Tudor-style homes have a unique and specific type of architecture. For this reason, it can be intimidating to update their exteriors. Certain color palettes and finishings simply don’t work on a Tudor-style house. But there are ways to make Tudors feel modern without losing their character! This post will walk you through our favorite ways to refresh this type of home.
If you own a Tudor-style home but aren’t sure where to begin in your exterior renovation, our designers at brick&batten can help! Check out our exterior design services page to learn more about what we do.
What is a Tudor-style home?
The Tudor-style homes you see in the United States were popular in the early twentieth century up until World War II. According to House Beautiful, the sturdy materials used on Tudors in cooler climates are expensive to build with. As a result, the architectural style fell out of favor for more practical options around that time.
Here are a few distinct features that make Tudor houses easy to spot:
- Steeply pitched roof, often with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables of varying heights
- Brick exterior, accented with decorative half-timbering: a mock frame of thin boards with stucco or stone filling in the spaces between the boards
- Tall, narrow windows with multiple panes, either rectangular or diamond-shaped, including oriel windows, or floating bay windows
- Off-center front door with a round arch, bordered by contrasting stone
- Notable chimneys, with a decorative stone or metal chimney pot
History of Tudor-style homes
The modern Tudor-style house is based on the original Medieval and Renaissance-style dwellings in England during the 15th and 16th centuries. This time period coincided with the reign of the House of Tudor British monarchs, which gave the style its name. As Bob Vila’s website explains, these original Tudor homes were built using timber beams, with sticks in between called wattle. The gaps were filled with a mixture of clay, sand, and dung. They then painted it white with limewash. This building technique is known as half-timber and gives the Tudor home its distinct and familiar design.
Are you ready to learn how to update a Tudor-style home exterior? Let’s check out some examples from our designers at brick&batten.
#1 // Wood-Panel Accents
Besides the half-timber framing that makes Tudor-style homes distinct, there are usually not a lot of other exterior wood accents. Instead of the traditional use of brick or stone, this exterior design uses modern wood siding to create texture and contrast.
#2 // Less Contrast
Our designers reduced the contrast on the exterior of this large Tudor-style house by painting the brick the same color as the stucco. Seapearl by Benjamin Moore achieves a modern appeal. Now the only contrast is the half-timber frames, beautiful copper awnings, and the unique structure itself.
#3 // Modern Color Blocking
This traditional brick two-story home had a Tudor accent on the second story. To update the home’s exterior, our designers used wide-plank siding painted in Graphite by Benjamin Moore. Removing the half-timber frame and replacing it with color-blocking panels gives a modern update.
#4 // Modern Gray Tudor
Most Tudors you’re likely to see in your neighborhood are creamy off-white. This color is reminiscent of the limewash used in the original Medieval and Renaissance homes. This Tudor got a modern face-lift from our designers with deep Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams on the stucco and Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore on the half timbers.
#5 // Copper Accents
Copper accents were not often used in housing during the Renaissance. That is why copper isn’t seen on traditional Tudor homes. However, using copper accents is a great way to bring a modern touch to this style of home, as on the above, while still feeling timeless. Painting this home in Iron Mountain and Revere Pewter, both by Benjamin Moore, also freshens the look.
#6 // Cottage Style
Some smaller modern Tudor-style houses do not feature the iconic half-timbers. Instead, they have a prominent front-facing chimney and arched doorway. Our designers updated this home’s exterior with a fresh paint color, black windows, and copper gutters to make the chimney and porch stand out.
#7 // Monochromatic Modern
If you’re wondering how to update a Tudor-style home exterior in a monochromatic way, here is a great example. The half timbers are painted in the same color as the stucco. In this case, we used Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore. The trim and windows are in Jet Black (also by Benjamin Moore) for a small contrast that doesn’t overpower the design.
#8 // Black-and-White Color Palette
Nothing makes a house feel more modern than a black-and-white color scheme. If you’re looking to update a Tudor-style home exterior, this example showcases one of the simplest ways to do so. Paint or limewash the brick or stucco in a calm white like Origami White by Sherwin Williams. Trim the home and windows in a black or near-black, such as Dragon’s Breath by Benjamin Moore.
Tudor-style homes can be modernized!
Tudor-style homes are distinct. They also have historical value with major design staying power. This list includes many beautiful virtual renderings modernizing this classic home style. Whether you’re looking for contrast or a sleek monochromatic look, the modern Tudor-style house of your dreams awaits!
If you’re looking to update a Tudor-style home exterior, we can help bring your dream home to life. Get started today!
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