13 Modern Exterior Cladding Ideas

Modern Exterior Cladding

Contemporary architecture and facades are growing in popularity across the country. 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. We’ve been seeing a particular emphasis on wood cladding in home designs, as it can serve as both an excellent way to improve curb appeal and create interesting focal points inside too.  These 13 modern exterior cladding ideas will help you get a sense of just what’s possible to use on your own home.

1. Reaching New Heights

Modern Exterior Cladding 1Architect: Fernau & Hartman Photo by: Richard Barnes Photography

Traditionally, when homes were clad in wood the boards were run horizontally; and while it’s still possible to achieve a modern facade this way, running the boards vertically is a hot new trend for the exterior of contemporary homes. Installed this way, the lines draw the eye upward, emphasizing the shape and height of the home, rather than elongating it. As we see in this home, the vertical cladding in combination with the angled roof make the home appear taller and more grand with a charming industrial feel.

2. Modern Momentum

Modern Exterior Cladding 3Architect: Pitman Tozer Photo by: Nick Kane

We know that vertical cladding is a great option for contemporary homes and now we will pose the question; why stop at the walls? This home chose to extend the modified wood cladding onto the roof, which is definitely a modern design choice, but it clearly paid off as this property is simply stunning.

3. Open Front

Modern Exterior Cladding 4Architect: Walker and Martin Photo by: Urban Front

Many contemporary homes include a lot of windows and skylights to help let in as much natural light as possible. These beach houses not only include those features, but by pairing the cladding on the walls with the same material on the roof, it creates the opportunity to have the front of the houses completely open. This not only allows for great views of the beach, but also maximizes the amount of sunlight let into the home.

4. Transitional Design

Architect & Photo by: Bliss

This home is a great example of how horizontally run cladding, typically a more traditional look, can actually be made moder when done right. The key is to keep the rest of the exterior very plain – with very few decorative elements – and to let the cladding emphasize the shape of the building. This home runs the cladding the entire length of the home and keeps the look clean and simple with paneless glass windows and no moulding or trim board detailing.

5. Depth of Design

Architect: Bliss

Many people think that cladding must be installed in one of a few set ways, however, when talking contemporary design this doesn’t have to be the case. This property uses modified wood to create interest and depth on the exterior by finding many different uses for the same material. Using the wood for cladding, decking, ceiling and privacy screening gives this property an incredibly fresh and current appearance.

6. Mixed Materials

Architect & Photo by: Bliss

Horizontal lap cladding installation helps to elongate the home, but for properties that are only one story, this can also make it appear shorter as well. In this application, the cladding has been paired with other materials, lifting the wood up a few feet from the bottom of the home before it begins., helping to create visual height. You’ll again that no moulding or trim board was used here and that the materials used along the bottom of the home are very simple and muted, all of which help keep the facade contemporary.

7. Two-Tone

Architect: Lincoln Miles Photo by: Julian Winslow

This contemporary home makes great use of wood cladding over its exterior by mixing the installation styles. You’ll notice that while some of the boards are installed horizontally, on other parts of the exterior this changes to a vertical installation. This is a great way to show contrast between different sections of the home. This property also keeps it interesting by a strip of darker cladding along the top, adding even more variation and allure to the home’s appeal.

8. Two Dimensional

Architect: Kontur arkitektur + konstruksjon Photo by: Kontur, Lasse Haldrup Juul

This home underwent a major renovation to become the stunning passive house it is today. In creative pursuit to add dimension while using the same sustainable modified wood, the installation varies from vertical to horizontal orientations. Taking the multi-purpose use one step further, they used the cladding to create a railing / privacy screen on the second floor balcony by subtly increasing the spacing between the boards.

9. Detailed Emphasis

Architect & Photo by: LOGG Arkitekter 

The plate glass windows are clearly the focal point of this modern home, so it was important that all other components of the exterior facade complement and draw attention to their brilliance and clarity. By using natural wood cladding, the home is given a subtle and clean color palette that brightens the appearance. The vertical accent panels set between the windows contrast the horizontal, natural tone cladding and further emphasize the picture windows.

10. Accented Frame

Architect: LINK Arkitektur Photo by: Hundven-Clements Photography

This remodeled farmhouse uses the same beautiful cladding on its exterior walls , roof and deck to create clean, unbroken lines. This in turn frees up the front of the property to feature an open, glass front to maximize the light. The long solid lines of the cladding boards provide simple consistency to the varied shapes and sizes of the window panes.

11. Deep Angles

Architect & Photo by: Alliance Arkitekter 

Who says that houses need to be straight up and down? This mountain cabin broke the mold, creating an innovative design where the building moves upward at an angle after the first floor foundation. With such a unique architectural angle, it was important that the lines of the cladding quietly complemented the lines of the home. By choosing modified wood cladding they were able to achieve the natural beauty they wanted while ensuring it would hold up given the severe weather conditions of the location.

12. Historic Modernization

Architect: HRI architects Photo by: Markus Photography

The owners of this historic stone estate wanted to modernize the look of their home without detracting from its classic charm. By using real wood cladding on the exterior facade, they created a notable juxtaposition between the wood and pre-existing natural stone that resulted in the graceful transition from old to new.

13. Board and Batten

Architect: Q-haus Photo by: Maris Tomba

Long, sprawling properties that are contemporary in design can benefit from having a vertical cladding installation to add some contrast to the exterior. On this property, a striking board and batten installation adds texture and depth to the facade, while contrasting the horizontal lines of the building. The larger, thicker battens create a modern twist on this classic siding design.

Create a Modern Exterior

Wood cladding can be used in many different ways to complement a contemporary home or building. Try any of these ideas to create your own modern retreat.