6 Modern House Exteriors Where Sleek Lines Are Oh So Inviting

Even concrete gives warm vibes.

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indoor-outdoor patio
Photography by Jenna Peffley

Let’s play a visualization game with the phrase modern house exteriors. What comes to mind? Perhaps a black and white home with clean angles and a wealth of windows. Or maybe you imagine a curved facade made of cool industrial materials, like metal or concrete, juxtaposed with a hint of natural wood. Both are correct. 

That’s because the covetable exterior style isn’t limited to one look, and yet each modern home’s exterior grasps onto the principles of design heavyweights like Mies van der Rohe and Louis Sullivan. The pragmatic mentality balances serious style with streamlined architecture, whether it looks like an all-black A-frame or a sculptural home with wall-to-wall windows. Ahead, we’re rounded up six modern house exteriors that may inspire a refresh of your own home’s facade—or at least spark a few daydreamy Zillow scrolling sessions. 

The Updated Bungalow

white brick facade

When Canadian designer Alykhan Velji and his partner, Jason, moved into their 1959-built bungalow, its orangey red brick and white siding screamed mid-century—but not in a cool way. To give its architecture a 2023 edge, the designer painted the brick white and added sections of a walnut-hued facade by NewTech that could fool anyone into believing it is wood. (It’s not; it’s made out of durable recycled plastic.) The pièce de résistance, however, is the eye-catching circular window, an ultra-modern feature that tends to stop neighbors in the street.

The Architectural Wonder

One look at this modern house exterior and you may recognize it as a creation of Craig Ellwood, the famed architect known for his minimal steel-and-glass designs. Erin Starkweather’s unit, one of three in this Hollywood apartment building, pairs angled lines (a hallmark of Ellwood’s architecture) with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that encourage oh-so-L.A. indoor-outdoor living.

The Mid-Century One

This quintessential Palm Springs home’s facade was trapped in the ’80s, overdue for a makeover. Designer Andrea Van Soest of Vantage Design Studio was up for the challenge, bringing the home’s exterior back to its 1950s roots in the most modern of ways. Goodbye, boring stucco. Hello, unfinished wood paneling, which adds a warm contrast to the coolness of the sleek garage door.

The Moody A-frame

Just like a little black dress, a little black A-frame never goes out of style. This 900-square-foot getaway in upstate New York leans into a modern Scandinavian style with its inky exterior—yin to the bright, (nearly) all-white interior’s yang. Homeowner Caroline McKay, a publicist for design-forward brands, even extended the exterior’s monochromatic color scheme to the firepit’s Adirondack chairs, which beg for a s’mores-making session.

The Colorful One

green mid century house
Photography by Sam Wadieh 

This isn’t your average 1960s split-level—not anymore, at least. When architecture firm Part Office reimagined this house, located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, creating a cohesive flow of the mismatched additions was at the top of the must-do list. That goal extended to the outdoors, so picking fresh paint for the facade was essential, too. The homeowners landed on this earthy hue (now called Mountain Olive from Behr), which allows this modern house exterior to appear as one with its steep hillside surroundings.

The Industrial One

concrete house
Photography by Lillie Thompson

It took a village to bring this four-story new build to life. Between revered architecture firm Edition Office, the creatives at Flack Studio, and designer and stylist Simone Haag, the modern home was in good, boundary-pushing hands. Its curved facade and expansive windows are a nod to Melbourne’s rich modernist history, allowing this standout design to fit right in. If you need proof that an industrial-looking exterior can feel warm and welcoming, consider this home exhibit A.