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A side look at a home with NichiPanel primed siding painted white and a black roof, along with black framed windows, surrounded by palm trees and green grass.
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Our 9 Favorite Exterior Design Trends for Modern Homes in 2021

Designing your forever home is about more than just interior design and floor plans. Crafting the perfect contemporary exterior is a crucial element as well and presents dual challenges: A custom home should reflect your tastes and the lifestyle you hope to lead for as long as you live there, while each style, color and feature you choose needs to have staying power so the home doesn’t become dated.

Luckily, designers and home builders are hard at work coming up with trends that are both fresh and classic. Natural materials like wood and stone are back, for instance, but are applied in modern style so they’ll stand the test of time.

Whether you're looking to complete some home improvements and a remodel, viewing real estate options for a move, or pondering modern home design ideas for your new contemporary home, we have all the trends to keep an eye on.  

Here are some of the hottest exterior home trends to keep modern homes looking of-the-moment in 2021 and beyond. Read on to discover how you can update your front elevation, utilize glass doors and large windows and mix colors and accents to improve curb appeal and have an envy-inducing modern home exterior.

1. People In Glass Houses Have Better Views

A look up towards the front entrance of a modern home, featuring lots of windows and VintageWood fiber cement siding.

Maybe it’s because we’ve all been spending so much time indoors, but this year it’s all about the windows. Creating an airy feel inside, extra windows also work well to modernize the exterior. Bold, straight-edge windows are replacing artsy curved panes to tighten up the look. The clean lines and open feeling new windows create will brighten and open up any room.  

2. Mixed Medium

A snowy view at the front of a modern home, featuring gray Architectural Block siding and an upwards tilted roof.

No bland cookie-cutter look here: Modern homes can now have it all, mixing warm, natural wood-look elements with sleek finishes to achieve a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. 

Not so keen on a multi-finish look? Try switching up panel sizes to give any home that custom look. Use the varying colors and shapes to emphasize unique design details or draw the eye to your favorite elements of the structure. The fiber cement home pictured above combines contrasting colors and forms to bring this vision to life.

3. Wow With White

A side look at a home with NichiPanel primed siding painted white and a black roof, along with black framed windows, surrounded by palm trees and green grass.

The power of swapping out exterior paint colors is often overlooked, despite the major impact a new color can instantly make. White can create a classic look, and a clean, white exterior can also add a modern air to a home, especially when offset with contrasting accents. Be mindful of the fixed elements to the building’s exterior when choosing a particular hue. Pure, snow white is falling out of favor and being replaced with slightly warmer whites like Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl.

4. Stand Out With Black

A modern home featuring black wood textured vertical siding on the side and second story, a black roof and light grey stone texture siding around the wood door.

White may never go out of style, but going dark with a home’s exterior is an increasingly popular way to stand out and create some drama. Homeowners are now opting for deep gray or black versions of the lately-popular modern farmhouse look. Using black, whether for your metal roof or exterior cladding, is a quick and easy way to give an eye-popping enhancement to any home.

Wood-textured black panels can walk the line between traditional and modern, or solid, bold black panels can break up expansive walls for a more varied look.

5. Doors as a Focal Point

A home with ultra-modern architecture, featuring black siding on the first floor to complement the black garage and front doors and light wood-textured siding on the second floor.

No longer merely entry points, doors offer a great way to let personal taste shine through. Bright or interesting colors, geometric designs or custom glass designs can welcome visitors and add a pop of interest to a home’s exterior. Framing a door with varied colors and textures can draw even more attention.

A close-up view of the entrance of a modern home, with a light wood-textured front door next to wide black siding panels.

6. Contrasting Accents

The front entrance of a very modern home, featuring a black front door, black garage door and black framed windows surrounded by light gray wide panel fiber cement siding.

Further color play comes as modern homeowners contrast exterior wall colors with the garage doors and other accents. Take that perfect white and pair it with black or wood-look doors for a sleek modern look. This works especially well for minimalist home exteriors for which you want to bring a little enhancement and excitement.

7. Overhang

A front street view of a white wood fiber cement sided house with a black roof, black railing and black-framed windows, surrounded by palm trees.

Not interested in the look of a traditional front porch? No problem! Add a welcoming and shade-providing overhang to a home’s exterior to provide a bit of outdoor living. Here, homeowners can get all the benefits of a front porch without affecting the home’s modern aesthetic. 

Adding a pergola or a visor overhang to the exterior of a home can pull double-duty, offering a shelter for enjoying the outdoors as well as adding interest and drawing the eye toward those eye-catching doors. If it’s long enough, it can even help protect the facade from some environmental ravages. 

8. Earthy Tones

A front view of a traditional modern house with brown-toned fiber cement siding, white-framed windows and black shutters.

A traditionally modern home with light grey fiber cement siding, white-framed windows, black shutters and a large white front porch.

Warm, natural colors are making their way back into popularity, including subtle moss green and a resurgence of beige. Case in point: Sherwin Williams’ color of the year for 2021 is Urbane Bronze, and the company’s Accessible Beige is all the rage. 

These colors complement the current wood craze, as wood slats or board and batten-style siding appear on whole sections of a home or in accents around doors and windows.

9. Exteriors That Go the Distance

A side view of a modern home featuring Nichiha VintageWood siding behind a cement planter filled with four small evergreen trees.

Homeowners building their forever homes want beautiful products that will go the extra mile. This emphasis on form and function means exterior products need to provide exceptional protection from the elements while offering low-maintenance beauty that won’t go out of style quickly.

Which Exterior Home Trends Look Best to You?

The beauty of today’s popular trends is that there’s something here for everybody. For the staunch traditionalist, a white modern farmhouse fusion will do the trick. An ultra-chic trendsetter might go for a black exterior with white and wood accents. Either way, both homes will be beautiful, durable and modern with Nichiha fiber cement siding.

While the wood look is hot right now, wood exteriors can warp, crack or fall victim to pests like termites. Fiber cement offers the beauty of wood or stucco looks without these pitfalls. 

Check out our gallery to see how fiber cement can take your house exterior to the next level. Or check out our case studies to see how other homeowners have used Nichiha Architectural Wall Panels to create stunning modern homes that can withstand anything mother nature throws at them.
Categories: Trends, Design

Our 9 Favorite Exterior Design Trends for Modern Homes in 2021

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