interest to the design.

35. Ship Lapped Perfection

There’s nothing more spectacular than a well-done ship lap installation. This home exterior design features a deep red-brown wood-look siding installed in a ship lap above architectural paneling for contrast. The ship lap continues right up under the soffit, creating a unique, three-dimensional look for the home.

36. It’s In the Details

A simple home exterior design gets elevated to something else entirely just by the addition of some decorative shingles just below the roof line. A few rows of half-round or octagon shingles can add a dash of personality to a home that helps make it look loved, cared for, and filled with charm.

37. A Panel of Blues

You don’t have to choose between siding styles if more than one type is calling to you. This home makes great use of three separate siding types, all in the same gorgeous shade of light blue. Horizontal lap siding covers the majority of the building, while architectural panels frame out the windows, and a wide board-and-batten helps separate the different planes of the façade, adding an additional level of detail.

38. Color That Demands Your Attention

Studies have shown again and again that the color red is associated with power, hunger, and passion. So what better hue to paint your building’s exterior? While most reds eventually fade on wood siding, fiber cement panels stay true, letting your building turn heads for years to come.

39. Subtle Shading

Adding color or mixing and matching your siding doesn’t have to be bright, loud, or very obvious. Some of the best home exterior designs make use of more subtle lines and colors instead. This charming home uses a pale blue lap siding on the bottom half of the home that is wider than the gray siding on the top half. The effect is subtle, but grounding at the same time.

40. Old Fashioned Charm

While horizontal lap siding seems to be the default look these days, there’s a lot of charm and interest in breaking the mold and moving toward a more old fashioned look like this board and batten siding. The evenly spaced boards give height this this home, drawing the eye upward and putting the focus on the center.

41. It’s In the Angles

Many homes have a traditional layout that features the garage in line with the front door or located around the side. This home has the garage off at a 90 degree angle from the front door, with the peek on the garage matched by the arch just above the entryway. To keep the lines of the house moving, horizontal lap siding wraps the entire façade in a single color, letting the angles be the focus.

42. A Stone Faced Façade

Mixing and matching materials is always a fantastic way to add depth, texture, and dimension to any home exterior design. This home features fieldstone that wraps around the bottom of the home, then covers the side while extending up the chimney. Horizontal lap siding with color matched trim adds the perfect amount of contrast both in color and in texture to set this home off beautifully.

The exterior of your home sets the stage for how it’s perceived and the initial impression that people will make of it. Take these designs into consideration as you plan your home’s exterior to find the perfect look for your house.

ExTerior Facelift Photos

EXOVATIONS® complete home exterior remodeling projects – before and after pictures

click the images for a larger view

Modern Traditional – painted brick, portico addition, board & batten shutters; new roof & gutters
Urban Classic Update – cottage portico with stone bases, craftman door, siding, roof & shutters
Stucco to Traditional – stucco removed / siding replacement, porch remodeled and shutters
Contemporary Craftsman – siding replacement, new windows with shutters, new door and brackets
Ranch Update – Front porch remodel with decorative beams & columns, and new roof
Steep Slope Remodel – dormers, windows & front portico added, stucco replaced with siding; new roof
2016 Best Facelift Winner

more photos of this house

Craftsman Charm – New siding, roof, windows & shutters, and new front porch addition
Farmhouse Retreat – front porch remodel, window, siding & roof replacement
Classic Farmhouse – vertical siding, board & batten shutters, craftsman door; carriage garage doors
European Stucco Remodel – stucco removal and brick replacement, new front door & shutters
Modern Ranch – front portico addition, painted brick, stone stoop & standing seam metal roof
Split Level Contemporary – painted brick, new siding, cedar railings & enclosed carport
Lake House Update – remodeled front porch, new double front doors and siding replacement
2015 Best Facelift Winner

more photos of this house

Garrison Turned Craftsman – gable & portico addition, new siding, new roof and modern color palette
Brick Traditional Update – painted brick, new portico with copper roof, new roof and shutters
Garrison Updated – portico addtion, new siding & enclosed carport with carriage garage doors
Stucco to Stunning – HardiePlank siding, arched portico with arched double doors and 2-story stone accents.
Stucco Update – stucco removed and replaced with James Hardie siding; gable brackets added
Stucco to Stone – stucco removal, siding replacement, stacked stone accents & cedar gable brackets
Tudor to Modern Craftsman – stucco removed, new siding, front portico, painted brick & gable brackets
Stucco Transformation – remodeled front porch, new double front doors and siding replacement
2014 Best Facelift Winner

more photos of this house

Stucco Update – stucco removed, new siding, stone on portico, stone water table & shutters
Split Level Updated – remodeled gable front porch with portico, new double front door and siding replacement
2013 Best Facelift Winner

more photos of this house















more photos of this house


Exterior Home Remodel: Tips, Tricks, & Hottest Designs

Key Takeaways

  • Even a simple exterior home remodel can give your property a much needed boost.
  • The home exterior remodel cost will vary from project to project, but there are options for every budget.
  • There are several exterior house designs that are emerging as the years best trends.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression, especially when it comes to real estate. That’s why a property’s exterior is one of the most important parts of the house. Because the exterior of a home gives potential buyers, tenants, and more, a good idea as to what’s inside, it’s crucial to do whatever it takes to ensure your curb appeal is on point.

If you are hoping to boost the overall aesthetic of a given property, an exterior home remodel is a great strategy. Whether you are a homeowner or investor, there are exterior remodel projects for every budget. Keep reading to learn more about which renovations will help ensure your property makes a good first impression, every time.

Exterior House Design Tips You Can’t Afford To Ignore

The secret to a successful exterior home remodel is to develop a strong plan beforehand. Investors and homeowners alike will benefit from taking the time to consider their desired outcome, and the steps required to get there. By thinking through each part of the process, you can ensure the renovation will be successful. Here are a few exterior house remodel tips to guide you:

  • Think through your vision for the renovation project.

  • Use your goals and finances to create a realistic budget.

  • Set a realistic timeline and be careful not to rush the details.

  • Assemble a team that you can trust for the job.

  • Consider how balance will help both your design and budget.

  • Do sufficient research on your neighborhood before getting started.

  • Prioritize lights and landscaping to make a strong impression.

Have A Plan

Whether you are working on the inside or outside of a property, it is crucial to have a vision before starting a renovation project. Look through exterior home design styles to get a few ideas of your end goal and strategize which items you will need to tackle to get there. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the technical details, like electrical or plumbing, you can work with a team of professionals on the specifics. At this step it is more important to plan out the finished product, and think through the steps necessary to get there. By coming up with a plan in the beginning, you can help ensure all aspects of the exterior home remodel run smoothly.

Set A Budget

For many investors and homeowners, budget will be the most critical aspect of a home remodel. Luckily, there are projects for every budget and by planning ahead you can make sure you stick to yours. As you look at house exterior styles, research potential materials and labor costs to get an idea of how much they will be. Be sure to consider the potential expenses for permits, labor, tools and more. This will help you determine which projects will be realistic for your finances. For more advice on setting a renovation budget, be sure to read this article.

Don’t Rush

The timeline of exterior home renovations will vary greatly depending on which projects you aim to complete. While a few cosmetic updates may be finished in one weekend, other renovations may take several weeks to get done right. The most important thing to keep in mind as you plan a timeline is to not rush through any project. An exterior home remodel is not the place to cut corners. After all, your goal is to improve the overall state of the home not create larger problems down the road.

Find A Trustworthy Contractor

When it comes to real estate, having the right team in your corner can be just as important as the property itself. In the case of exterior home renovations, the success of your project can come down to the right contractor. They will be able to help plan and oversee the entire renovation, making this a crucial role. A contractor should be able to provide insights into material costs, labor, a projected timeline and more. If you have worked in the real estate industry before, use your network to find a trustworthy contractor. On the other hand, if you are a homeowner looking for a contractor for the first time try following these tips on hiring a contractor you can trust.

Think Balance

Balance is an important aspect to any home renovation project for a number of reasons. First, it is crucial that the overall design of your property is balanced and symmetrical.. Look through popular house exterior styles for ideas that will result in a clean, consistent aesthetic for your property. Next, it is important to ensure that the finished product fits into the existing atmosphere of the neighborhood. Real estate investors hoping to sell or rent their properties should research comparable homes in the area. Renovations that are not in line with properties in the area may not have a high return on investment (ROI) in the long run.

Finally, balance can help both investors and homeowners stay on budget during a given project. Look for areas where you can decrease your budget in order to increase it where it counts. For example, you can save money by installing your own landscaping and use those extra funds to buy quality roofing materials or fix problematic foundation issues. In other words, spend money on projects that count and save money on cosmetic upgrades. Keep balance in mind throughout every phase of your remodel to help yourself stay on track throughout the process.


Before you start your exterior home remodel, it is essential to do your research and test your preferred designs. Drive around your area, look for pictures online and consult your contractor to get a feel for how your revamped exterior will look. This will help you tweak whatever doesn’t seem right before you get too far into the project. If you are going for a dramatic change, test paint colors or building materials before you commit to using them. Try painting a small swatch or bringing a sample of a new material to your construction site to help yourself visualize. Remember, thorough research equates to successful end results.

Prioritize Lights & Landscape

Two of the most important factors when it comes to a good exterior home remodel are lighting and landscaping. While they may seem like minor details compared to a new roof or repainted exterior, the right lights and greenery can go a long way. There are a number of ways to illuminate your property, including lining pathways with lights, using track lighting or even installing a light above your front door. These tips will ensure your property is visible to guests and visitors at any time of day.

Landscaping is another crucial component of a successful exterior design. Greenery can help make a property look more homey and inviting. Research which plants are native to your area and how the weather will impact them year round. Just be sure to keep in mind how much time and energy you want to spend maintaining your landscape. Incorporating unique materials like rocks, pine, straw, artificial turf, wood chips, and cement is one way to keep maintenance costs and upkeep low.

Exterior Renovations With The Best ROI

When planning any renovation project, it is essential to ask how much value the finished product will bring to the home. Whether you are interested in selling the property or living in it for years to come, it is still important to consider which renovations will contribute to the overall property value. Here is a list of exterior projects that have a high ROI:

  • Exterior Paint: A fresh paint job can make a big impact on your property. According to Home Again, the average ROI on a fresh coat of exterior paint is about 43 percent. Just be sure you look for color schemes that fit in with the style of your home and the neighborhood as a whole.

  • New Siding: Instead of a new paint job, it may be a good idea to replace the siding on your home all together. This can be a great chance to combine regular maintenance with an exterior remodel project.

  • Outdoor Kitchen: Outdoor kitchens or patio areas are becoming increasingly popular among buyers, making this a top project for property owners looking to boost their ROI. Be careful to research durable materials in order to make sure any new installations withstand the test of time.

  • Replace Garage Doors: While this change may seem small, replacing the garage door on a property can have a high ROI. Look into options that will blend in with the rest of the home and find options that work within your budget.

  • Fire Pits: Installing an outdoor fire pit can do wonders for your property. Because buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in your property, adding an outdoor space with a fire pit can make the overall property more desirable.

Be sure to read this article for more information on renovation projects with a high ROI.

Top Exterior Home Remodel Trends Of 2019

  • Dark Paint Colors Real estate investors and homeowners may notice the rise of dark and muted paint colors throughout the year. Shades like charcoal, black, dark blue and dark green will emerge as popular exterior home and trim colors.
  • Outdoor Hosting Spaces The popularity of outdoor living spaces will likely grow throughout the year. Buyers will be increasingly interested in grilling areas, patios and the potential for outdoor seating.
  • Smart Home Features Smart home technologies are not limited to a property’s interior! New features include smart locks and exterior security features. Stay ahead of the curve by monitoring product releases.
  • Natural Light Many homeowners will look for ways to increase natural light as they seek to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Exterior homes will benefit from newly installed windows, doors, and even sun lights.
  • Traditional Exterior Appeal While new exterior paint colors will change the appearance of many neighborhoods, some traditional exterior trends will continue to thrive throughout the year. Homeowners on board with this trend should utilize white exterior paint with dark trim.
  • Roof Dimension Replacing the roof of a property is more than a maintenance project. In fact, it can be a great way to boost exterior appeal. New design trends include using different colored shingles to create a textured appearance.
  • Accent Features There are several ways to compliment a property’s aesthetic appeal by adding accent features. Options include repainting the exterior trim, using mixed building materials or replacing window shutters.
  • Multipurpose Sheds Sheds and garages are no longer strictly used for old tools and boxes. Homebuyers will be looking at these added spaces as multipurpose areas, meaning investors should be sure to market them as such when selling or renting.
  • Painted Brick This simple project is a great way to remodel your home exterior. Whether you plan to clean the brick exterior or repaint it all together, this trend can change the entire look of a property.
  • Stone Work Masonry work is a great way to remodel the exterior of a property. By adding stone work (whether as an accent feature or main attraction), homeowners can boost their home’s aesthetic.

Several exterior home design styles are emerging as this year’s top trends. While every property will have unique features and charm, looking at design trends can help inspire your renovations. Check out these renovation ideas and don’t be afraid to use them in your home exterior remodel:

  • Dark Paint Colors

  • Outdoor Hosting Spaces

  • Smart Home Features

  • Natural Lights

  • Traditional Exterior Appeal

  • Roof Dimension

  • Accent Features

  • Multipurpose Sheds

  • Painted Break

  • Stone Work


Whether you are an investor trying to attract potential buyers or a homeowner looking to impress the neighbors, your property’s exterior is what will make the first impression. That’s why an exterior home remodel is crucial for anyone hoping to boost their curb appeal. Do your research and plan out a design that will work best for your property and budget. By following the above tips you can help ensure your property makes a good impression, no matter who is looking at your home.

Do you have a home outside design in mind for your property? Share your inspiration in the comments below.

In writing about our personal experiences, we sometimes mention products or services that we use or recommend. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.


Whether you’re trying to sell your house or you’re just looking to spruce up your home, doing exterior home renovations is just as important as the work you put into your home’s interior.

If you don’t know where to begin, or you’re thinking that an exterior home remodel will break your budget because you’ll have to hire an exterior designer — think again!

The great news is that there are quite a few DIY approaches that can significantly boost the curb appeal of your home… even on a shoestring budget.

To get an idea of where to start, look at the outside of your house and property with a very critical eye.

Here are 8 home exterior design ideas to enhance curb appeal without spending a fortune:

#1 – Do A Mailbox Makeover

Mailboxes should express your personality and complement your home.

If your mailbox has seen better days, replace it with a stylish new one that reflects the trim of your home. It’s a low-cost exterior home design project that makes a big impact.

It doesn’t matter if you have a regular mailbox by the road or a box mounted to your house, a good looking mailbox adds some serious curb appeal.

You can find a new mailbox

for as little as $20.

Here are some things to consider when making over your mailbox:

  • When installing a new mailbox, make sure to follow the regulations that are set forth in the city and/or subdivision that you live in.
  • Dress up your mailbox by painting the wooden post to match your home’s exterior color.
  • Create a small flower garden around the foot of the mailbox — to blend with your other landscaping and exterior home renovations.

Check out these super cute mailbox makeover ideas.

#2 – Create A Walkway Or Patio

If you’ve already looked into hardscape for a walkway or patio, then you know how expensive it can be. An inexpensive DIY option is to create your own walkway or patio.

At first, this may sound like a difficult and expensive exterior home remodel project — but it’s not!

Here are some affordable DIY options:

  • Use mulch and gravel to create your own walking paths.
  • Use stepping stones to create a beautiful path.
  • Use potted plants to create a natural walkway.

Mulch and gravel are the cheapest path materials you can buy, and they make construction simple too. All you have to do is remove the sod, roll out landscape fabric, and spread the mulch or gravel.

Bark, wood chips and other types of organic mulch

make soft paths that blend well with natural settings. Since these path materials are lighter than stone, they’re easier to haul and spread too.

TIP: If you have the ability to mix cement, then you can make an amazing walkway or patio using concrete molds that resemble pavers — but at a fraction of the cost!

See how to make a stepping stone walkway yourself.

#3 – Spruce Up Your House Numbers

Another way to improve your home’s exterior design is to add unique house numbers and then draw attention to them. It’s one of the simplest and most affordable exterior home renovations that you can do yourself.

You can even make your own house numbers. Then attach them directly on your home — or place them on a background to make them stand out.

Here are some great DIY ideas for house numbers:

  • Add color and an organic vibe to your house with numbers made from pressure-treated plywood and sheet moss.
  • Add curb appeal by making a brightly colored planter box that also identifies your street address.
  • Upcycle an old boat paddle for a nautical-inspired way to display your house number.
  • Match the house numbers to the color of your front door to make both stand out.

Here are lots of great DIY ideas for house numbers.

#4 – Modernize Your Light Fixtures

Switching out builder-grade (or old) garage and front door light fixtures will immediately brighten your home’s curb appeal without having to hire an exterior designer.

You could also paint your current light fixtures a glossy black or oil-rubbed bronze color for a fraction of the cost — if you don’t want to buy all new fixtures.

These are some clever DIY exterior lighting ideas:

  • Add pathway or walkway lights.
  • Try moonlighting — strategically place lights high up into the trees in front of your house.
  • Use uplighting — a good rule of thumb is to use warm (yellow/orange) light on man-made objects such as statues and cool (white/blue) light on living plants and trees.
  • Use a mix of down lights and up lights for a really cool and modern look.

Here are some helpful exterior lighting do’s and dont’s.

#5 – Add Window Boxes

This is one of the simplest exterior home renovations you can do.

Adding window boxes as a part of your exterior home remodel helps add dimension and color, while distracting the eye from any other curb appeal problems your house may have.

The cool thing about window boxes is they’re very practical:

  • If you plant flowers there, they’ll also make you (and your neighbors) happier with their charming look.
  • If you plant herbs there, you’ll have something useful for your cooking.
  • Window boxes provide a unique perspective to your home, adding colors and textures and something that you can change with the seasons.

Filling window boxes with dangling ivy and/or colorful flowers can transform even the most tired home on the block into one of the best-looking!

Find out how to make your own window boxes.

#6 – Add Shutters

One way to add style and elegance to the exterior of your home is to add shutters


Shutters break up the empty space on the walls, provide great visual contrast, and create the illusion that the windows are twice their size!

Exterior window shutters come in 4 basic types:

  • Raised Panel Shutters: Very popular. They add a lot of depth and dimension to the exterior of your house.
  • Louvered Shutters: These create shadow lines which provide texture and interest. Shadow lines are important on a house — because they create the character that bring a house to life.
  • Board and Batton Shuters (BnB): Easy to make — all you need is some durable wood.
  • Bermuda Style Shutters: Easy to install and simple to operate. Shade, ventilation, and privacy are easily controlled once these shutters are mounted to the outside of your house.

Shutters are available in a variety of affordable materials (including MDF — medium density fiber), vinyl, synthetic foam, faux wood, and solid wood. Basswood is the most popular wood for exterior shutters.

TIP: If you truly want your shutters to stand out, try using a bold color that matches your contrasting front door — it will transform the entire appearance of your house! By the way, black shutters look fabulous next to white trim.

Here are some tips for choosing the right shutters.

#7 – Update Your Front Door

Adding appeal to the front entrance of your house is a simple and economical way to magnify your home’s curb appeal.

Try an easy exterior home remodel project — such as painting your door a pretty hue that coordinates with your home’s color.

Simply paint your entry door a captivating shade that coordinates with the color of your home.

Make sure there is a contrast between the front door and the facade of the home. If your house is gray or white with black shutters, consider painting the front door red. Source

Here are some low-cost ways to give your front door a facelift while enhancing your exterior home design:

  • A gallon of paint for the front door will cost as little as $25.
  • Metal house numbers can be purchased for less than $4 each.
  • A potted mini evergreen tree or boxwood plant could cost you less than $20.

Browse these eye-catching front door colors for inspiration.

#8 – Do Some Yard Work

Harsh winters can be tough on your home — and your yard. Spring is a great time to tackle some DIY projects around the house.

Plan to devote a weekend or so to these landscaping projects:

  • Plant spring flower bulbs.
  • Weed your garden.
  • Edge your lawn and the sidewalks.

While you’re tackling exterior home renovations, it’s also a good time to do these things:

  • Wash windows inside and out. (You’d be surprised how much builds up on the inside, too!)
  • Clean the deck, patio, and sidewalks.
  • Pressure wash your home’s exterior.

Taking care of your house and the property around it is an invigorating thing to do. In addition to getting outside and doing a little bit of physical activity, you could also use this as family time.

Exterior home renovations like these will make a huge difference to your home’s curb appeal.

Here are 10 spring cleaning tips for the outside of your home.

Boosting your home’s curb appeal on a budget may seem like an impossible feat at first. But, as you can see, there are many ways to do small exterior home renovations yourself — without breaking your budget!

A few modern home exterior design changes can make a huge difference.

BONUS: If you’re preparing to sell your home, a fresh façade will help it sell quicker and also convey a warm and inviting welcome — something that both homeowners and buyers prefer.

My husband and I have been through the home building process… from scratch… more than once! (And we still have a few pieces of property that we might build on in the future.) So we definitely have some helpful tips to share when it comes to designing your dream home and building a house from the ground up. We’ve also learned that the ‘fun’ doesn’t end once the house is built. Our clever home maintenance hacks will save you time and money each year that you live in the home. And… since everyone’s house eventually needs a little remodeling (as has ours), we’ve got some ridiculously helpful home renovation tips as well! Whenever I’m not DIYing something around the house or adding to my Dream Home Wish List, you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).


Siding Design Trends for 2017

Siding Design Trends for 2017

Homeowners are looking for siding design trends that add value and curb appeal to their home, while incorporating a sense of individuality. Building a new home gives homeowners to ability and option to choose exactly what they want. When building a new home isn’t an option, replacing the siding on your current home gives you a great opportunity to update and change the look of your home. Here are the top siding trends that homeowners are using to add curb appeal:

Dark Hues

Rich, dark colors, particularly dark gray, is the top choice for exterior siding colors. Siding manufacturers have developed color-saturated finishes that resist fading and the colors are more vibrant. Many Milwaukee area homeowners are choosing to do the entire exterior in these dark colors.

Contrasting Color

Contrast is huge in exterior design right now. Dark siding with bright white trim is a trend we expect to see continue for 2017. It creates a visual pop that draws your eye to different design elements of the home, and works with many different architectural styles.

Multiple Textures

This trend is being used to maximize accent areas such as gables, porches, and dormers. Board and batten siding, large panels, and shakes are commonly used in these areas to give the home better scale and proportion, and a more appealing aesthetic. It is very common to use several different styles of siding on a home, which makes it easy to add character and interest to the exterior of your home.

Low Maintenance

Homeowners want to enjoy their homes instead of spending time maintaining them. There are many siding products on the market that are durable, resist rotting, cracking, and splitting, and come pre-finished in the color of your choice. These products come in a variety of styles and prices, making it easy to design the perfect exterior that fits your lifestyle and budget.

If you need a little help with designs and ideas, there are many different ways to get inspiration. Attending your local Parade of Homes or Tour of Remodeled Homes is an excellent way to see these trends in person. Pinterest and Houzz are also excellent resources for siding design trends and have a large variety of styles and ideas to fit every taste and budget.

Exterior Home Trends for 2017

If you’re one of those trendsetters who love to keep your home showcasing the latest design trends, you’ll love our list of the most popular home exterior design trends for 2017.

This year’s highlights are elegant, stylish and the perfect way to let your personal style shine through while improving your home’s curb appeal and increasing its market value.
While many of our clients are most comfortable applying the latest and most fashionable colors, materials, and styles to the inside of their homes, this year we’re challenging them to explore the many options to enhance the outside of their home as well.

Let’s explore what’s hot this year…

Painted Brick
Are you tired of your house blending in with all the other brick homes in your neighborhood? Overtime brick can look dated and tired and in need of a facelift. An affordable way to give your home an updated and cleaner look is to add character with a fresh coat of paint.

Dark Windows & Gutters
Over the years light trim and gutters have been the norm, but lately, we see darker accent colors add personality and charm to a home. Darker trim around windows will give them a framed effect which looks like pictures hanging on a wall. Some of our favorite colors for 2017 include black, dark blues, red and browns.

Timber Portico Entrance
What is portico? It’s a fancy word that means covered porch, and it’s taking the exterior design world by storm. If you’re looking for a beautiful way to replace those ugly concrete steps and boost your home’s curb appeal try adding a small porch protected by a column-supported roof.

Faux Columns
Stone or brick wrapped columns are an ideal way to add sophisticated style to the exterior of your home. Some of the most recognizable characteristics of a home are the elements that support it like columns and posts. Take an ordinary post and turn it into a beautiful stone column and see how one small change can transform the entire look and feel of a home.

Wood? No, it’s Vinyl!
Vinyl siding companies are going out of their way to produce a broad range of realistic looking clapboard panels, half-rounded shingles, and cedar shingles. The results are low-maintenance, durable and absolutely beautiful.

Reclaimed Wood
The HGTV show Fixer Upper has made traditional wood shakes, shingles and shiplap a must have for any homeowner looking to update the exterior of their home. These simple reclaimed wood boards and modern farmhouse style has made shiplap very popular. Using wood siding in place of vinyl siding can add a rustic look to your home. Some people say that wood siding isn’t as effective at keeping the elements lock out and the heat locked in your home. However with the right wood treatment, wood sidings can be even more effective than their vinyl counterparts! Check out the Siding Contractor Atlanta for infomation on how to get yours!

Board and Batten Shutters
These simple shutters are adding style to window opening from Stucco Farmhouses to Colonials across the country. Originally these shutters were a cheap way to add shutters to a barn and used as a decorative piece on cottage styled homes. But recently their timeless beauty is becoming a charming addition to any home.

And don’t forget your entertaining areas…

The rustic, old-fashioned look is becoming more popular and is replacing the clean, modern lines of contemporary design …even in our outside entertaining areas. If you think porch swings, fire pits and countryside gardens you’ll be your neighborhood’s favorite hangout spot.

Outdoor Fire Pits
There is no better way to enjoy a chilly evening than sitting around the warm glow of a fire pit. They make the perfect focal point to any outdoor space and are a wonderful way to make a gathering come alive.

Rock Gardens
With outdoor living and neighborhood gatherings becoming more and more popular a rock garden made up of organic and natural materials is sure to transform your yard into a relaxing oasis. An example of this are these Outdoor Living Walls by phs Greenleaf, which incorporate nature onto the walls of your home!

Curb appeal is becoming huge …there’s no way around it.

The exterior of your home should highlight your personality and compliment your natural surroundings. Consider a few of these design trends when updating your home and make your home a beautiful place your family will love to come back to.

Call us today, and let us help you add some of these exterior trends to your home today.
404 943 0779 or email me at [email protected]

Melanie Serra, Interior Decorator, Certified Color, Redesign and Staging Instructor
Award-winning decorator and stylist Melanie Serra has been reviving interiors for over 17 years and has worked with clients in Dallas, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Melanie Serra’s approach to interior design is fresh and innovative transforming residential and commercial interiors from Now to WOW!

Is home improvement on your “to do” list for this spring? If you’re excited to upgrade your home’s exterior curb appeal, we’ve pulled together a list of home exterior design trends that you may want to try this year.

Accent Colors That Add Personality

When choosing exterior garage door paint colors, select the color of your siding first. This color will cover the largest part of your exterior. Popular colors for home siding continue to be in the neutral beige, grey-blue, or brick-brown color families. From there, choose a trim color that is lighter than your siding. Whites, creams, and light grays compliment almost any color palette.

Finally, you’ll want to choose an accent color and this is where you can really play with color trends. Your front door, shutters, and even your garage door can add a splash of color and a bit of personality to your home. Try a bold red, a pop of bright blue, or even a commanding black.

Many styles of Artisan custom garage doors can be finished in a custom paint color of your choosing.

Reclaimed Wood Made Modern

If you’re an avid viewer of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, you no doubt have added a new word to your vocabulary. Say it with us … shiplap! This home improvement show has made these simple reclaimed wood boards, and a modernized farmhouse style look, extremely popular.

But this plank-style design doesn’t have to reside solely inside your home, you can bring the trend outdoors as well. Using shiplap in place of vinyl siding, for example, creates a surprisingly modern look. You can also incorporate the rustic-chic look into your home with an updated garage door design. A new wood garage door can be custom designed, drawing inspiration from this hot design trend, including using horizontal boards on the garage door.

It’s Wood. Not Really, It’s Vinyl!

Vinyl siding is undergoing a facelift. Upgrading from the standard strips of siding, manufacturers are now producing a wide range of realistic-looking faux designs, including clapboard panels, half-round shingles, and cedar shingles. And, they are achieving these visuals with siding textures that are more realistically wood-like than ever before.

The same can be said for low-maintenance composite garage doors as well. Crafted from wood-grain molded composite materials on an insulated steel frame, these garage door designs mimic the look of true wood doors. The architectural statement of wood-inspired doors is one of quality and detailing, while the low-maintenance composite is durable and long-lasting while being beautiful.

Whether you’re following the exterior design trends for 2017 or you want your home’s exterior to be unique to your style, Artisan’s Photo Gallery showcases various styles, colors, and finishes to inspire your design.

You don’t have to be a design expert to spot a Tudor house. Their distinct appearance that makes them easily recognizable and unique among their more symmetrical, lighter colonial neighbors. These homes come in all sizes, and while smaller versions might have a quaint storybook appearance to them, larger Tudors more often embody the romantic ideal of an English country manor. That charming, old-world feel has appealed to many Americans over the last century and a half.

As an architectural trend, Tudor style homes originated in the United States in the mid-19th century and continued to grow in popularity until World War II. The Tudor style movement is technically a revival of “English domestic architecture, specifically Medieval and post-Medieval styles from 1600-1700,” says Peter Pennoyer, FAIA, of Peter Pennoyer Architects. Because these homes mimicked a style designed to weather colder climates with lots of rain and snow, they were best suited for the northern half of the United States, though they’re popular in other areas of the country as well.

So what exactly does a Tudor house include?

“These houses, with their myriad materials, solid masonry, elaborate forms, and decorations were expensive to build and mostly appeared in wealthy suburbs,” Peter says. They were even nicknamed “Stockbroker’s Tudors” in reference to owners who gained their wealth during the booming 1920s.

Peter GridleyGetty Images

Tudor homes are recognizable by several distinguishable features: They have a steeply pitched roof, often with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables (the triangular portion of the roof) of varying heights. The majority of their exteriors are brick, but they’re accented (often in those triangular gables) with decorative half-timbering: essentially a mock frame of thin boards with stucco or stone filling in the spaces between the boards.

peterspiroGetty Images

The windows used in Tudor houses are also a unique nod to medieval architecture. Windows are tall and narrow with multiple panes—sometimes rectangular, sometimes diamond-shaped. Large groupings of windows are common, and occasionally there are picturesque floating bay windows called oriel windows on the first or second story. Though often not in the center of the house, the front door is still a significant architectural feature on Tudor homes. They typically have a round arch at the top and tend to be bordered by a contrasting stone that stands out against the brick walls. Finally, Tudor chimneys are another notable element where the details stand out: They often have decorative chimney pots, a stone or metal extension at the top of the brick chimney.

Why the style fizzled out after the 1940s

Tudor homes were typically designed with an interior that complemented the exterior in terms of design style. The asymmetry of the front facade of the house also enhanced the interior layout, Peter notes. It “offered great flexibility to the architect in terms of interior planning,” he says. “The plan was not dictated by strict symmetry on the facades, allowing diversity in room heights, window placement, angled wings, etc.” Interiors are often heavily accented in dark wood as well—from ceiling beams to intricate wall paneling, Tudor homes can feel as much like an English manor on the inside as they look on the outside.

Natasha NicholsonGetty Images

According to Peter, innovative masonry veneer techniques developed in the early 1900s made brick and stone homes more affordable to build, but the intricacies of Tudors still were quite expensive for the average home builder. This led to the style fizzling out after World War II, when the country turned to focusing on new, affordable housing developments that could be built quickly. During the height of the colonial revival period (1910-1940), “this style comprised 25 percent of the suburban houses built,” Peter says, so that’s where you’ll primarily see Tudor style homes today. The unique style is still an appealing option for some buyers to own a historic home, though it isn’t a common style among newly built homes.

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Maggie Burch Contributing Writer Maggie writes about interiors, real estate, and architecture for House Beautiful.

Revamping your home’s exterior – even on a low budget – can improve its looks, saleability and value. But any house facelift needs to be done carefully and sympathetically (which is where our expert advice comes in handy).

There are a number of ways to change the look of your home. At the basic end you can make cosmetic changes like giving it a lick of paint, or adding cladding. If you are after something more drastic, changing the roof structure and replacing windows can make a big architectural difference.

Whatever your budget, read on to find out everything you need to know to improve your home’s exterior – and find out more about renovating a house in our ultimate guide.

Why should you change the exterior of your house?

While many people view a home for its practicality and how it can serve them for family life, the appearance of a home is very important too. Historic homes ooze charm and character that mass-built, post-war homes sometimes lack, and this can be off-putting to potential buyers. So if you are looking for 1960s house facelift ideas, or want to update a 1970s house exterior, you have come to the right place.

Newer homes aren’t the only ones that may need a makeover. Inappropriate exterior finishes or incongruous features can also ruin an older house. Or you might need to repair or replace what is already there. For example, replacing the tiles on the front of your house is necessary where the old wooden pegs or mortar used to secure them might have failed and tiles need a more secure replacement – usually double-nailing or a screw. Find out more in our guide to vertically hung tiling.

1. Change the proportions of the exterior of your home

This former bungalow is now a spacious family home

(Image credit: Rachael Smith)

For a significant renovation, it’s often worth changing the overall proportions of a building. This can be achieved by adding an extension upwards or outwards to create a more pleasing balance, greater symmetry or to replace poorly designed extensions added by previous owners.

Subject to planning permission, it may also be possible to add a second storey to a bungalow, transforming it into a house, or to replace a flat roof. Many smaller extensions can be added under permitted development rights (PDRs), without applying for planning permission, especially those at the back and sides of a property. Read our guide to planning permission for more advice.

With the exception of listed buildings, partial demolition does not require planning permission either, so you can remove unsightly structures or features, freely. This said, different rules apply for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so always check with your local authority.

However dramatic – or not – your new addition is, make an effort to either match new materials exactly with the original materials your house was built with, or go for a stark contrast: swathes of glazing next to Victorian brick, for example. This is all, of course, subject to planning.

What does this cost?

If you’re using a main contractor, you can expect to pay £1,050 to £1,650 per m² of added footprint for a standard specification and £1,450 to £2,200 for a high-end finish. Design fees will range from three to four per cent for the design work, plus the same again to produce detailed construction drawings. A further fee will be payable if you then retain the designer to appoint and oversee your building contractor for the work. In total, budget 10 to 15 per cent of the overall cost for design and project management.

2. Swap exterior finishes: cladding, render and paint

Clad in untreated timber with a distinctive horizontal design, this highly sustainable timber-frame home by Baufritz cost £600,000 to build

(Image credit: Baufritz)

There are many reasons why you might want to replace the current exterior finish. If your home has 1970s or 1980s stone cladding, pebbledash, mismatching bricks or a mixture of different external materials, you can remove – or, easier still, cover – them with a different material to create a complete new look. Cladding over pebbledash is often done as although it is hardwearing and easy to maintain, it can look quiet harsh – especially on boxy estate homes.

The cheapest option is to simply paint the exterior of the house using masonry paint in a neutral shade, such as white, to help unify the different materials. You can expect this to cost you around a few hundred pounds.

Rendering and repainting may be a better option if the original brickwork has been damaged. Or, if you want to give your home a brand new, contemporary appearance, cladding your home’s exterior will make a dramatic difference.

Which exterior finish is right for your home?

Start by looking at samples of your cladding choices in situ at different times of the day. Ask your supplier if they can give you new and aged samples to see how your home will look freshly clad and a few months down the line. Make sure the weight of your chosen cladding or render is suitable for your property, as some materials are heavier than others.

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  • PVCu cladding is one of the most inexpensive options. Coloured or wood-effect PVCu is comparable in price to timber boarding. Low-maintenance and easy to clean, it should last for up to 20 years. Some PVCu cladding has a cellular core that offers good thermal resistance.
  • Laminate cladding such as that made by Trespa, is made by compressing impregnated paper or wood fibres and epoxy, phenolic or polypropylene resin. Durable and scratch-resistant, it can have coloured pigments added to the surface during curing, making a variety of colours and finishes possible. Virtually impervious to weather, it can also be cleaned very easily.
  • Composite cladding such as Corian or HI-MACS made by LG Hausys, is made up of stone powder and high-quality acrylic resins with pigments to add colour. Highly weather-resistant, it can be easily cleaned, moulded and fitted.
  • Timber boarding suits contemporary and some period properties. Shiplap boarding has straight tongue-and-groove edges, while feather-edged boarding overlaps and has irregular edges. Softwoods, such as pine or spruce, are the cheapest option. Hardwoods, like oak, chestnut or larch, can be left to weather naturally or sealed with a fire-retardant coating.
  • Fibre-cement weatherboarding, being a composite, is long-lasting, won’t twist or warp over time, is fire-resistant, frost-proof, comes pre-finished, needs minimal maintenance (an annual hose down will do) and won’t rust or rot.

Though they have the appeal of traditional weatherboarding, these Cedral lap boards, colour C05 Grey, are in modern fibre cement, a high-performance sustainable material made of wood, cellulose, sand, synthetic fibres and water

(Image credit: Cedral)

  • Brick slips look like solid bricks but are actually 2-2.5cm deep ‘tiles’ made from clay – either kiln-fired as preformed slips, or sawn from the face of standard clay bricks. Cladding panels with a brick finish and interlocking prefabricated boards are also available.
  • Stone tiles are of a similar construction to brick slips, and are split from genuine stone. They are ideal for a more traditional look, offering a cost-effective and lightweight alternative to building with natural stone.

The striking Corten steel cladding on this extension will weather naturally, patinating to a darker, more burnished appearance and blending into its surroundings. Architects deDraft used it to complete a £60,000 addition to a 1950s north London flat

(Image credit: Whitaker Studio)

  • Metal is an expensive option but is low-maintenance and weather-resistant. It can come painted, powder-coated, pre-aged or coated to preserve its finish. Steel is the most affordable and should last at least 30 years; lightweight aluminium is good for 40; untreated zinc weathers to look like lead and should last 50 years; copper develops a verdigris finish and should have a lifespan of 100 years.
  • Masonry paint is a cheap and fast way to cover an ugly exterior. Textured finishes are particularly good for hiding minor cracks. It can hide poor-quality or mismatched brickwork on period properties, and create a sleek finish on modern homes.
  • Concrete render shouldn’t be used with the lime mortar masonry of many period properties as it will lead to damp and rot. Use a silicon-based render, which is flexible, breathable and easy to maintain. Lime render can be an eco-conscious choice for new homes and over masonry, too.

Natural horizontal cladding was used on the exterior of this home in the New Forest

(Image credit: Nigel Rigden)

How much does exterior painting, rendering or cladding cost?

Comparing costs is not just a case of looking at the material costs. We have factored in labour and the cost of associated materials for fitting (such as mortar for bricks and battens to attach cladding to).

Note that when it comes to timber cladding, the costs will be impacted by treatment. Hardwood cladding materials cost more than softwood, but as hardwood naturally silvers and does not need decorating, the full cost of installation and treatment brings softwood to the same total. Heat-treated timbers like Accoya have a large initial outlay, but require next to no maintenance, making them a good long-term investment.

  • Timber composite cladding – £105/m2
  • Fibre cement weatherboarding – £65/m2
  • Softwood timber cladding (painted or treated) – £50/m2
  • Hardwood timber cladding – £90/m2
  • Heat-treated timber cladding – £80/m2
  • Tiles (concrete) – £40/m2
  • Tiles (slate) – £100/m2
  • Natural stone – 100/m2
  • Artificial stone – £70/m2
  • Metal – £50/m2
  • PVCu cladding – £50/m2
  • Brick – £60/m2
  • Brick slips – £50-60/m2
  • Rendering – £60/m2
  • Masonry paint (three coats) – £15/m2

Office S&M were the architects for Salmen House in East London, which took just six months to build and cost £205,000. Stippled render and textured terrazzo was chosen to create the eye-catching facade

(Image credit: French + Tye)

Do you need planning permission to change your home’s exterior finish?

Permitted development allows for extensions to be built with materials matching the existing building, but if you’d like contrasting cladding, you’ll most likely require planning consent.

Building Control at your local council will also be concerned that the house meets regulations for thermal efficiency, so always consider whether cladding will alter its eco performance. Some will boost insulation, but it’s vital that airflow is maintained. If you live in a listed building or Conservation Area, detailed consideration needs to be given to how cladding will impact the character and fabric of the house.

Find out more about building regulations in our guide.

3. Replacing a roof

The roof on this 19th-century seaside cottage has been completely replaced and altered to suit the modern aspects of the house

On some styles of house – especially a bungalow – the roof is a very dominant feature, so if you change the shape of it, or the exterior covering, or even just improve the look of the existing tiles, it will transform your property’s appearance. Note, this is not an easy job. It is costly and labour intensive so most people do it for one of the following reasons:

  • As part of a loft conversion or extension
  • In the process of improving the home’s efficiency (with new insulation)
  • When they change the roof covering

Replacing the roof covering usually falls under your permitted development rights, so it doesn’t need planning permission, but you are required to add roof insulation at the same time to meet building regulations.

If you are stripping the roof tiles, it’s a good time to consider increasing insulation and also adding additional rooflights if you have loft rooms, as it’s easier to make changes to the structure with the weight of the tiles removed.

Find out more about maintaining your roof in our guide.

What does it cost to replace a roof?

Replacing a roof doesn’t always mean swapping the trusses. Replacing the covering is very affective too, not just aesthetically but from a maintenance point of view.

Changing its shape is a more radical and expensive alteration but it can have a dramatic impact, for example, to increase the roof height on a 1970s house with a very low-pitched roof, or a flat-roofed 1960s house.

The cost can be mitigated if the new roof is tall enough to allow for a loft conversion. Bear in mind that raising the height of the roof will always require planning permission.

  • Good roof maintenance is a must, particularly in a period property. Pressure-washing a moss-covered roof can be an inexpensive improvement which helps to freshen up a tired-looking property.
  • If you change your roof covering it will cost from £40-£80 per m².
  • Replacing sun-faded concrete roof tiles can give a 1960s or 1970s house a new lease of life. Budget £28-£35 per m² to replace old tiles with new interlocking concrete ones, including labour and materials.
  • If you’re looking to do a period-style makeover, look at traditional properties and copy the vernacular style, whether it is plain clay tiles, Roman tiles, slate or stone. For a contemporary makeover, you should opt for natural slate or man-made slates.

It’s also worth considering changing guttering, which can also have a big impact on the look of your house. Many properties now have white PVCu guttering, which shows up dirt more easily than black PVCu, and which also looks better on period properties. Galvanised guttering is now very affordable and can suit both modern and older properties. For a very contemporary look, powder-coated aluminium box gutters can look great.

Changing the roof’s shape

Generally, flat-roof extensions and modern, low pitched roofs look out of place on traditional-style houses, so replacing them with a more appropriately styled design can make a huge difference to a property’s overall shape. Ideally, the new roof will be steep enough to create usable space beneath, which will also help justify the cost.

If it is not economical to replace an inappropriate roof, it may be possible to disguise it with a steep-pitched front-facing gable or a parapet wall, built up in the same material as the exterior walls – a trick used by the Georgians.

For a contemporary makeover, a ‘brise soleil’ overhanging sun shield can hide a low-pitched roof and give the appearance of a modern flat design.

4. Replace your home’s windows

Madarchitects.co.uk transformed this home with new windows which make up a large proportion of the façade. A fresh coat of render and new roof tiles finish the look

(Image credit: Whitebox Architects)

Windows are the eyes of a house – if you change them, you can alter your property’s whole personality, especially if it’s done in conjunction with an overall redesign scheme.

Under permitted development rights you can choose and fit replacement windows, alter the shape and size of the window openings and add new ones without having to get planning permission. However, choose windows and doors for a period property with care if you are planning to maintain its authentic style.

If, however, you are looking to give your home a contemporary update that’s style sympathetic to its period feel, consider metal framed windows and doors as replacements. Crittall-style designs are popular amongst renovators for creating a statement look. Read our guide to choosing metal door and window frames for more information.

What do replacement windows cost?

  • A modern house that might be lacking in character can be made to look like a period property by adding period-style small casement or sliding sash windows and by altering the door openings. Expect to budget an average of £600-£800 per window supplied and fitted.
  • A 1950s or 1960s property with modest window openings could be given a contemporary makeover by adding large window openings with a horizontal emphasis and narrow frame profiles.
  • The most inexpensive solution is to buy new windows direct from a manufacturer, DIY supplier or online and fit them yourself. PVCu windows from websites such as Dunster House and DIY UPVC Trade Windows can be ordered to your bespoke specification online. Expect to budget £200-£350 per window. If you want the windows installed, you should always shop around and hold out for the best price.

All replacement windows must comply with building regulations. This means either using a FENSA registered installer who can self-certify their work for building regulations purposes, or submitting an application to the local authority together with the correct fee and either fitting them yourself or using a general builder to fit them for you.

5. Update your front door

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Whether choosing a new front door, or refurbishing and painting your front door, updating a front door is a quick, easy and often DIY-possible way of improving your home’s facade.

If you live on a road where there is a very uniform house type, you should try to match your front door as closely as possible to those of the homes around yours. There are many modern doors that are made to look like traditional styles, so if it is new technology you are searching for, you won’t have to look far.

If you are living in a period property, and are looking to restore your home’s exterior to its former glory, then trawling reclamation yards to find a door in the style and period of your house is a good bet, as is commissioning a skilled joiner to make a new one that mimics the original to a tee.

Here are some traditional front door design ideas.

Create a grand entrance with a frameless glass box completed with a smart bespoke door. Raw E80 pivot door set and matching boarded panel, in European oak with stained Onyx metallic finish and number engraving, H2.4m x W2m, from £24,000, Urban Front

(Image credit: Urban Front)

How much does a new front door cost?

  • PVCu front door – from £600
  • Glass reinforced plastic composite front door – from £900
  • Timber core composite front door – from £1,200
  • Veneered timber front door – from £250
  • Solid hardwood front door – from £2,000

When choosing a new front door don’t always go for the budget option. Not only do you need to consider the style, you need to think about safety, so going for a solid and secure door is important.

Changing the front door to something bright and colourful (like this yellow offering from Urban Front) takes little time or effort from the homeowner, but creates maximum impact

(Image credit: Urban Front)

6. Add an extension

A striking contemporary extension can be more effective than trying to match the old home. To create the façade of this award-winning residential design by Alison Brooks Architects, Corian in Blackberry Ice was templated then cut and installed on site using an adhesive system. Corian solid surfacing, from £600 per sq m, can be cut to very precise tolerances with mitred edges where several planes meet

(Image credit: Jake Fitzjones for DuPont)

Changing the shape (and function) of your home by adding an extension can have a huge impact on its appearance. Smaller alterations, such as adding a porch or a bay window needn’t be expensive but can add a lot of interest and character to the exterior.

A larger single storey extension or two storey extension to the side or front can help balance the shape and proportions of your property to create a particular architectural style, as could the addition of a large feature chimney.

Clarisse and Karim Mallem have created a contemporary family living area, increasing the light and space in their London ground-floor flat with an extension

(Image credit: Alistair Nicholls)

How much does an extension cost?

How much an extension costs depends to a large degree on its spec and size, but expect to pay between £950-£1,350 per m²; however, there are clever ways to cut your extension’s costs.

Many smaller extensions, including a porch, single-storey side and rear extensions, side and rear loft extensions and some two-storey rear extensions are considered permitted development in England and Wales, so they may not require planning permission, subject to certain design constraints.

  • Find out how much your addition could cost with our free build cost calculator

7. Adding a porch

For a contemporary feel, select a bespoke canopy, tailored to fit the space exactly. Glass canopies cost from around £1,000 per sqm, excl VAT, IQ Glass.

(Image credit: IQ Glass)

Adding a porch on the front of your house will give character to a featureless frontage as well as providing extra, practical storage space indoors. It is especially worth considering if your front door opens straight into a living room rather than a hallway.

Think carefully about design; the porch should be constructed in a style that suits the original architecture and in proportion with the size of the house. Don’t forget to take a cue from the existing roof pitch and angles.

When designing an enclosed porch, consider the impact it might have on the natural light that flows through your existing front door – you may be able to improve the amount of daylight with a well-considered design.

As the property is in a Conservation Area, the porch extension, is in keeping with the original, Victorian design, which contrasts with a modern extension to the rear

(Image credit: Adam Carter)

How much does it cost to add a porch?

  • A brick-built porch with a new front door can cost anything from £3,000, depending on size and materials.
  • Wall-hung timber porch kits are less expensive than enclosed designs, but will transform a flat frontage, especially if climbers are trained around the structure to help it blend in. Expect to pay around £1,000 for a kit.

8. Converting a garage

A garage used for storage was converted into a kitchen and living space by architect Stephen Graver in this home

(Image credit: Marc Wilson Photography)

The appearance of a house will be dramatically altered, and you will gain a whole new living space by converting a garage. The join between old and new should be seamless – this may mean hiring an architect to ensure the details and proportions of features, such as windows, are right. Keep the palette of materials used outside to a minimum, and ask your builder to tooth and bond the new work into the old to avoid a bolted-on look.

Before you go ahead, check with a local estate agent to ensure you’re making the right move – if the advantages of an extra room are outweighed by the need for secure parking, the resulting impact on the value of your home may be negative.

Large double garage doors can be an eyesore on the front of a property and don’t suit a period-style makeover. Converting the garage into a living space and replacing the doors with walls and windows will alter the main elevations and could help create a more traditional period look.

What does a garage conversion cost?

  • A garage conversion will cost from £850-£1,250 per m² and does not normally require any planning permission.

9. Landscape the garden

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Once all the building work is complete, turn your attention to the gardens, both front and back. Find out how to design a garden in our guide, then turn your attention to planting.

Choose a planting scheme that’s in keeping with the rest of the work – if you’ve gone for a contemporary finish for your home’s exterior, pick architectural plants; for a more traditional feel, opt for cottage garden foliage.

A period home might have its encaustic path repaired or reinstated; a cottage garden might have raised beds made from reclaimed bricks, and a new house might have garden walls rendered and painted.

Fit a wall light next to the front door or highlight the front path and planting to make the house look very attractive at night.

What does a garden makeover cost?

  • If you do the work yourself, a front garden transformation could cost just a few hundred.
  • Think in the region of £3,000 plus if hiring a landscaping company.
  • You might want to consider hiring a garden designer to get the most out of your outdoor space, which will cost £250 to £750 for a day’s consultancy.

10. Makeover the driveway

This block paving by Stonemarket has been used to create a modern driveway

(Image credit: Stonemarket)

Off-road parking makes a property more desirable from both an aesthetic and practical point of view. If your home does not have a driveway and there is enough room in the front garden for one or two cars, you should contact your local council to find our how much it would cost to drop the kerb. You need to be sure that access is possible and won’t be a risk to highway users. Note that planning permission is required to drop a kerb.

When it comes to choosing a driveway surface, gravel is favoured for a number of reasons. It is generally more affordable than other hard landscaping options, the noise means it is a deterrent to intruders, it drains well preventing flooding issues and it is easy to create a gravel drive on a DIY basis. However, it does easily spread onto the highway and might need topping up and raking every so often. A good weed membrane is essential underneath so you don’t spend most of your time weeding it too.

While tarmac is very popular, block paving might be preferable as it does allow some drainage and is easier to repair than poured surfaces. If your driveway is more than five square metres and the surface is not Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) compliant then you will need planning permission.

Learn more about updating your driveway or creating a new one in our guide.

What does a new driveway cost?

  • Costing depends on how much preparation is needed. Factor in £20/m2 for groundwork
  • The cheapest surface is gravel which costs from £4/m2
  • Block paving is around £28/m2
  • The most expensive surface is resin-bound paving at £54/m2

Watch the Real Homes Show for more home transformation ideas

Watch the latest episode of The Real Homes Show on our TV channel

Every fortnight we look at ways to transform your home, whatever your budget.

Want more decorating and renovating advice?

  • How to convert a basement
  • How to build the perfect glass box extension
  • Loft conversions: an essential guide to planning and design to costing