10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center

Skip the white picket fence and go to the dark side.

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The color black always makes a minimalist statement and puts whatever it touches firmly in the effortlessly “cool” camp. In a sea of ubiquitous whites and creams that evoke a blank canvas (and can promise a higher future resale), a black exterior house brings some much-needed edge while staying surprisingly timeless. (Look to classic Scandinavian and Japanese designs completely awash in the inky hue for peak inspiration.)

As it turns out, a lot of people want their homes to look a little moody. In August, Behr announced Cracked Pepper as its 2024 color of the year, citing a company survey that found three-quarters of Americans would consider covering an area of their home in a dark color. So why not go for the full facade? Let these 10 houses serve as inspiration. 

The Black Exterior House That’s Indestructible

Black steel-clad home exterior.

Sara and Adam Gilmer’s family home in Victoria, British Columbia, was an exercise in compromise, but they both had a clear design vision: Sara has a background in architecture, and Adam is the cofounder of a furniture company. Deciding to clad the exterior in raven-hued powder-coated steel was part of their overall collaborative effort. Another plus: It just so happens to coordinate with the rest of the minimalist interior and ensures there are no costly paint jobs down the road.

The Black Exterior House With Fun in Spades

Black exterior house with green lawn.

When designer Kate Hayes first saw this Atlanta property, she deemed it to be a “pretty big ugly duckling.” Alongside her studio partner, Krista Sharif, Hayes completely overhauled the interior and exterior over the course of two phases, focusing on a design that felt energetic and youthful for a family of five. From a brass kitchen backsplash to a ’70s-inspired teen hangout room, the shadowy exterior is one of many design risks that paid off. 

The Black Exterior House by Way of Japan

Brick home painted black with nature surroundings.

Plenty of interior changes occurred during the renovation of this 1950s Long Island property by designer Danielle Chiprut of Danielle Rose Design Co. But passersby can get the most satisfaction from the exterior’s major shift. What was once basic red brick with white siding became completely black thanks to the Japanese shou sugi ban method of charring wood to preserve it, alongside a few custom coats on the bricks to match. The windows were given black casements, while the aluminum gutters received a copper finish, completing the home’s newly sophisticated curb appeal. 

The Black Exterior House That’s an Artful Backdrop

Black exterior house with pool.

After Lindsey Vogl Robinson and her husband, Brad, learned they were expecting baby number five, they hired Liz Hoekzema of KLH Custom Homes to construct a new-build outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. And while Lindsey’s style tends to lean traditional, she relied on Hoekzema to get out of her comfort zone. So she chose to cover the home’s facade in Caviar by Sherwin-Williams to turn “a classic on its head.” Whether set against a fresh coat of Midwestern snow or an aquamarine pool, the black works in all seasons. 

The Black Exterior House With Mid-Century Lines

Black mid-century home exterior.

This mid-century Nashville property hadn’t been touched since it was first built in 1955, so local designer Hannah Crowell wanted to preserve its personality as much as possible while still making it functional for contemporary life. And what better color than black to show off the home’s refreshed architecture—which included raising the roof and adding all new windows, exterior siding, and a second story over the living room.

The Black Exterior House That Allows Nature to Shine

Black painted bungalow exterior with wood accents.

As designer Lea Shain and her contractor, Brett Baer, were considering ways to update this 1944 home in Los Angeles, they knew they wanted to get rid of the boring blue exterior that made it indistinguishable from the other homes on the bungalowed block. Shain felt that white was “overdone,” so she opted for Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for a muted shade that would pop against a new pergola and landscaping. “It’s not so monolithic,” she notes. “There are all these natural elements and tones.”

The Black Exterior House Inspired by Zen

Modern home with black exterior paint.

Carlos Naude and his wife, Whitney Brown, of Working Holiday Studio bought a very stressful home at a very stressful time. When they secured this L.A. property during the height of the pandemic, it was extremely run-down—but the designers and surf enthusiasts had visions of making it zen. Naude says that its black exterior was “definitely a choice.” Fortunately, the After Hours by Backdrop shade feels tranquil, like a cool shadow in the blazing California sun.

The Black Exterior House That Frames the Ultimate Vista

Brick mountain cabin painted black.

Interior designer Betsy Brown purchased her Blue Ridge Mountains vacation home just south of Asheville, North Carolina, sight unseen. So the sweeping panoramic view that came with it was a happy surprise. To put the stunning natural surroundings front and center, Brown went about crafting a space that reflected the landscape, including sourcing local wood and stone. For the exterior, she nixed anything that looked too new in favor of a color that resembled “the dark bark of the trees.” 

The Black Exterior House That Brings Drama to a Saltbox

Black-painted salt box home with two adjoining buildings.

As much as “modern farmhouse” has trended these past few years, the style continues to have staying power—especially if a dramatic paint color keeps things unexpected. Alabama-based architect Paul Bates took up the challenge on this lakeside property, which features a traditional saltbox frame but feels of-the-moment thanks to the allover black shade. 

The Black Exterior House That Skips Log Cabin Vibes

A-frame cabin painted black, pictured from above.

When publicist Caroline McKay found her 900-square-foot A-frame in upstate New York, she had one rule: No extensive renovations. Thankfully, that kind of heavy lifting had already been done, so she could focus on creating the ’70s-meets-Scandi hideaway of her dreams. Bonus: The striking black exterior magically tops it all off.