The brick&batten Team’s Favorite Exterior Designs of 2021

In honor of Thanksgiving, we’re sharing some of our team’s favorite exterior designs of 2021. We’re always grateful to our clients for trusting us to partner with them on making their exterior dreams a reality. The before & afters below represent some of the homes and business designs we’re most proud of so far this year.

Our mission is to help you envision the curb appeal you’ve always wanted — and to give you a resource list to make it happen. Learn what it’s like to partner with us on a virtual exterior design.


Before and after of a home rendered in a darker paint color

Allison V., Co-founder

I love this house for a million reasons but mostly because it is on a river, and I love the outdoor gathering spots all over and at different levels. The dark color and the wood focal point around the entrance are totally my style. I love the vertical iron privacy screen that contrasts with the horizontal cable without being too busy. I appreciate the feeling of warmth this house has and how it actually LIVES in its environment… part of nature. It has a beckoning sense… vibes.

Before and after of a commercial business that was a horse barn and was rendered as a modern industrial office for a law firm

I had to pick two favorites because yes, we do commercial design!! The design of this business (a horse barn that’s being converted to a law office) speaks volumes about what our design services can do. I wish brick&batten had a space like this. I told the designer who worked on it that I think it’s absolute perfection. It’s the little things… like how she balanced that wood with metal planters and logo. The vertical concrete. I’ve stopped several times today and looked at it again. I’m obsessed with it.


Before and after of a lake home with two sides, rendered in Iron Ore

Amy V., Rendering Artist

I love all the windows and the great outdoor space — this home makes me think vacation! I’d love to pack my bags and head here for a week on the water.


Before and after of a white bungalow home

Bridget T., Client Experience Manager

Love this small lake house transformation.

Before and after of a two-store home with a full front porch and second level balcony rendered in Seapearl

I also think this home is a great example of simple changes with big impact… and great rendering work.


Before and after of a two-story home rendered in Simply White

Cassie M., Co-founder

If you’re going for a classic look, this update is a definite game changer. Removing the ornate balustrade with the X railing makes all the difference. The gas lanterns reinforce the classic look, while making the space feel warm and usable. Finally, all eyes on the door! Adding the cut stone walkway and horizontal wooden door creates a focal point and a touch of modern. This classic update is a favorite.

Before and after of a contemporary home rendred with new wood paneling and a porch addition

“I’ll take it!” was my first thought when seeing this design (above). I love the big windows that allow so much natural light. I also love widening the staircase. That improvement alone makes the home feel so welcoming. Finally, the side of the house was wasted space. Clearly the family spends time there with the grill and small table set. Creating a beautiful outdoor space with a fire feature and comfortable seating makes that porch an extension of the house. Beautiful!

Before and after of a traditional home rendered with natural cedar siding and paint in Baltic Blue

Ok, so I picked three favorites… What I love about this house (above) is the simplicity of the design. It just shows you don’t need to make huge changes to create a beautiful space. We say simple changes for a big impact and that definitely is shown in this design. New doors, new house numbers, new paint, new shutters. It’s done in a weekend.


Before and after of a traditional home rendered in monochromatic Seapearl

Doug S., Rendering Artist

This is my favorite one because I like the stark difference between the before and after. It’s got very nice landscaping. And I love the new white Seapearl colors with a variety of materials used like stone, brick, and siding, along with a big arch and entryway. Kelly did an amazing job with the design, and it was a very fun house to work on.


Before and after of a transitional home with new windows, garage door, and gray siding

Elizabeth C., Designer & Rendering Artist

The gray stain on the wood paneling gives this home such a unique, contemporary aesthetic — I love it!


Before and after of a lake home with new windows and outdoor living

Kara H., Writer

I love this home because it’s my dream to live on the water. It’s also one of the first homes I had seen designed by brick&batten, and it really showcases both the quality of design and digital rendering that we are known for. Plus, the extra detail of the boat really sold me!


Before and after of a home rendered with a dark color palette and modern industrial design

Kristen T., Operations Associate

I absolutely love the transformation this went through. The new James Hardie Reveal® Panel System with Recess trim is such a good look on this home. The concrete panels also bring a cool modern touch! I was just overall blown away by this one.


Before and after of a river front home with a new paint color scheme

Laura W., Rendering Artist

This was so difficult to pick just one favorite house! I went with this beautiful craftsman-style home located on a river in Michigan. I had the pleasure to design and render the changes. It’s always great when we get to design both sides of a house because then we can really show the client the vision we have for their home. While most of the changes we recommended were minor cosmetic changes, they had such an impact! I totally wanted to live here! I could imagine sitting on this beautiful deck with the new glass railing and sipping coffee in the crisp morning with the amazing view of the water or drinking lemonade in my Article rocking chairs on a warm summer evening watching the kids fish off the dock while we BBQ’d under the new pergola. This house design has such a warm and welcoming vibe to it! It definitely was one of my favorites of the year!


Before and after of a home rendered with new James Hardie siding in Iron Mountain, new stone siding, and a two-story porch awning addition

Lindsay L., Client Experience Manager

I love a house with a good mix of texture and dimension. The two-story portico addition along with the combination of stone, wood accent, Hardie® Panel Vertical and Plank Lap Siding all give this home a major wow factor!


Before and after of a brick bungalow home rendered with the brick painted in Seapearl

Lisa W., CEO

This exterior design truly shows how a house can be transformed with cosmetic changes. I know the decision to paint brick is one of the hardest to make as a homeowner, and this design truly makes the difference with that decision. This house, in my view, lives up completely to the promise of brick&batten.


Before and after of a ranch home rendered in Iron Ore with wood accents

Maria K., Designer & Rendering Artist

I loved the little accent of color, that brought the design to a whole other level for me.


Before and after of a ranch given a modern exterior update

Maria S., Designer & Rendering Artist

This home is my favorite of the year because the makeover came together easily while I was designing the exterior, and, of course, it helped that the client was open to changing the windows and doors. It also helped that we took out the big ramp that was in front of the home, and we provided them with a big porch where they can relax and enjoy the neighborhood.


Before and after of a modern farmhouse rendered in Dried Thyme

Maria T., Designer

I love the ranch style home and the canvas they provided with the sage green paint [Dried Thyme by Sherwin Williams] to the exterior. I think the team did a great job adding outdoor living space and curb appeal.


Before and after of a mountain modern home with shake siding

Rachel S., Writer

This home is my absolute favorite. I have a log home, and this one gives me those cabin/rustic vibes I love.


Before and after of a contemporary home rendered in white with new windows and upper level balcony

Sally S., Designer & Rendering Artist

Of course I love all the houses we do, but when a client’s style is similar to mine I get extra excited. This client is totally renovating her house (inside & out) and sent us inspo boards — they rocked, I loved them, and wanted to get started on her house right away!


Before and after of a home rendered in Caviar with new windows and stairs to the front porch

Samantha M., Client Experience Manager

I love the dark color of this home with the wood elements and the functional porch. And those amazing wraparound windows to bring in so much natural light. Beautiful!


The actual after of Marybeth Lavery's home in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Sarah A., Marketing

One of my favorite exterior designs of 2021 is Marybeth Lavery’s home, because she was so wonderful to work with when we highlighted her experience on our blog. But because we actually designed her home in 2020, I’ll give another one…

Before and after of a brick bungalow painted in earthy green and off-white tones

I love historic homes in more urban neighborhoods (I live in one), and this bungalow is gorgeous. I’d be on that big statement front porch with the chunky columns and the fat fascia all the time — dinner with my family, coffee in the morning, glass of wine as the sun sets, or just watching the street go by. The beautiful front door, the warm color palette, and all of the architectural dimension are so lovely.


Before and after of a home given a modern update with mixed building materials

Steve B., Designer & Rendering Artist

Besides the major transformation, and the client allowing me to slightly modify the roof line, I love the combination of Cedar plank siding, Organicrete, and James Hardie panels to form a much more modern aesthetic, which is my specialty and preference. And to top it all off, the client, based in New England, somehow connected with me (located on the West Coast) through social media, and thanked me personally for my efforts, and told me they will begin the transformation this spring. I was truly honored by the effort, and can’t wait to see the final result when it’s completed!

Matthew H., Rendering Artist

I love the organized maximalism by taking advantage of the home’s geometry. It breaks the mold and provides a refreshing style.


Tropical-style home rendered in Winterhaven and Seapearl with Bahama shutters

Gratitude for our favorite exterior designs of 2021

We know that the exterior design of your home or business is a huge deal. It’s the first impression you and your guests have when walking up to your front door. It’s the view you drive home to every day, and how you explain where you live to visitors (e.g., “the last white house on the right, with the turquoise door”). As we hope you can tell from our team’s quotes about our favorite exterior designs of 2021, we’re honored to be part of making your curb appeal something that delights you.

Not getting the warm fuzzies when you take in the view of your home from the street? Worried about the first impression your brick-and-mortar business is making? Improving your exterior design is all about making simple updates for a big impact. Our expert designers know what’s going to give your façade the refresh it needs. Get started today — and maybe yours will be one of our favorite designs of 2022.