Residential Exterior Design Trends in 2019?quality=70&width=1500

Residential Exterior Design Trends in 2019

By Lena Singer / 10/10/2019

Thanks to social media and home improvement television shows, today’s homeowners are savvier than ever about residential design trends.

The more homeowners know about exterior styles, features, and materials, the more designers are challenged to continuously broaden their portfolios—and to get creative with colors, details, and designs.

We spoke with architects and residential designers around the U.S. to get a sense of which exterior styles are resonating with homeowners, and where the trends could be headed in the future.

Regardless of Style, Modern and Simple Reign in 2019

Brick & Batten, a design firm that offers virtual exterior design services for homeowners around the country, has noticed their clients gravitating toward midcentury modern design.

“Six months ago, everyone wanted a version of a modern farmhouse,” says Allison Vaccaro, a designer and partner in the firm. “Now everybody is asking for midcentury modern. Even when their home isn’t in the classic ranch style, they want to infuse that midcentury vibe.”

To achieve the midcentury modern look on a variety of architectural styles, Brick & Batten simplifies. They choose siding with smooth, broad profiles—such as fiber cement siding and panels from The Aspyre Collection by James Hardie™—and use a maximum of two orientations. “We keep things very streamlined and simple,” she says.

Luce Architects, a firm that primarily works with residential clients in Pennsylvania, New York, and Miami—has seen their clients making a similar shift toward simplicity, as well as individuality. 

Regardless of the architectural home style, their customers have been requesting exterior design “that embraces a simpler lifestyle. They don’t want something that’s overdone or overly ornate” says Christopher Luce, AIA, architect and principal, adding that the same customer wants, “something that’s playful in color and texture, that has true vibrancy to it—something that reflects their lifestyle.”

David Sharff, AIA, leads David Sharff Architect in Massachusetts and has residential clients throughout New England. Sharff says the homeowners he works with prefer “the more authentic, traditional architectural styles” that have long been popular in the region, but that there has been “an emergence of a more modern approach”—including a preference for more contemporary materials and colors. James Hardie’s Reveal® Panel System, allows architects like Sharff the ability to expand modern design options and craft cleaner facades for an ultra-contemporary aesthetic.

Residential Exterior Design Trends in 2019 Residential Exterior Design Trends in 2019

Designers’ Favorite Exterior Details

Vaccaro, Luce, and Sharff each discussed the importance of translating this modern look for a variety of architectural styles by selecting high-quality exterior materials that offer versatility, variety, and simplicity:

Versatility: “Styles are all influenced by history,” says Luce. “When you use vertical boards, or board and batten, almost any style feels modern.”

Variety: “One of the things we’re trying to explore with clients is using a variety of materials on the facade,” says Sharff. “In addition to roof line and fenestration patterns, we’re also changing materials.” For a recent project, Sharff selected white clapboard for the main home, and a weathered-looking gray siding for the garage.

Simplicity: “When people want very clean, very simple, streamlined design, everything should have a function,” says Vaccaro. “You shouldn’t have shutters unless they work and actually cover the window.”

Customers’ Favorite Exterior Details

Homeowners have been requesting exterior materials that not only have modern style but also align with their lifestyle—including saving time on home maintenance, embracing their individuality, and spending more time outdoors: 

Low maintenance: “A lot of people are asking for low-maintenance materials that perform aesthetically and come as close as possible to looking like real wood,” Sharff says, citing fiber cement siding as a customer favorite. James Hardie’s Artisan® siding and trim, for example, elevate the aesthetic of traditional wood siding to bring authenticity to any home with lower maintenance. 

Individuality: Luce says that his recent residential clients “don’t want to live in a community that’s all vanilla. They want more diversity in the style, color, and playfulness of the overall design.” Even in neighborhoods that spec a common exterior material, such as siding, designers can leverage a variety of colors and profiles so that homes are unique—but also tasteful and upscale. Including a reverse board and batten effect with Artisan Square Channel siding by James Hardie allows architects like Luce to craft one-of-a-kind homes by integrating contrasting elements and installation techniques. 

Features that bring the outdoors in: “People want to get back to nature,” says Vaccaro. For Brick & Batten’s homeowners, that has meant deeper front porches, bigger windows, and large sliding glass doors.

What’s Next?

As for where design trends are headed next, the designers we spoke to predict that exteriors will continue to get simpler—and there will be more focus on quality:

“It’s hard to predict, but I think [exteriors] will continue to get more and more simple—and away from all the extras,” says Vaccaro.

“A more modern approach, and a more modern vocabulary, is starting to emerge,” says Sharff.

“Trends all pull from history,” says Luce. In the end, a style’s lasting power “comes down to the technology and production—how much a product is worth.”

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