10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (2024)

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10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (1)

The color black always makes a minimalist statement and puts whatever it touches firmly in the effortlessly “cool” camp. In a sea of ubiquitous whites and creams that evoke a blank canvas (and can promise a higher future resale), a black exterior house brings some much-needed edge while staying surprisingly timeless. (Look to classic Scandinavian and Japanese designs completely awash in the inky hue for peak inspiration.)

As it turns out, a lot of people want their homes to look a little moody. In August, Behr announced Cracked Pepper as its 2024 color of the year, citing a company survey that found three-quarters of Americans would consider covering an area of their home in a dark color. So why not go for the full facade? Let these 10 houses serve as inspiration.

The Black Exterior House That’s Indestructible

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (2)

Sara and Adam Gilmer’s family home in Victoria, British Columbia, was an exercise in compromise, but they both had a clear design vision: Sara has a background in architecture, and Adam is the cofounder of a furniture company. Deciding to clad the exterior in raven-hued powder-coated steel was part of their overall collaborative effort. Another plus: It just so happens to coordinate with the rest of the minimalist interior and ensures there are no costly paint jobs down the road.

The Black Exterior House With Fun in Spades

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (3)

When designer Kate Hayes first saw this Atlanta property, she deemed it to be a “pretty big ugly duckling.” Alongside her studio partner, Krista Sharif, Hayes completely overhauled the interior and exterior over the course of two phases, focusing on a design that felt energetic and youthful for a family of five. From a brass kitchen backsplash to a ’70s-inspired teen hangout room, the shadowy exterior is one of many design risks that paid off.

The Black Exterior House by Way of Japan

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (4)

Plenty of interior changes occurred during the renovation of this 1950s Long Island property by designer Danielle Chiprut of Danielle Rose Design Co. But passersby can get the most satisfaction from the exterior’s major shift. What was once basic red brick with white siding became completely black thanks to the Japanese shou sugi ban method of charring wood to preserve it, alongside a few custom coats on the bricks to match. The windows were given black casem*nts, while the aluminum gutters received a copper finish, completing the home’s newly sophisticated curb appeal.

The Black Exterior House That’s an Artful Backdrop

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (5)

After Lindsey Vogl Robinson and her husband, Brad, learned they were expecting baby number five, they hired Liz Hoekzema of KLH Custom Homes to construct a new-build outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. And while Lindsey’s style tends to lean traditional, she relied on Hoekzema to get out of her comfort zone. So she chose to cover the home’s facade in Caviar by Sherwin-Williams to turn “a classic on its head.” Whether set against a fresh coat of Midwestern snow or an aquamarine pool, the black works in all seasons.

The Black Exterior House With Mid-Century Lines

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (6)

This mid-century Nashville property hadn’t been touched since it was first built in 1955, so local designer Hannah Crowell wanted to preserve its personality as much as possible while still making it functional for contemporary life. And what better color than black to show off the home’s refreshed architecture—which included raising the roof and adding all new windows, exterior siding, and a second story over the living room.

The Black Exterior House That Allows Nature to Shine

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (7)

As designer Lea Shain and her contractor, Brett Baer, were considering ways to update this 1944 home in Los Angeles, they knew they wanted to get rid of the boring blue exterior that made it indistinguishable from the other homes on the bungalowed block. Shain felt that white was “overdone,” so she opted for Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for a muted shade that would pop against a new pergola and landscaping. “It’s not so monolithic,” she notes. “There are all these natural elements and tones.”

The Black Exterior House Inspired by Zen

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (8)

Carlos Naude and his wife, Whitney Brown, of Working Holiday Studio bought a very stressful home at a very stressful time. When they secured this L.A. property during the height of the pandemic, it was extremely run-down—but the designers and surf enthusiasts had visions of making it zen. Naude says that its black exterior was “definitely a choice.” Fortunately, the After Hours by Backdrop shade feels tranquil, like a cool shadow in the blazing California sun.

The Black Exterior House That Frames the Ultimate Vista

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (9)

Interior designer Betsy Brown purchased her Blue Ridge Mountains vacation home just south of Asheville, North Carolina, sight unseen. So the sweeping panoramic view that came with it was a happy surprise. To put the stunning natural surroundings front and center, Brown went about crafting a space that reflected the landscape, including sourcing local wood and stone. For the exterior, she nixed anything that looked too new in favor of a color that resembled “the dark bark of the trees.”

The Black Exterior House That Brings Drama to a Saltbox

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (10)

As much as “modern farmhouse” has trended these past few years, the style continues to have staying power—especially if a dramatic paint color keeps things unexpected. Alabama-based architect Paul Bates took up the challenge on this lakeside property, which features a traditional saltbox frame but feels of-the-moment thanks to the allover black shade.

The Black Exterior House That Skips Log Cabin Vibes

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (11)

When publicist Caroline McKay found her 900-square-foot A-frame in upstate New York, she had one rule: No extensive renovations. Thankfully, that kind of heavy lifting had already been done, so she could focus on creating the ’70s-meets-Scandi hideaway of her dreams. Bonus: The striking black exterior magically tops it all off.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As a design enthusiast with a deep knowledge of architectural trends and interior design, I can confidently say that black exteriors are making a bold statement in the world of home design. The color black has always been associated with a minimalist aesthetic, exuding an effortlessly cool vibe. In a sea of ubiquitous whites and creams, a black exterior house stands out, bringing a touch of edge while remaining surprisingly timeless.

One of the reasons why black exteriors are gaining popularity is the desire for a moody and dramatic look. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Behr revealed that three-quarters of Americans would consider covering an area of their home in a dark color. This trend is further supported by Behr's announcement of "Cracked Pepper" as its 2024 color of the year. With this in mind, let's explore some stunning examples of black exterior houses that serve as inspiration.

Sara and Adam Gilmer's family home in Victoria, British Columbia, showcases an indestructible black exterior. Sara, with her background in architecture, and Adam, as the cofounder of a furniture company, collaborated on the design vision for their home. They chose to clad the exterior in raven-hued powder-coated steel, not only for its visual appeal but also for its low maintenance and durability. The black exterior seamlessly coordinates with the minimalist interior and eliminates the need for costly paint jobs in the future.

Designer Kate Hayes transformed an "ugly duckling" property in Atlanta into a vibrant and youthful family home. The exterior of the house, once lackluster, now boasts a shadowy black hue that complements the energetic interior design. From a brass kitchen backsplash to a '70s-inspired teen hangout room, this black exterior is just one of the many design risks that paid off.

A 1950s Long Island property received a major facelift by designer Danielle Chiprut. The once basic red brick with white siding was completely transformed into a sophisticated black exterior using the Japanese shou sugi ban method of charring wood. The windows were given black casem*nts, and the aluminum gutters received a copper finish, enhancing the home's curb appeal.

Lindsey Vogl Robinson and her husband, Brad, wanted to create a striking backdrop for their new-build home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They chose to cover the facade in Caviar by Sherwin-Williams, turning a classic design on its head. Whether against a backdrop of snow or an aquamarine pool, the black exterior works in all seasons, enhancing the home's overall aesthetic.

Hannah Crowell, a local designer in Nashville, preserved the personality of a mid-century property while giving it a contemporary touch. The black exterior showcases the home's refreshed architecture, which includes raising the roof, adding new windows, exterior siding, and a second story over the living room.

Lea Shain and her contractor, Brett Baer, transformed a boring blue exterior on a Los Angeles home into a captivating black facade. Shain chose Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron for a muted shade that would complement the new pergola and landscaping. The black exterior creates a striking contrast against the natural elements and tones of the surroundings.

Carlos Naude and his wife, Whitney Brown, turned their run-down L.A. property into a zen retreat. The black exterior, a deliberate choice, exudes tranquility and complements the cool shadows in the California sun. The After Hours shade by Backdrop adds a sense of calm to the home's exterior.

Betsy Brown, an interior designer, embraced the stunning panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in her vacation home near Asheville, North Carolina. To highlight the natural surroundings, Brown opted for a black exterior that resembles the dark bark of the trees. The use of local wood and stone further enhances the home's connection to its surroundings.

Architect Paul Bates added drama to a traditional saltbox lakeside property by painting the exterior black. The modern farmhouse style gains a contemporary twist with the striking black color, making it unexpected and eye-catching.

Caroline McKay, a publicist, found her dream A-frame house in upstate New York. With no need for extensive renovations, McKay focused on creating a '70s-meets-Scandi hideaway. The black exterior adds a touch of sophistication to the already charming A-frame structure.

In conclusion, black exteriors are making a bold and timeless statement in the world of home design. From indestructible steel cladding to daring design risks, these black exterior houses showcase the versatility and appeal of this trend. Whether you're looking for an edgy aesthetic or a tranquil retreat, a black exterior can transform any home into a standout masterpiece.

10 Black Exterior Houses That Put the Drama Front and Center (2024)

FAQs

What are the benefits of a black exterior house? ›

Reduce Heating Costs

Dark exteriors offer more than visual appeal alone—they also have practical benefits like reduced heating costs. This is because dark paint colors like black and deep gray absorb heat more efficiently, keeping your home warmer naturally, which increases energy efficiency and cost savings.

What is the most popular exterior paint color? ›

Blue is hands-down one of the most popular colors in general. So it's no wonder that navy blue — a deep, dark shade of blue — made it onto this list of the top exterior paint colors. It's a popular choice both for coastal and inland homes so, no matter where your home is located, it could be an option for you.

Why not paint your house black? ›

This is by far the most common question we see regarding choosing a dark color for a home's exterior. The rule of thumb is that having a darker exterior can make the home more expensive to cool, and less expensive to heat. It also can cause the house to heat more quickly during the day, but cool more quickly at night.

What's up with black houses? ›

Absorbs the Heat from the Sun

Black colors are not reflective. This helps to ensure that they absorb heat from the sun. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage, depending on where you live and the time of year.

What are the disadvantages of a black house? ›

Dark paint can also be more prone to peeling than lighter colors. Thinking about heat absorption, dark exteriors are always going to absorb more solar energy than whites, creams, and other light shades, which are more reflective. This could mean higher cooling costs during the summer months.

What are the pros and cons of having a black exterior house? ›

In general, the pros are a trendy yet classic look, a modern rustic style, and it highlights its surroundings. The cons of a modern black house are basically the heat and your region, the upkeep, and the longevity.

What color house is hardest to sell? ›

Brown: Browns are a difficult color to sell, since dark tones can make an interior room feel cramped and can hide details of the exterior in the color.

What exterior colors make a house look expensive? ›

These 5 Exterior Paint Colours Will Make Your Home Look Expensive
  • Dark grey.
  • Light grey.
  • Dark green.
  • Off-white.
  • Brown.
Mar 27, 2024

What color house has the highest resale value? ›

What's the best house color for resale? Simple tones, such as gray and white, tend to be popular no matter the geographical area and can help your home sell. These colors are used often in the highly sought-after new, modern looks.

Do black houses get hot in the summer? ›

The color of your home is directly related to the amount of heat absorption. According to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Cooling Your Home Naturally report, dark, dull colors can absorb 70 to 90 percent of the sun's radiant energy, which can then be transferred into the home.

What color trim on a black house? ›

Black house paint + white trim is such a stunning combination I think! It feels both fresh and classic at the same time. I'm leaning towards this combination for our new house.

How long does black exterior paint last? ›

On average, the lifespan of exterior paint is 5–10 years.

Does black exterior paint make a house hotter? ›

While darker colors absorb sunlight and convert it into heat, lighter colors are reflective. As a result, dark-colored surfaces will get warmer quicker in sunlight than light-colored surfaces that can repel heat.

What are black houses called? ›

The single-walled dwellings cemented with lime mortar were such a contrast they were called taigh-geal ('white house'). The term taigh-dubh ('blackhouse') was used to describe the old houses from then on.

Is black trim outdated? ›

While it's been included in interior design trends that have come and gone, black will never truly go out of style. It's been proven through its longevity, bold impact and elegant (or edgy) look that it adds to every space.

Is an all black house a good idea? ›

Black houses will absorb more heat from the sun than white houses. A white or light-colored house will reflect more rays, keeping indoor temperatures cooler in hot summer months. Above: White (and other light colors) will reflect rather than absorb the sun's rays.

What color exterior house is energy efficient? ›

Pairing neutral colors such as white, light grey, or beige with darker or lighter accents will allow you to personalize the color's effects on what you need. While the neutrals mostly reflect the sun, your darker accents still can absorb enough to save energy throughout the winter.

Do black houses get hotter than white houses? ›

A black house will likely get hotter than one that's white, as white houses reflect more solar radiation from the sun.

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