16 Modern Rustic House Exterior Makeovers

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A modern rustic house is technically an oxymoron. The words ‘modern’ and ‘rustic’ are opposites. But the good thing about opposites is that they sometimes attract and create a long-lasting relationship. One that’s as unique as it is exciting. It’s no secret we have a love affair with modern rustic house exterior makeovers at brick&batten. As designers, we love to create interesting and unexpected design elements that simultaneously surprise and just make sense.

If you’re loving the modern rustic home style but just can’t quite seem to get the balance right, we can help. Our team of designers are experts at combining opposing design theories into one balanced and beautiful home. Learn more about our virtual exterior design service here.

small modern rustic house painted in iron mountain with porch seating and open entryway

What is modern rustic?

According to House Beautiful, there are a few things that are necessary to define ‘rustic’ — a fairly broad term that encompasses many styles. Whether your home leans more toward lodge rustic, cottage, Tuscan, or farmhouse, a rustic home should have these 3 components:

  1. Emphasis on natural: color scheme, furnishings, lighting
  2. Gritty: physically rough textures, nothing sheen, worn
  3. Warm & inviting: cozy, comfortable, welcoming

Modern homes are often seen as the opposite, with cool color schemes, stark furnishings, synthetic materials, clean lines, and open space. Adding rustic elements to a thoroughly modern home will give it a grounded aesthetic and provide interest and contrast. Similarly, introducing modern touches to a more rustic home can make it feel more updated and intentional. A modern rustic home will feel both welcoming and sophisticated.

Before and after of a rustic modern home with an updated front porch awning and painted in Iron Mountain

#1 // Modern Rustic Ranch

This home is modern with its large windows and doorway, metallic finishings, and sharp peaks. It’s softened by the rustic wood beams, stone, and landscaping.

Before and after of a restaurant with a rustic modern exterior design

#2 // Updated Rustic Restaurant Exterior

This restaurant got a much-needed modern rustic exterior makeover. The natural wood paneling in the entryway contrasts with the modern metallic accents and cool color palette.

before and after of a traditional two story home painted in dark gray with white stone and wood garage doors

#3 // Modern Rustic Traditional

In this rendering, our designers highlighted the wood trusses above the second-story windows and matched the stain with the garage doors and new tri-lite front door. These rustic elements along with the more modern dark paint color on the siding and updated whitewash stone blend rustic and modern perfectly.

modern rustic ranch makeover with new porch and gable with trusses and larger windows with flower boxes

#4 // Open Porch Gable with Wood Truss

Open porch gables with exposed wood trusses are quintessential features of rustic houses. Our designers decided to add this feature with an inviting porch to make an otherwise modern exterior home design feel more down-to-earth.

large two story modern home with exposed posts and stone accents

#5 // Blueprint to Modern Rustic

Rustic homes often have some history to them, but brand new builds can attain a similar feel. To make that happen in this example, our designers used rustic elements like reclaimed wood posts, aged stone, and a darker stain to create an inviting feel to a modern home.

rustic house renovation painted in iron ore with wood accents

#6 // Wood Paneling

We love adding wood paneling or cladding (like this example from Woodtone) as an accent to modern homes. It softens the edges and adds a more natural feel without going too ‘log cabin.’ In the example above, the wood cladding draws the eye to the front porch and door in a welcoming way.

modern rustic home painted in raccoon fur farmhouse style with large porch

#7 // Rustic Farmhouse

Not all farmhouses have to be white! We love this example that uses moody Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore (which was featured in our top dark colors for 2021 list) on the siding. The color scheme is decidedly warm and down-to-earth, but the lines on the peaked gables and the new front door with sidelights and transom windows add some modern sharpness.

rustic tudor in cobblestone

#8 // Rustic Tudor Style

Tudor homes are a classic style but can offer a modern vibe with wide-open windows and dedicated white space. This particular home is given a rustic makeover by keeping the tiled roof, updating the stone and garage doors, and using warm tones.

modern rustic ranch home with outdoor fire place

#9 // Outdoor Fireplace

The whole point of a rustic house is to feel warm and welcoming. When it comes to a rustic exterior, nothing makes you feel warmer than an outdoor fireplace, are we right? This large stone fireplace creates a focal point on the side of the home, anchoring it to the patio. The other rustic features of the new design also work to ground the very simple, clean, and modern look of this ranch home.

rustic craftsman house painted in aged pewter

#10 // Rustic Modern Craftsman

We love a good cozy craftsman. This style of home, with its focus on exposed wood beams and natural color palette, often feels naturally rustic. It can be difficult to make a new build home feel rustic without leaning into cheesiness, but with the right accents, our designers can pull from nature and make it look like your house has always been there.

modern rustic ranch painted in olympic and iron mountain with wood accents and james hardie siding

#11 // James Hardie Siding

We love working with James Hardie siding, not only because it is durable and beautiful, but because its clean lines are the perfect blend of modern and rustic. The Hardie® Plank lap siding used on this home is painted in Olympic Mountains and Iron Mountain, both by Benjamin Moore, with wood accents and concrete posts.

modern rustic home painted in aged pewter with wood trusses on the porch gable

#12 // Rustic Porch with King Post Trusses

This ranch home got a rustic update with a large king post truss on the new open porch gable. The entryway is now the focal point of the home. Painted in warm Aged Pewter from James Hardie, its welcoming-but-modern design still feels open and airy, despite the darker paint color.

rustic modern home painted in deep creek with stone and wood garage doors

#13 // Use Rustic Features to Ground

With an upper-level entry, this home could feel like it’s floating. Instead, the wood garage doors are grounding, bringing it down to earth. Our designers anchored the façade further using natural stone and landscaping. The moody-but-warm color palette also makes the home’s modern lines feel cozier.

rustic modern home painted in urbane bronze and revere pewter with wood panel accents

#14 // Modern Rustic Balance

This home was getting lost in its features. There was a lot going on in terms of color and texture, which made it hard for the eye to focus. A new color palette of warm neutrals helped. We rendered this home with James Hardie siding painted in Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams and the brick and trim in Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. Wood accents in the form of paneling and front porch columns create layers and balance

rustic modern home painted in kendall charcoal and revere pewter with wood beam windows and wood panel accents

#15 // Rustic Warm Color Palette

If you own a home with modern lines, like the ranch above, you can bring in a rustic feel by painting in a warm color palette. We love using Kendall Charcoal and Revere Pewter, both by Benjamin Moore, together for a warm, neutral look that still has plenty of interest.

modern rustic home with columns painted in iron mountain

#16 // Modern House, Rustic Feel

Last but not least, rustic doesn’t have to feel outdoorsy, dark, or dirty. If you take the simple, clean lines of a modern home, and add a few textured, natural elements, your home will feel more welcoming and rustic without sacrificing style.

Conclusion: Modern Rustic Is Here to Stay

At brick&batten, our designers enjoy working with homeowners interested in a modern rustic design for their home’s exterior. As was the case in many of these examples, sometimes a few minor changes — adding a king post here, an exposed beam there — and often a new paint color scheme are all you need to bring a rustic feel to your modern home.

Have an idea of what you’d like your home’s exterior to look like, but can’t quite picture it? Or can you picture it in your head, but you don’t know how to explain it to your contractors? That’s what we’re here for. Our team of exterior designers use a photo of your home and the inspiration you provide to create a virtual rendering of your new design. Plus, we provide you with a resource list to help you execute the look. Learn more about our exterior design services here, or get started on making your exterior dreams a reality today!