How to Modernize a Split Level Home Exterior: A Case Study in Washington

Homeowners often turn to brick&batten when they need help visualizing updates to their exterior to ensure they’re making the right design choices. That was the case for Robyn L. in Washington, who had ideas about how to modernize her split level home exterior but needed some assurance she was on the right track.

I had some ideas in my head about what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have confidence [that everything] would turn out in person like what I thought it would in my head. [I] decided this is what I needed to polish up the ideas that were bumping around in my head.

Keep reading to learn how we helped Robyn modernize her split level home exterior and see the transformation from start to finish.

Whether you’re wondering how to modernize a split level home exterior or struggling to select the right paint color for your house, we’re here to help. Our team of expert designers can help you visualize your home’s potential and maximize its curb appeal. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services.


Before photo of a split level home

The Before

Robyn purchased her home a few years ago and said she had always been underwhelmed by its exterior. Her main goal in working with us was to make her home feel more modern. 

I was always just a little bit disappointed when I drove up.


A design showcasing how to modernize a split level home exterior

The Design

To give Robyn the showstopping home exterior she desired, our designers suggested a dark paint color — Benjamin Moore’s Graphitefor the siding. This bold, deep charcoal hue is perfect for homeowners looking to make a daring statement. To create contrast, our designers added light stone skirting. A wood column and front door, a patterned rug, and planters make the entry inviting. 

A new roof and windows weren’t within budget for Robyn, so we incorporated these existing elements into our design. 

[I] really liked that there were options of things that I was willing to change and wasn’t willing to change, so I could get something actionable. [I] knew we weren’t going to [replace] the roof and windows at this time, and [I appreciate that the] design honored what we had.


A view of a split level home's exterior from the street

The Process

Robyn hired a contractor to help bring her brick&batten design to life and said the process was “super easy.” The project took about two months to complete because her contractor was working on multiple projects at once. Robyn shared her design deliverable with everyone involved in the renovation, from contractors to her HOA. 

We used the design throughout the entire process. I swear to you, I had 15 printouts on hand, and we gave one to every single contractor we met with. We submitted it to our HOA when we were getting approval on that design. We even used it when getting bids. It was very handy to have that already prepared for us.


An after photo showcasing how to modernize a split level home exterior

The Actual After

Robyn said she stuck to our design as closely as possible. She painted the home’s exterior with Benjamin Moore’s Graphite and added the stone accent on the house’s lower half. Robyn noted that she purchased the light fixtures featured in our rendering and found similar versions of the house numbers, planters, and garage doors. She even bought the entry area rug we recommended (it’s one of our design team’s favorite outdoor decor products).

An after photo of the entry area of a split level home

Robyn did have to make a few adjustments to her design, though. Instead of the flagstone we suggested for the front stairs and along the driveway, Robyn opted for stamped concrete to save some money. She also chose a front door with less glass than the one in her design for added privacy. Finally, due to the slope of her yard, Robyn said she added a few more steps leading to the front entry. 

Overall, Robyn said working with brick&batten really helped turn her dated split level into an elegant, modern dwelling.

The brick&batten difference is it really helped elevate the end product with all of the little attention to details like lighting, numbers, pots, front porch mats — things that I wouldn’t have thought of that took it to be delightful instead of just ‘oh.’


An actual after photo of a split level house in Washington

The perfect example of how to modernize a split level home exterior

With help from our expert exterior designers, Robyn was able to create the home of her dreams.

We’re so happy. We’re delighted with how it turned out. We feel really pleased with the transformation.

Robyn and her family aren’t the only ones enjoying the new home. She said she often gets compliments from people in her neighborhood and has even met some new people who’ve stopped by to share how much they love her home’s new look.

Our neighborhood is a real walking neighborhood. We had some regular visitors along the way watching the progress and curious as to how it would turn out. It was really fun to share the celebration with them too. We have really enjoyed the feedback.

Feeling inspired by Robyn’s home transformation? Your house could be next! Get started on your exterior design project today.