Designing and building a custom home is an exciting process. There are so many options for custom home exterior ideas. As western Washinton’s luxury custom home builders, Atera Homes can help you make your dreams come to life with award-winning designs!

How to Design the Exterior of a House

When talking about design styles, many people overlook home exteriors. It’s easy to focus on the inside of your custom home – what colors and materials you like, what floor plan will best serve your family, and what furniture you will buy. However, the outside home design is just as important! Your home’s exterior is where you and your guests will ideally be spending much of your time in nice weather. It should be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. 

When designing your home’s exterior, here are a few things to consider: 

  • Color coordinates with the interior
  • Bring material elements together
  • Your home’s architectural style
  • How you spend your time outside 
  • Whether you will hire out landscape maintenance, or do it yourself 

Taking your home design beyond your front door doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Let’s go over some custom home exterior ideas that can really enhance your house’s curb appeal.

Exterior Home Design Ideas

Your custom home’s exterior design can be as complex and flashy, or as simple and modest, as you like! The possibilities are endless. Everything from your garage door to the plants in your yard can make a statement. It is important to keep your home’s style in mind when designing the exterior. If you live in a modern farmhouse, then rustic benches, wooden pergolas, and bistro lighting fixtures are appropriate. 

For Victorian or more traditional homes, you can flex your design with waterfalls, rose hedges, and columns. Ultimately, though, you can do whatever you like! Your home should reflect your personality.

New Home Exterior Design

If you are looking for custom home exterior ideas for an existing home, you may be more limited in your options. There is still a lot you can do – but the style and color scheme of the existing house needs to be taken into account. However, when designing the exterior of a new home, you can work with the interior and exterior to create a cohesive design that is truly stunning. 

Outdoor Amenities

A big part of your custom home exterior design will be choosing which amenities are important to you. Do you like to entertain large groups? Do you host company parties? Do you have kids? Thinking through your lifestyle and preferences will help you decide on the best amenities for your property.


Pools can be large or small, and come in many shapes. Finding a size and style that fits your yard and compliments your landscape is key. There are endless options for how to furnish the area around the pool. Having a tanning deck, an outdoor fire pit, and some stunning plants are just a few ideas!

Outdoor Desk

What better way to work than outside at your own custom desk? You can go with glass, distressed wood, or metal for a variety of modern, luxurious styles.

Screened rooms

Screened rooms are a great option for summertime hosting. Depending on what kind of home you have, you can add a luxurious screened room onto the back of the house for pest-free dining, entertaining, or relaxing.

Backyard BBQ Area

When considering home exterior design ideas, marrying functionality with class is something to keep in mind. Many families enjoy outdoor barbecues. Creating an outdoor barbecue area with comfortable seating, stylish workspaces, and welcoming landscaping is a great way to take your outdoor dining up a notch!

Backyard Exterior BBQ area


Patios can be large or small, simple or flashy. Wood, metal, concrete, and other materials can be used. When designing your outdoor patio, keep functionality in mind. What is the purpose of the space? How often will it be used, and in which seasons? A patio is a great place to experiment with lighting, furniture, pergolas, and even unexpected touches like hanging couches.

Landscaping Plans 

Your home builder can work with you to design a landscape that compliments, not detract from, the house itself. At Atera Homes, we design and build luxury custom homes that need beautiful landscapes to accentuate them.


Grass can be used creatively to bring a space to life or make a space less noticeable in favor of another. Use ornamental grasses to add life and texture to your landscape. A manicured lawn always looks pretty, but there is so much more you can do with grass! Explore your options.


Other types of plans can be used for year-round color, variety, and attracting birds and pollinators. When designing your landscape, consider whether you will hire maintenance to care for it. Having no landscaping at all is better than having an overgrown, unkept yard.


Rocks are majestic, beautiful, and essentially maintenance-free! Use them artistically to add dimension and “wow” to your landscape.

Rock Waterfall


Pairing the rocks with water to create a waterfall is an attractive way to make a statement. Consider the style of your home when designing a waterfall. Traditional-style homes look great with a natural, modest waterfall surrounded by native plants and grasses. For a contemporary, notable house, you can get a little bold. Just be sure to talk with your landscape artist about how to use the waterfall to complement the overall design of your house.

Seattle’s Custom Luxury Home Builders

At Atera Homes, we specialize in working with you, the client, to create spaces that will serve you and your family while looking beautiful at the same time. We keep everything, from designing to building, in-house. This ensures easy and accurate communication between the builder and the homeowners. Whether you are ready to design your custom smart home, simple but elegant single-story or mansion with all the bells and whistles – we are here to help! What is at the top of your custom home exterior wish list?