How to achieve a stunning minimal exterior design

Minimalist architecture can make the structure more powerful and timeless.
How to Achieve Minimalist Architecture and Exterior Design
3D rendering of a modern stone house

We appreciate minimalism here in Superdraft. Minimalism, as we know it, is a popular design philosophy and way of life. In this article, we’ll focus on how this applies to a home’s exterior. We’ll talk about minimalist architecture.

Minimalist architecture is about building better structures with simple designs. It shows a careful pairing of forms, shapes, materials, details, and colours. The uncomplicated and straightforward features make these structures appealing. As a whole, these structures exude beauty, warmth, and calmness.

But, going minimal is hard today. Homeowners often feel besieged by the number of building materials offered to them, many of which promise to complete and bring perfection to their project.

If you’re serious about having a minimal exterior design, here are the things you should remember. These will work regardless of your home’s style:

Exterior Wall

When working with an architect, start with telling them your intention to use a limited exterior palette of materials. Design professionals are familiar with the materials that are appropriate to use in your home. With their help, you can choose from a filtered list of durable building materials. Their input will hasten the selection process and will give you more time to plan the exterior design. READ: 11 Exterior House Cladding for New Australian Homes

Some points to remember:

1. Resist the temptation to add another material.

Randomly using another material to ‘enhance’ the initially planned exterior design might reduce its impact.

Consult your designer before you want to add accents or introduce new material. The design needs to be well-executed. The materials you’re about to use must reflect the structure location. And, it must not clash with the main building material that you will use. 

2. Leave space around doors and windows.

Window and door placement is often determined during the exterior design phase of the structure. Think about the construction method of your main material, even if it’s just a decorative veneer. Leave an appropriate amount of space between openings to make your design authentic and credible.

For example, there should be at least 12 inches of between two wall openings, for it will be unrealistic to have a narrow stone pier/column. 

3. Make your lighting, gates, fences, and other functional external accessories interesting.

Selecting your wall material and door and window design are just the beginning. You must layer the surrounding design elements to give your home a stunning kerb appeal. Light fixtures, gates and other functional accessories like gutters and downspouts provide a layer of interest. Choose the materials that best complement the exterior wall.

Doors and Windows

You can’t have a home without windows and doors. You’re designing a minimalist house, not a doomsday bunker. Think about the fenestration or the arrangement of windows and doors on the elevations of your home. Their size, placement, type, style, and finishes play a vital role in your home’s exterior design.

Advice to remember:

1. Use multiple kinds of doors and windows

When it comes to minimal exterior design, using multiple door and window sizes are better than using several exterior wall finishes. Without much going on externally, doors and windows of a minimalist home attract so much attention. Our advice? Use windows and doors that address your indoor needs. Each one needs to fit the purpose they’re meant to fulfil in each room. Your choices vary depending on your priority, whether it’s privacy, natural lighting, great views, or ventilation.

Make sure you choose windows and doors that match your home’s architectural style as well. It must suit your property’s character or else it won’t look right. For example, floor-to-ceiling windows will look great on a modern or contemporary home, but it might not work on a traditional Queenslander. You will also need to decide how windows will open (vertically or horizontally), how big or small they are, whether they’re clear or tinted, or solid or paned.

Yes, your choices are almost limitless. But, a professional designer can help you figure out the best window for your minimalist-style home. Trust that he/she will steer you in the right direction.


The roof isn’t always displayed prominently. We can only see a small percentage of it when we’re standing in front of the house. Most contemporary homes don’t have a visible roof at all. (They’re flat).

Despite all that, your roof is an important element to consider in minimalist architecture.

First, your choice of roofing material must be based on the location, climate, and your budget.  

Here are the other tips to remember:

1. Stick to one colour.

Today’s roofing material manufacturers strive to offer more colour options to homeowners. Despite that, you should choose a colour that suits your wall materials, doors and windows, and stick with it. READ: 13 Roofing Materials to Shelter You from the Sun, Wind, and Rain

2. Mix roofing materials in an appealing way.

It may not be ideal to use two different roof colours, but you can combine two different materials. Dark metal roof and asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material combinations. As long as you use identical colours, the look will remain consistent.


Now that the exterior design plan of your house is complete, it’s time to focus on the surrounding areas.

A minimalist home will look better with a well-kept landscape around it. You can never go wrong with what nature offered you. However, we can’t tell the odds when the persistent and relentless weather will devastate it. The natural landscape will re-establish itself, but it will take a while. A landscape designed to succeed makes use of vegetation that will survive the geographic and climate considerations of the site. The plants will establish itself in the land sooner. The species you’re nurturing will live longer. And, it’s more cost-effective because you won’t have to spend much to maintain them.

We recommend working with a landscape designer so you can build a sustainable landscape that uses less water, pesticide, and fertilizers. These design professionals, in particular, can help you achieve the most pleasing results with less amount of effort. READ: Low-Maintenance Landscaping Tips for Busy Homeowners

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