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5 Ways to Easily Add Modern Style During Your Exterior Remodel

Last updated: 05-30-2021

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5 Ways to Easily Add Modern Style During Your Exterior Remodel

Adding modern elements during an exterior renovation can give your home a fresh, standout style. Whether you add subtle touches or go all in is completely up to you. Your home doesn’t necessarily need a contemporary or modern frame to be able to co-opt these exterior design elements. Many of these ideas can work with existing home styles. The thing to keep in mind is that modern design is all about creating a clean, streamlined look for your home. The goal is simplicity – in your exterior materials, the geometric lines, the colors, or the accents you choose to add (or not add). Consider these five ways to easily add modern style to your home during a makeover.

Panel siding is a perfect option for a more modern look. This style of siding comes in long, wide sheets, which helps you use visual lines on your house more intentionally, as shown in the house above by Carp's Complete Exteriors of Omaha, Nebraska. With panel siding options from James Hardie, you can also choose the panel’s orientation, or even cut them into a custom size for a unique look. You can also use panel siding with HardiePlank® lap siding for a more transitional look, which blends modern sophistication with familiar warmth.

Trim is a necessary feature that helps protect your home and underlying structure, but there are easy ways to downplay its appearance. For example, choosing the single board installation method for HardieTrim® boards on inside corners provides a sleek look. Compare that to the double board method, which has a significantly larger appearance and is more traditional. You can also simply choose the same color for your trim and siding, which allows the trim to more easily hide in plain sight.

Neutral doesn’t mean boring or beige. Whites, blacks, grays, and, even beiges, are all neutral colors. It’s up to you to choose the right shade for your home and aesthetic – such as the home above, which retains some traditional charm in a more modern color palette. Here are some other colors to consider. Bold Blacks – while very dark exteriors have gained traction with homeowners recently, the style has a rich history. Read about it here and get recommendations for black colors in Dream Collection™ finishes. Shown above is Shou Sugi Ban from Acker Builders Inc. Charcoal – This color family is the perfect middle ground between black and medium grays. They are bold, but also give you flexibility with your accent colors, if you choose to have them. Colors to consider are Iron Gray and Night Gray. Warm Neutrals – These colors allow you to dip your toe into the modern waters, instead of going in headfirst. They are timeless, and work with a wide range of accent colors. A chic palette would include either Monterey Taupe or Aged Pewter.

Many homes have brick accents, especially older ones that new homeowners are remodeling. Brick color trends have fluctuated throughout the years. Not all of these trends have aged well, and the tones may now be giving off a dated or old-fashioned vibe. With the help of an experienced painter, don’t be afraid to change the color of your brick. The home shown above (via @ncmodernfarmhousedesignon Instagram) has white painted brick on the first floor and HardiePanel® vertical siding on the second. Along with a versatile siding option, painting your brick can open broad new design possibilities for your exterior in a budget friendly way. Be sure to consult with an expert on whether your brick can be painted. Alternatively, you may be able to incorporate your existing brick accents into your new exterior design. A great way to add modern flair to brick is with black windows and trim. 

The less-is-more nature commonly associated with modern style means there will be fewer accents on your home. But the ones you do choose for your home will have more of an impact. Still, every home will have necessary details, like light fixtures and address numbers. Cylinder-style light fixtures and address numbers in a sans-serif font can provide a functional, simple and stylish aesthetic.  It’s also not just what you put on your home as much as what you do not. For a nod at modern style without completely leaning in, consider forgoing shutters on your design.

Request your copy of the Inspiration Guide to explore the limitless design possibilities to create your dream home with James Hardie’s range of exterior fiber cement siding products.


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