Our Favorite Exterior Design Trends 2023: Looking Back

It’s that time of year again to share with you our favorite exterior design trends from 2023. To compile this list, we looked back at the virtual designs we worked on this year and considered the most common client requests we received.

From enhanced outdoor living to creativity with cladding, keep reading to find out which trends made our list for 2023! And if you’re curious to read what trends made last year’s list, you can check it out here.

Whether you want to incorporate a specific design trend into your exterior or hope to make other updates, we can help. Our team can create a photorealistic rendering of your home with new paint colors, a covered patio, a blue front door — whatever you desire. Learn more about what we do.

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Rendering showcasing a garage door pergola with ivy

#1 // Garage pergolas

Homeowners are finding new ways to add character to their homes through pergolas over garage doors. They can be adorned with ivy for a charming fairytale look shown above, or they can be used to add texture and complement other design elements (below). Either way, garage doors have never looked better!

Rendering of farmhouse rancher with a cedar garage pergola

White home with a large outdoor entertaining area, pool, and lounge space.

#2 // Enhanced outdoor living

We predicted a rise in popularity of well-designed outdoor living spaces, and it’s safe to say we were right. People are looking to the outdoors to expand their home’s footprint and turning their yards into outdoor oasesThink screened-in porches, outdoor kitchens, lounge areas, and rooftop hangouts.

Outdoor kitchens, in particular, are a great way to maximize space for smaller homes. If there isn’t quite enough room to entertain inside, bringing features like dining tables, grill islands with bar stools, and casual lounge areas outside expands your entertaining options.

Mid-century home with a balcony over a screen porch, overlooking a fire pit lounge area.

A before and after photo of a home with new exterior paint

#3 // Small changes for a big impact

On a tight budget, but need maximum results? Or maybe you plan to sell your home and need to make some quick and easy updates. There are plenty of simple updates you can make to your exterior that will make a big impact.

A fresh color palette, for example, can breathe new life into a property, as the before and after photos above and below demonstrate. Beyond paint, updates like a new front door, stylish light fixtures, and outdoor decor can spruce up your exterior.

Only interested in changing your home’s paint colors? We offer a paint-only package for clients looking to do exactly that. Learn more here!

Before and after of a Craftsman style home transformed with paint

Black rancher with minimal landscaping and cedar columns.

#4 // Eco-conscious landscaping

Landscaping plays a big role in a home’s curb appeal. It can be as simple or lush as you want it to be, but we’ve noticed an increase in homeowners choosing sustainable and eco-friendly landscape options.

There are many ways to make a yard sustainable. Native plants are a smart option to support your local environment. They require less water, little to no fertilizers, and even help prevent erosion because their root systems are stronger in their native environments. Another way to create an eco-conscious yard is to incorporate plants and flowers that support the health of bees, our biggest and best pollinators. By planting native plants, nectar rich flowers, and plants that bloom at different times of the year, you can help support eco-systems beyond your front yard.

Xeriscape designs have also become quite popular in recent years and will continue to show up in our work.

Split level home with lush wildflower landscaping and a stone retaining wall.

Virtual design showcasing cladding material on a contemporary home.

#5 // Creative cladding

Why settle for one cladding material when you can combine multiple? Color and texture blocking with materials like wood, metal, and stone adds visual interest and can create a striking home exterior. We’ve seen our designers mix many other cladding materials as well, such as shake, copper, fiber cement panels, and brick. It’s a simple way to add tons of dimension and instant curb appeal.

The designs seen above and below both use Ipe siding with stone or metal cladding. Ipe wood is highly durable and sustainable, so it’s a great choice as a cladding option. You can’t go wrong with stone or metal either. Both are also long-lasting and solid choices for durability and strength.

Modern home designed with wood and fiber cement panel cladding.

Cabin style home with a firepit in the front yard, string lights, and a stone and paver walkway.

#6 // Reimagined front yards

Your backyard isn’t the only outdoor space fit for entertaining and relaxing. More homeowners are looking for ways to utilize their front yard spaces for more than just looks. We’re getting more requests for fire pits, lounge areas, swings, and even meditation gardens in the front yards of homes.

Some homeowners have super small backyards. Others have terrain that isn’t conducive for adding these types of features. Whatever their reasoning, we’re enjoying showing our clients how their front yard can be reimagined for fun without sacrificing curb appeal or function.

One-story rancher with lounge area in front yard and a small porch.

Traditional white farmhouse with black windows, shutters, and door.

#7 // Black doors & windows

Dark exterior color palettes have been rising in popularity lately. But not all homeowners desire a dark, moody hue covering their entire façade. As an alternative, we’re seeing clients ask about using darker accents, such as a black front door, garage door, windows, or shutters.

Black can be timeless, classic, modern, or eclectic. It just depends on the rest of the canvas it’s being added to. The traditional home above has a simple black door to tie in with the black shutters, garage door, roof, and light fixtures. Minimal wood tones and the copper gutters add a touch of warmth.

Virtual rendering of a cabin with a second story balcony overlooking trees.

#8 // Connecting to nature

More than ever, clients seem to want to create a connection between their home and nature. To do this, our designers use large windows and sliding glass doors that let tons of light fill the interiors. They also add porches, balconies, and rooftop decks that act an extension of the interior for enjoyable spaces outside.

White two-story home with large windows, sliding glass doors, and a simple patio.

Natural red brick paired with a charcoal gray color, and copper light fixtures.

#9 // Embracing natural brick

We’re big fans of painting brick. But we can also appreciate the beauty of a red brick home. While we still get plenty of requests from clients who want help picking a paint color for their brick exterior, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of those who want to embrace their home’s natural brick.

While we love a gorgeous limewashed or white painted brick exterior, we can’t help but gush over the moody and elegant look of pairing red brick with colors like charcoal grays, blacks, greens, and deep blues.

Virtual rendering of home with natural red brick and siding painted in a dark green color.

Mid-century home with white brick and small shed roof accents

#10 // Honoring the architecture

While the trend of turning all sorts of home styles into modern farmhouses is still going strong, we’re also seeing a rise in the number of clients choosing to honor their home’s original architecture too.

The owner of the home below described her design style as “coastal farmhouse, French cottage, shabby chic” and said she prefers clean lines and minimal ornamentation. But she also noted a desire to honor the Victorian style of her home when updating it. Our designers came up with a look that matched her style without loosing the Victorian aesthetic.

Traditional two-story home with arched windows, arched front door, and arched dormers.

#11 // Arches

Next on our list of our favorite exterior design trends of 2023 is the coveted arch. Arches add instant character to a home and architectural interest. Windows, doors, porticos, and more can be arched for extra curb appeal. We love arches because they look amazing on so many home styles. Mediterranean, Spanish haciendas, Tudors, and cottages are some of our favorite home styles that often have arches in their designs.

Two-story cottage with arched dormers and an arched portico

An industrial inspired home exterior

#12 // Industrial design elements

Fiber concrete panels, copper cladding, and metal roofs are a few industrial design elements we’ve loved seeing more of this year. Sleek, modern, and minimalist, industrial-style homes put functionality first but certainly don’t sacrifice style.

We’ve noticed more clients requesting an industrial-inspired look for their exterior in 2023 and fully expect this trend to continue into the new year.

Industrial home with multiple cladding materials, modern garage door, and wide symmetrical stairs.

Mid-century home with white brick and small shed roof accents

#13 // Monochromatic color palettes

We love a high-contrast design, but we’ve been working with more monochromatic color palettes as of late too. With a tone-on-tone color palette, instead of creating a sharp contrast between the central and accent colors, our designers the same color throughout or two colors that are quite similar.

The design above features a medium-toned gray paired with a shade of white that has gray undertones. In the rendering below, we used two white hues. Both have a touch of warmth, but one is bright and crisp and the other is a bit darker.

Monochromatic color palette rendered on a modern cottage with copper lighting and wood railings.

Industrial home with concrete paneling, wood cladding, and stone walls.

The bottom line on our favorite exterior design trends of 2023

That wraps up our roundup of our favorite exterior design trends of 2023. We always have so much fun looking back on the year’s trends to pick our favorites. From garage pergolas to embracing the beauty of natural red brick, we wonder if our favorite exterior design trends of 2023 can be topped next year. Stay tuned to find out!

Ready to take one of the year’s top trends and incorporate into your home’s exterior? Our designers are eager to help. Get started here.