We know, we know: Don’t judge a book by its cover. But homes are a different story. Haven’t you ever driven down a tree-lined street in a fancy neighborhood and pretended to call “dibs” on your favorite house? There’s always one or two on every block that immediately takes your breath away. Ah, the power of a good exterior.
In the mood for some virtual window-shopping? We went digging through our archives to find the homes that are surely the envy of their neighborhoods. Discover our 23 favorite facades, below.
The One That’s a DIY in Disguise
A Pair and a Spare blogger Geneva Vanderzeil transformed her charming Brisbane, Australia, porch for just $50. The clever project entailed some sanding, a lick of pink paint, and a swooping arc.
The Plywood-Paneled One
Don Draper, are you home? Faced with a facade clad in ’80s stucco, designer Andrea Van Soest took this Palm Springs house back to its 1950s roots by installing natural plywood paneling along the front entrance, plus a sleek garage door.
The Scandi-Inspired One
You’d never know there were chickens and pigs roaming about Malibu Farm founder Helene Henderson’s backyard by the look of her sleek swimming pool deck.
The One Made for Family Game Nights
Who says you can’t greet your guests with a game of chess and a cocktail before they even get to the door? This California cottage makes a case for a different kind of welcome.
The One With the Graphic Patio
Behold, the perfect indoor-outdoor flow. Designer Abbie Naber can admire the ombré wallpaper in her dining room from the comfort of one of her Acapulco chairs.
The One With a Pop of Pink
Guests greeted by a pink front door are automatically happier people. At least that’s our theory after paying a visit to the Park, a new five-house micro-resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
The Mid-Century One
The pop of orange at the entrance to Dazey L.A. founder Danielle Nagel’s Palm Springs oasis is a small taste of the retro vibes that await inside.
The Desert One
Casa Mami, a new eco-friendly retreat in Joshua Tree run by Carlos Naudes and Whitney Brown, stands out from its rustic, arid surroundings thanks to a lick of black paint.
The Tiny One
What this 900-square-foot Victorian home lacks in size it makes up for in personality via its white picket fence, pink facade, and smart black trim.
The One That Belongs on the Water
You’d never expect to find a surf shack smack-dab in the middle of Texas, but that’s exactly what Taylor Clouse used as inspiration for her client’s 1940s home. The simple navy exterior and spacious screened-in porch get at the vibe of laid-back beachfront living.
The One That’s an Oasis in the Middle of a City
Barnaby Lane founder Rae Maxwell says she doesn’t mind when the occasional bird or two pop into her ground-floor living room. In fact, she encourages it by leaving the huge sliding glass door wide open to the backyard.
The Retro One
If the sunny yellow front door of this mid-century ranch doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we don’t know what will.
The Detail-Oriented One
Melissa Johnson of Best Friends for Frosting had one requirement for her Sacramento Airbnb: It had to be photo-ready. Step on to the front porch and you’ll discover lots of Insta-worthy details, including a pineapple-shaped doorbell and a pink door painted in Kelly-Moore’s Skinny Dip.
The One in the South of France
With its rustic stone trim and splashes of blue, Kristjana S. Williams’s vacation home in the sleepy town of Tourouzelle captures the essence of a European summer. We can almost hear the church bells chiming from here.
The One That’s Like a Fairy Tale
No, Hansel and Gretel don’t live here. But Brightland founder Aishwarya Iyer does, and she gets to walk up those funky tiled steps and through that arched doorway every day.
The Serene One
Just the sight of this minimalist Maine cabin makes us want to unplug for a little while.
The One With Southern Charm
Faux flamingos? Real cacti? This pink and yellow Airbnb in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood checks all the quirky-cool design boxes.
The One Where Opposites Attract
Struggling to figure out which color is best for your front door? This San Francisco home is a reminder that the best combinations are often ones on opposite ends of the color wheel.
The One That Cost Less Than $1,000
Chipping, sun damage, and a dated hue can all easily be fixed with a fresh coat of paint. Take it from blogger Ashley Petrone, who refreshed her home’s facade in just two days for under $1,000.
The One With the Tropical Touch
You’re looking at further proof that mid-century modern houses look best with a fresh pop of color in the front. This dreamy blue door is painted in Behr’s Tahitian Breeze (a color that sounds as easygoing as it looks).
The One With All the Right Angles
The dramatically sloped roofline of this mid-century home in Nashville was a bonus opportunity to bring in natural light.
The One That’s Tailored to a Tee
While Tudor-style home exteriors are often heavily accented with dark wood, this 1930s fixer-upper couldn’t be brighter. The copper gutters and perfectly manicured shrubs only accentuate the facade’s fresh white brick.
This story was originally published on July 2, 2019. It has been updated with new information.