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6 Reasons Why All Modern Homes Look the Same (& How to Stand Out)

If you’re in the market for a new modern home, you might notice that today’s designs often fit the same mold. While some modern design is edgy, many homes wind up looking like replicas of each other, with the same box-shaped silhouette, neutral color palette, product and open interiors. 

If you want a modern style, but don’t want it to look like a cookie-cutter house, you may benefit from digging deeper into why many modern homes look the same so you can ensure your modern masterpiece stands out.

1. Modern Is Becoming Commonplace (& That’s Okay)

Residential home design can be innovative, and many developers and builders will look to trends around the country for inspiration. But what they might notice is that today’s home design across the United States has a consistent look. 

“The highest-end new developments across the country all seem to be taking cues from one another,” says Geoff Nudelman in the Robb Report.

He writes that he saw the same style in neighborhoods across the country, “and I instantly became curious about it. Are developers and designers all drawing from the same design pool — and if so, why? Most importantly, is this what buyers really want?” 

You can expect to see high-end cabinetry, luxury kitchen appliances, expansive glass design and ample open space in the home for entertaining. 

“Overall, the modern design trend is both a response to what buyers currently expect (open layouts, understated colors, high-end appliances and furnishings) and a prediction of what developers believe they will want in years to come (since projects are often built years before potential buyers will ever step foot inside),” says Nudelman. 

To combat group-think, some design firms are discouraging their designers from starting with a client’s Pinterest or Instagram inspirations. Obviously, we don’t recommend deleting all of your Pinterest boards, but you may find fresh inspiration by taking cues from your local environment, family history and personal experiences.

2. Modern Is Low-Maintenance

Homeowners want a home that’s move-in ready, designed with materials that won’t require constant upkeep or replacing. “The current trend is a low-maintenance, easy-to-replicate design that lends itself to customization, and that’s good for developers and buyers alike,” explains Nudelman for Robb Report

Your modern home design can be low-maintenance and still reflect your personality by aiming for a more contemporary approach. 

“Because contemporary homes are less restrictive and incorporate different styles,” suggests Chad Hanson for Sustainable Nine, “there is more freeform and an architect can take more artistic liberties in the design.”


This homeowner chose to elevate their modern design with a sleek and angled roof, a detail that gives the simple, crisp lines of the home’s frame an air of elegance. And by using Nichiha fiber cement panels for their home’s exterior, the design will stay beautiful for years, without heavy maintenance or a ton of upkeep.

3. Homeowners Want Reliable Style

The clean, simple exteriors in modern home design are an incredibly popular style because they’re reliable: they’ve been proven to work as an aesthetic. But homeowners can incorporate this style and help their home stand out from other modern designs by using a variety of materials in their exterior. 

Playing with a few different materials in your look gives the modern home design a dynamic, less uniform feel. The Nichiha architectural wall panels used in the modern home below give it a distinctive appearance, with warm wood details framed in black. The various brick, concrete and wood materials work together for a bold look, making this design anything but ordinary.

4. Consistent Means Cost-Efficient

Modern homes often wind up looking similar because custom exterior designs often lead to unexpected costs. And because modern families are spending more time indoors, homeowners often spend more of their budget on interior design and newer they’ll actually use and enjoy their homes.


But you can still choose cost-effective exterior materials to enhance your home’s modern design. And it doesn’t have to look boring when you work with Nichiha architectural panels, which come in a variety of textures, colors and other finishes to help make your home stand out.

Find Your Modern Mood

From minimalistic to colorful, let our Modern Homes Look Book be the first stop on your journey. Spark your creativity with our stunning examples of modern done right. 

5. Keeping Up With Curb Appeal

Modern home design is popular, and houses listed as “modern” will often appreciate more quickly compared to other types of home designs.

But your home can still have curb appeal without looking like the one next door. This home uses Nichiha architectural panels across all of its exteriors and includes a two-tone design that contrasts well with the local landscape and lovely views. The panels come in all types of styles, from modern to traditional, and have a simple clip-on system that makes panel installation easy to learn and repeatable.

You can find success in any home design by enhancing the environment that surrounds it. When you take this approach, you’ll set the standard for the rest of your neighborhood.

6. Design for Code-Compliance

Homes today need to be built to withstand harsher climates, reduce energy costs and comply with more stringent building codes. Many developers of modern homes use the same design strategy because they know that it’s compliant with local building requirements. 

Nichiha has provided exterior solutions for homes and buildings all across the country, to fit a variety of needs in different climates. Their attractive (and high-performance) cladding works in both residential and commercial applications and is certified for fire- and moisture-resistance. 

So you can stand out from the crowd, while still meeting (and often exceeding) local building codes whether you’re inland or coastal.

Innovating on Already-Modern Design

Modern home design is sometimes referred to as boxy and bland, but industry experts think this criticism will fade.

“I’m optimistic that people’s opinions of these buildings will change over time,” professor of architecture, Richard Mohler, told Curbed about modern homes. 

But savvy homeowners can help their modern design stand out today with innovative exterior products like Nichiha’s fiber cement siding, which comes in a variety of finishes, shapes and textures that can help bring your unique vision to life. 

Want more inspiration? You can download our lookbook of Modern Home Design ideas by clicking here.

Categories: Tips, Design
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