Contemporary House – 25 modern home exterior design ideas
Contemporary house architecture and facades are growing in popularity. Modern house exteriors in contemporary design with clean lines and simple designs are among those attributes most commonly requested by homebuyers and homeowners for both the interior and exterior of the home.
1. Floating Home
Architect: Timo Urala Photo by: Jörgen Ulvgård
This spectacular three-story floating home showcases a classic modern design that maintains a strong connection with its natural environment. It’s an impressive collaboration of floating construction specialists Timo Urala Design, Bluet Ltd and Marinetek Group. The external façade combines glass, white fiber cement and Kebony wood. Timo Urala, Lead Designer commented: “To create a house that floats, is well laid out and beautiful relies on top-quality materials throughout. Kebony was great to work with, strong and durable. Since working on this project, I’m now adding a small extension to my home with a Kebony rooftop terrace.”
2. Valley Living
Architect and Photo by: Arches
Valley Villa is a unique family residence near the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius. This stunning home was designed to harmonize with its natural surroundings of hillsides and pine trees by incorporating an asymmetrical pitched roof and natural timber cladding of sustainable Kebony wood. “Every time we use Kebony, we learn more and more about its creative capabilities. The possibilities are endless,” remarked Arūnas Liola, Architect at Arches, an award-winning architectural firm in Vilnius. The designer home was the winner of the main prize at the 2016 Contemporary Lithuanian Architecture Exhibition.
3. Outdoor Living
Architect: Fernau & Hartman Photo by: Richard Barnes Photography
This modern house unapologetically takes its place along a row of mostly Spanish-revival stucco homes in the Palo Alto, California suburbs. The house is a triangular wedge with the owner’s primary home on the taller side and their new, smaller second home on the short side. The two houses fulfill the owner’s desire to downsize to the smaller home while accommodating extended family in their original house. The architects at Fernau & Hartman described their wedge design as a “metaphorical bridge connecting a series of oppositions such as landscape and architecture, light and shade, and the warmth of wood against the coolness of steel and concrete.” Beautiful, sustainable Kebony wood cladding was the perfect choice for this energy-efficient residence, which was honored with the AIA Montana Citation Award in 2015.
4. Beach Houses inspired by Sand Dunes
Architect: WAM Design Photo by: Urban Front
Even with construction challenges that go hand in hand with building in sandy locations, these beach homes still excel at embracing everything their location has to offer. With plate glass walls showcasing the view of the ocean beyond, and an exterior that calls to mind the driftwood that often washes up on the beach, these houses are designed to mimic the shape of the natural sand dunes they’re built among.
Built to have a minimum impact on their environment, these homes make great use of natural, sustainable Kebony wood for their sidings, roofs and decks, further enhancing their appearance. Designed by WAM Design, these beach homes in Camber Sands, East Sussex, have won multiple awards including the 2016 Surface Design Award and 2017 RICS South East Residential Award.
5. Victorian Cottage Modernization
Architect: Waind Gohil+Potter Architects Photo by: Anthony Coleman
This Victorian terrace house in the Borough of Wandsworth had the typical problems associated with its 19th century design. Waind Gohil + Potter Architects (WG+P) transformed the house into a contemporary London home with the introduction of natural materials and light. Kebony cladding was chosen for its durable and hardwearing properties. Project Architect Ciara McInerney said, “Kebony was the perfect material which was installed in a matter of days. The finished product beautifully connects the garden to the house. WG+P work extensively with timber and will certainly consider using Kebony in the future.”
6. Cabin in the Wild
Architect: Jon Danielsen Aarhus Photo by: Knut Bry
Located in Norway’s largest national park, this simplistic cabin design, by Jon Danielsen Aarhus, is meant to give guests unparalleled views of the landscape it’s situated in. Made of environmentally friendly materials including insulating and solar-protected glass, as well as sustainable Kebony cladding, the cabin features two rooms with a flexible floor plan designed to cater to up to 13 guests at a time.
The exterior cladding of the remote cabin was specifically chosen for its long-wearing properties, as well as its sustainable origins. Overtime, the wood will weather to a silver-gray that will enhance its beauty and further blend the cabin into its surroundings.
7. Pre-weathered Wooden Cladding
Architect: Claridge Architects Photo by: Seb Scapolan, Claridge Architects / Shou Sugi Ban
This dramatically modern, Oak Hill house sits at the foot of an original Victorian mansion block in Hampstead, North London. Its extensive glass paneling provides a widescreen view of the landscape to showcase the property natural greenery. Claridge Architects chose a special pre-weathered Kebony cladding by Shou Sugi Ban to complement the suburban nature of the garden. “Kebony is one of the most durable woods that we have had the pleasure of working with. The charred effect helps to emphasize the detailed grain of the wood, and this has been a popular choice for our customers,” commented Karl Harrison, founder of UK based company Shou Sugi Ban.
8. Don’t Move, Improve
Architect: David Stanley Architects Photo by: Adelina Iliev Photography
When the owners of this ground floor flat in South London wanted to gain more space, they did so by expanding into the garden area with an extension clad with charred Kebony by Shou Sugi Ban. Architect owners David Stanley and Romy Grabosch wanted the addition to embrace the garden and the outdoors, while making the home not only larger, but more family friendly.
The result is a charming, garden-centered abode that allows them to stay in their home, rather than moving to a new, more expensive, location.
9. Cabin Blending into Natural Rock
Architect: Pernilla Johansson Photo by: Per Erik Jæger
This sleek, modern cabin on a North Sea island off the coast of southern Norway was designed to stand out from the area’s traditional cabins, yet seamlessly blend in with the natural setting. The project architect Pernilla Johansson and the owners chose Kebony cladding for its eco-friendly sustainability, beauty and ability to withstand dramatic weather conditions. After prolonged exposure to the elements, Kebony wood weathers to a silver-grey patina, replicating the colors of the natural rock foundation of the cabin. Additionally, the owners loved that Kebony cladding requires no-maintenance which freed up more leisure time for family activities and fun.
10. Lateral Style
Architect: Pitman Tozer Photo by: Nick Kane
This award-winning architectural design by Pitman Tozer in sustainable Kebony Clear cladding transformed an 1850s Victorian house into a spacious, light-saturated five-bedroom family home with a roof terrace, a remodeled south-facing garden and an elegant new annex. Crafted to meet the needs of a repeat client, this major renovation maximizes the site’s potential. Materials for the terraced rear extension and annex complement the existing house, creating a cohesive and stylish whole.
11. Zero Waste Design
Wooden homes located in Norway are considered somewhat unusual. With the threat of fire so persistant, most homes and buildings were constructed of fire retardant materials like concrete until newer building materials and practices could be used to create safe, sustainable wood homes.
This self-build home by architect owner Henning Kongshavn Frøndsdal, utilizes more than 200 tonnes of wood in total, with more than 9,000 meters of Kebony cladding. None of this wood was wasted; end pieces and cuts were skillfully included in the final design so no piece was left unused.
12. Circular Style
Architect: Simone Kreutzer, Tommy Wesslund Photo by: Anders Bergön
Villa Circuitus is Sweden’s first circular passive house. Clad in sustainable Kebony wood, it was built to meet strict environmental demands in design and construction materials. Certified passive house experts Simone Kreutzer and Tommy Wesslund brought their creativity and proficiency in energy and ventilation to the Villa Circuitus project. They collaborated with Nina Sandahl from SAJT Arkitektstudio to design the bespoke private residence. Kreutzer commented, “We have a passion for making sustainable homes, and we needed to ensure that every element of the house was responsibly sourced. The solar paneled balustrade, the recycled insulation and the striking Kebony cladding all help to realize our vision of a truly sustainable eco-home.”
13. Submerging in Nature
Architect: Lincoln Miles Photo by: Julian Winslow
This stunning family home on the Isle of Wight’s south coast was completed as part of UK Channel 4’s program, Grand Designs. Inspired by nature, international modernism and the open-plan simplicity of architect Mies van der Rohe’s renowned Farnsworth House, it blends in with its natural surroundings, thanks to beautiful, eco-friendly Kebony wood decking and cladding. Architect Lincoln Miles commented: “We took our time deciding on which products to use that would be both sustainable and durable. We chose Kebony for the natural look and the fact that it’s maintenance free. I look forward to working again with Kebony as an architect and specifier in the future.”
14. Modern Extension to Rustic Origin
Architect: LINK Arkitektur Photo by: Hundven-Clements Photography
Inspired by the traditional gable-roofed farmhouses of the 19th century, this rundown farmhouse on the River Glomma enjoyed a contemporary makeover by LINK Architects. The antiquated aesthetic is modernized in a minimalist manner that opens to the farmhouse’s beautiful setting. Glass and aluminum were used extensively throughout. Both the roof and façade of the extension are clad with environmentally friendly Kebony wood to maintain the traditional style of the farmhouse. Martin Ebert of LINK Arkitektur commented: “This project has been fascinating to work on with the traditional Scandinavian design style interwoven with modern architectural elements. The Kebony cladding is a really exciting way to keep traditional architecture alive without the negative environmental impact associated with hardwood deforestation.”
15. Dare to Be Square
This is one of several large houses on elegant Hurst Avenue in London’s Highgate neighborhood that showcases sustainable Kebony Clear exterior cladding on a contemporary-style house. Also highlighted are the considerable skills and expertise of Bliss, a London-based design, development and management firm. The 4,500 square foot residence features a split-level floorplan with an indoor pool. Bliss Founder Daniel Broch is enthusiastic about Kebony products. He commented that his mission is to “find partners who make great products with unbridled passion and bags of energy and share our ambition to deliver great work. We’ve found that in Kebony…the product looks and performs fantastically in practice!”
16. Nontraditional Shapes
Architect: TYIN Tegnestue Photo by: Pasi Aalto
House Garborgsveg is a stand-out in an otherwise traditional Norwegian neighborhood in Trondheim. Norwegian architectural firm TYIN Tegnestue Architects designed an addition to both floors of a two-story private home. Architects and founders Yashar Hanstad and Andreas Grøntvedt Gjertsen explained that the Garborgsveg project “challenges the boundaries of contemporary building by the simplicity of their design, a principle which informs the design of all their projects to the core.” The architects chose Kebony Character for the durable facade cladding. It was their third project using the eco-friendly sustainable wood which is strong enough to handle harsh Norwegian winters.
17. Townhouse Living Reinvented
Architect: Arkitema Architects Photo by: Niels Nygaard
Havnevigen Townhouses, a community of 49 terraced townhouses in Copenhagen, Denmark, was designed by Arkitema Architecture, one of Scandinavia’s largest architectural firms. The townhouses’ design helps to tie the modern district of Islands Brygge together with the historic Nokken area. The two-and three-story homes are constructed in light colored soft brick with large windows framed in durable eco-friendly Kebony Character cladding. Exterior privacy walls between the townhome patios also feature Kebony. Over time, the durable, maintenance-free wood will develop a silver-gray patina.
18. Passive House Living
Architect: Kontur arkitektur + konstruksjon Photo by: Kontur, Lasse Haldrup Juul
In 2015, this traditional 1930s Scandinavian Funkis-style house was modernized to meet the strict environmental credentials of Passive House standards. Lasse Haldrup Juul of Kontur Architects, owner and architect of the property, designed the home and chose Kebony Clear grade cladding for the exterior. The wood’s versatility allowed the architect to use excess material to build sustainable plant boxes and other outdoor features. Juul has received immensely positive feedback on the house. “Timber is a material that has a particular visual appeal, and Kebony allows its use without causing environmental degradation. Working with Kebony has transformed the character of the house, giving it an impressive, yet neutral and organic finish.”
19. Material Mix with Oversized Windows
Architect: LOGG Arkitekter Photo by: Alejandro Villanueva
This modern, four-bedroom villa is an exciting contrast to other villas in the neighborhood. Designed by LOGG Arkitekter, the house is the epitome of Scandinavian design. The façade features beautiful and sustainable Kebony Clear cladding and great expanses of glass, offering spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Oslo and the fjords beyond. The villa consists of two main blocks forming a T-shape.
20. Modernized Edwardian Style
Architect: HRI architects Photo by: Markus Photography
A distinctive Edwardian home in north Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was recently updated with an extension inspired by contemporary minimal design. Juxtaposed against the traditional hard-wearing granite of the original building, the extension introduces an element of the Scandinavian design aesthetic with durable Kebony cladding. Mark Williams of HRI Architects in Inverness said: “Materials need to stand up to the forces of the intemperate climate and the test of time. We use Kebony in many projects; it is ‘pickled’ with a natural liquid that gives it the robustness required for the often-challenging Scottish climate.”
21. A Quiet Treehouse for the Garden
Architect: Blue Forest Luxury Treehouses Photo by: Blue Forest / Quiet Mark
Environmentally friendly Kebony Clear and Character-grade woods were chosen for a delightfully unusual project—a luxury treehouse–for John Lewis and Quiet Mark in conjunction with Blue Forest Luxury Treehouses. The treehouse was displayed at the 2014 Ideal Home Show and the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in London. The world’s leading luxury treehouse and eco-home builder, Blue Forest’s treehouses reflect the environment in which they are built, aiming to bring people closer to the natural world and the great outdoors. Environmental credentials and sustainability are key considerations for all their designs. Kebony fulfilled all their design requirements.
22. Rainscreen Cladding
Architect: Kuhn Architect Photo by: Greg Hadley Photography
When this centuries-old home in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington D.C. needed to be renovated and enlarged, Jonathan Kuhn Architect chose sustainable Kebony wood for the exterior rainscreen cladding. A rainscreen is used primarily to protect a porous exterior surface – in this instance, old brick – from harsh weather. Additional benefits include insulation, energy efficiency and the eco-friendly nature of Kebony. “Kebony wood provided constructability that couldn’t be matched by other wood siding types,” said Kuhn. “Kebony was easy to work with which helped achieve close tolerance in the detailing and assembly without using special equipment.”
23. Redesigned Sustainable Prefab Home
Architect: Norhus Photo by: Martin Palven
Initially a Norwegian catalogue house, this ambitious prefabricated home, supplied by Norhus, took just nine months to construct, despite significant modifications to the existing structure to suit the nature of the plot. Owner Tone Bekkestad and her husband spent a considerable amount of time working with the project architect, Solhaug Bolig, to select the right materials and appropriate technical solutions for their house to ensure the overall maintenance of the house was minimal and the home was environmentally friendly. “The wood is currently deep brown,” Tone said, “but will eventually change color and become a beautiful silvery-grey, without us ever needing to repaint or apply treatments.”
24. Closeness to Nature
Photo by: Ketil Ring
This spectacular seaside home is located on Lysøya, a small Norwegian island northeast of the mainland. The surrounding trees conceal the family retreat from neighboring properties, giving an element of privacy without disrupting the breathtaking ocean views. The home’s design showcases the versatility of environmentally friendly Kebony. The deck, cladding and roof are all made from Kebony Character wood which was chosen for its durability, sustainability and low-maintenance properties. Over time, Kebony developed a natural silver-gray patina, allowing it to perfectly blend into the striking Nordic scenery.
25. Treat Yourself to Luxury
Photo by: Studio Oslo
Just because you’re short on space inside, doesn’t mean that you need to forgo the little luxuries in life. This rooftop apartment features a south-west facing terrace in Kebony Clear decking. Built into the terrace is a hot tub made of the same material, seamlessly integrated right into the rail.
Residents of this Norwegian home can now have the option of relaxing inside or out, enjoying the magnificent views beyond, while enjoying their home in true luxury and style.