6 small house exterior design ideas

Small homes are often the most challenging yet rewarding homes to design, but with the minimalism movement leaving many people wanting to downsize, these compact dwellings are becoming more popular. Small homes can be just as stunning as the average size home, and perhaps even more so.

Here are a few small house exterior ideas to get you started on designing your dream home or remodeling your existing house.

1. Go straight to bold with Shou Sugi Ban siding

Small Exterior House (Guest House with Shou Sugi Ban Facade, by Character Builders Colorado & Delta Millworks, photo by Patrick Fleming)

One advantage of a small home is that you can often go big and make a statement that may be a bit too much on a bigger house. A perfect example is those Shou Sugi Ban treated Kebony clad guest house. Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese method of scorching wood to enhance its durability. The end result is a dark-toned, nearly black lumber that is about as tough as wood can get. When used on a small home the results make a serious impact. If that totally dark look is a bit too much, you could always use Shou Sugi Ban on the ground level floor only or on just a single wall.

2. A seamless matching look is unique and striking

small exterior home ideas (Artist’s House by Cubo, photo by Henning Davidsen)

A big part of design is contrast but often times a matching look can be just as beautiful. Modified wood like Kebony is highly versatile and ideal for small home design. The above cabin is a perfect example of how Kebony can be used both as siding and as a roof material. The end result is a seamless, striking home that will eventually weather to an even more handsome silver-gray patina. The matching sliding door adds even more to the unique yet curious nature of this home's aesthetic. A wood roof is not as common, but by using a material like Kebony you can rest assured it will perform to a very high standard.

3. Make a small home seem larger with expansive windows

small exterior house ideas (By a Private Homeowner in Southern Norway)

While many small home owners do enjoy their compact space, many do try to enhance their residence by focusing on making the interior seem more open. Natural lighting is key in creating a more open space indoors, but another benefit of having plenty of windows is that it tends to make the exterior look larger as well. The expansive framed windows in this small house actually make it seem quite larger until you compare it against the nearby patio furniture, which shows that this home is actually fairly petite. If you love a lot of natural light, and especially if you have a stunning landscape around you, be sure to strategically include plenty of windows in your exterior.

4. Angle the roof for modern air

(The Brokery, by Studia Ma)

Getting creative with angles helps give a structure a sharp contrast. Even smaller buildings can benefit from a bold mono-pitch roof, such as the beautifully modern realty office featured above. The roof continuing into an overhang eave and the overall clean appearance really gives this location a chic, modish feel. The use of Kebony keeps the siding looking smooth and neat, allowing the roof design really be the most prominent feature. While not a home, this example can be duplicated for use as living quarters. 

5. Play with creative siding designs

(Artist Retreat, by TYIN Tegnestue & Rintala Eggertsson Architects, photo credit by Andrew Devine)

Kebony siding can be treated just as any other wood siding since it is real wood. This means there are no limits to how creative you can get with your siding design. Rather than sticking with traditional straight horizontal or vertical boards, why not get original? The above example are two small dwellings with accent walls featuring incredible fish scale shingles. You can easily achieve a nearly fairytale-like appearance with scalloped, round, diamond and other types of shaped siding.

6. Go for a twist of natural meets contemporary

(Sustainable Home, by Jakobsen Huse, photo by DECENTO)

A small home doesn't necessarily mean a cabin, but if you like a slight touch of rustic flair you can achieve it with style. You can maintain a very attractive natural look without veering towards the rough or rustic side by using light colors and contemporary home design ideas. This small home boasts a modern flat roof along with bright Kebony Character siding. Some of the covered deck features the use of slate, which adds to the overall organic, cozy feel of this space. 

As you can see, size has very little to do with how beautiful your home's exterior can be. All 6 featured cabins and houses are just the tip of the iceberg in terms how creative you can get with your cozy dwelling. 

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