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It’s tempting to make a splash with your house color—as much for passersby to enjoy as yourself. On any given day, you’ll find the sidewalks in front of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies and Charleston’s Rainbow Row full of travelers with their phones out. White exterior houses, on the other hand, don’t tend to make it on the camera roll. White paint is widely regarded as a safe choice—homeowners pick it because they know just how expensive it is to repaint the outside of a house if they change their mind ($3,113 to be exact, according to Home Advisor). But just because it’s ordinary doesn’t mean a white house can’t have serious curb appeal. As the eight homes ahead show, a slatted wood porch, a hint of green trim, or lush plantings are sometimes all it takes to make your white house just as attention grabbing.  

The White Exterior House With a Subtle Pop of Color 

After a long stroll through his design client’s L.A. neighborhood, architect Anand Sheth realized that the new-construction homes on the block stuck out like sore thumbs because almost all of them had been painted black. The older residences on the street, however, were varying shades of lighter hues. So as to not stand in stark contrast with the community, he landed on a creamy white exterior—but left his stamp with a new sage green front door. 

The White Exterior House That Makes the Most of the Front Yard

It might seem like you’re looking at the backyard of this San Clemente, California, bungalow, but (plot twist!) it’s actually the front. In this case, the zen courtyard is intended to be enjoyed by those who call it home (there’s a firepit, sun loungers, and a water fountain), and passersby get to enjoy the view. A major bonus? The maximized yard adds visual depth and interest to an otherwise minimalist exterior.   

The Spanish-Style White Exterior House

Stucco walls aren’t the only feature the cofounders of L.A.-based design studio Ome Dezin smoothed out when they transformed this Spanish-style home’s exterior. The duo also turned its squared-off thresholds into arches and replaced the upper railing with wrought-iron squiggles for a fresh, playful effect. 

The White Exterior House That Looks Good From All Directions

To ensure an impactful (and unobstructed) view of this white exterior house from every corner of the yard, Australian design-build firm Three Birds Renovations installed a glass fence around the perimeter of the pool. The benefit is twofold: From the kitchen, the owners can keep an eye on their kids swimming outside. 

The Georgian White Exterior House

Some house styles were practically made to stand out with a white exterior. Cynthia Zamaria’s former home in Ontario’s Port Dover is one of them. The 1857 Georgian looks all the more stately when its details are left to speak for themselves (cutting back the overgrown shrubs and rotted trees that hugged the facade helped, too). 

The Waterfront White Exterior House

Kerrie-Ann Jones is always surrounded by nature at her Sydney home: The bay is her backyard. But needing to incorporate another organic element, the interior stylist clad the garage in a local species of wood called Corymbia Maculata, more commonly known as spotted gum. 

The White Exterior House in the City

It’s common in Paul Neaville and Marisa Luzzatto’s Washington, D.C., neighborhood for renovators to tack on extensions in the back of the house, usually in the form of a family room. Deviating from tradition, their architect flipped their addition to the front and dramatically altered the classic Colonial-style facade by finishing the new siding and porch in bleached wood and painting the old brick white. 

The Monochromatic White Exterior House

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones, like using the same exact paint color from your facade on the front door. The result, as this 1860s Greek Revival farmhouse designed by JAM reminds us, is understated but still worthy of a picture (or two).