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Home Exterior Design Classics

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written by:

Carrie Barker


Hey! Welcome to the Before You Build podcast! I’m your host Carrie Barker (a.k.a. Caroline on Design) and in today’s episode, I have actually switched gears. This episode was supposed to be about home exterior design trends that we’ll see in 2024. However, I decided on a whim to talk about home exterior design classic styles instead. 

I’ll let you know why I last-minute changed the topic of this episode because it’s because of two equally valid reasons, but let’s just say that I didn’t feel right talking about trends in design. It didn’t feel in alignment with what I teach my clients.

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So … every year, I do a blog post all about home exterior and kitchen trends that we’ll be seeing in the upcoming year. 

I do this to help my clients so they know what’s coming up in design because my clients are all in the process of building a house, which requires designing a home.

And many of you listening are also either planning to build a house or renovating your house so I like to share the upcoming trends with you as well.

However, as I started working on this episode, which was originally supposed to be ‘Home Exterior Design Trends 2024’, I realized two things that felt out of alignment for me with this topic.

  1. My vision for my next home doesn’t fall into any of the 2024 trends … which is fine because I’m not all about trendy design, but how can I tell people to follow current design trends when I myself am doing something totally different? A style that I love but isn’t necessarily a current trend. 
  2. I always tell my clients to design their homes based on what THEY love … not what is currently trending. I encourage my clients to not worry about trends because they come and go.


With all that said, I’ve shifted the topic of this episode and it feels in alignment with what I teach so let’s talk about some of my favorite timeless exterior styles.

One of these styles could double as a current trend … or at least people refer to it as a trend but in reality, it’s a timeless style.

We’ll start with that style.


It’s white-painted brick and it’s not going ANYWHERE! 


It’s been around forever and it’s going to be around. White-painted brick houses will be as popular in 2044 as they are in 2024. 

It’s a timeless style that isn’t going anywhere.


Another classic style is the simple, timeless red brick facade. 

This is a traditional look that has stood the test of time for centuries and will continue to stand the test of time.


Another classic exterior style (that I happen to love love love love) is the Tudor style.

I’m sure you’ve seen Tudor-style homes, but maybe you didn’t know what they were called.

Tudor homes come in all sizes … from teeny, tiny cottages to huge mansions. No matter the size, it’s a BEAUTIFUL style that will always be accepted in design.

Tudor-style homes are most known for their steep and sloped gables, as well as the decorative masonry details on the facade.


The next style that is a classic and is not going anywhere is the Hamptons-Shingle style.

This style has been popular since it originated, and it will remain popular and timeless forever. 

Hampton-Shingle facades are typically designed with a natural wood shingle siding that weathers over time. 

However, a grey shake shingle siding is just as gorgeous and still passes as Hamptons-Shingle, especially when you look at the unique peaks and roof lines.

My house isn’t exactly the Hamptons style because of my peaks and roof lines, but it definitely lends to the Hamptons-Shingle style with my grey shake shingle siding.

I have a vinyl shake shingle product that looks SO real and has stood the test of time in the ten years since I built my house. My home exterior is still as timeless and beautiful as in 2013 when I built it.

There are also vinyl shake shingle products that mimic natural wood shake siding. This is a great option if you want a low-maintenance product that doesn’t weather over time.


Another one of my FAVORITE timeless styles is the English Cottage.

Houses don’t get much cuter or cozier than a quintessential small English Cottage. 

Although English Cottages tend to be smaller, you can build a larger ‘cottage’ that mimics the cozy details found in English Cottages (e.g. stone, wood, brick, picket fences, thatched roof, dormers, etc.).


The last home exterior design classic I will share is the stunning stone exterior.

I mean, it doesn’t get much nicer than a stone facade. 

Unfortunately, stone is one of the most expensive home exterior materials, so you need a fairly robust budget to wrap your house in stone.

The good news is that there are alternatives to stone, such as stone veneer. It is still a pricey product with some cons, but it is an option if natural stone is out of your product.


So there you go … I’ve shared six of my FAVORITE timeless home exterior styles.

Honestly, these styles can be combined. 

You don’t have to do ‘either-or.’ You can mix styles.

I happen to be mixing some of these styles for my next home. I won’t tell you which styles, but I will tell you that I have started gathering design inspiration for my next house and it will NOT be trendy. 

It will be a classic that will stand the test of time because I plan on being in my next house for the long haul :).

Want help designing your timeless dream home? I can help through my signature ‘Before You Build’ framework for designing a home that you love, is perfect for your family and comes within (or very close to) your budget can help YOU. 

  1. Tracey Murdock says:

    Hi Caroline, I am a huge fan and think you are amazing. One suggestion, consider adding mountain design to your discussion. I am thinking of building in the mountains of Colorado and none of your exterior pictures would work in the mountains.

    • Good call, Tracey! Mountain design is certainly a classic. I’ve spent A LOT of time in the mountains (Snowmass, Colorado) throughout my life and I absolutely LOVE the houses there. Always classic and always beautiful.

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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