Designing Distinctive Custom Homes: 10 Popular Architectural Facades

Jul 28, 2023

13 min.


Explore 10 popular architectural facades for distinctive custom homes. By uncovering each style's unique elements, you'll empower your clients to make informed decisions and create standout buildings in their communities.

White Mediterranean Home

In the realm of homebuilding, the allure of architectural facades reigns supreme. For seasoned architects, realtors, and homebuilders, designing buildings that not only meet the client's needs but also ignite their vision and imagination is paramount. 

Among the essential aspects of this process are selecting the perfect architectural facade, setting the tone for the entire structure and leaving a memorable first impression. That's precisely why we invite you to read on as we showcase the ten most popular architectural facades. Within this article, you'll gain valuable insights into the defining features of each facade, equipping you to guide your clients in making informed decisions and crafting buildings that truly stand out in their communities. We encourage you to explore the myriad possibilities these facades offer for you and your esteemed clients. Take a closer look, and let inspiration guide your design journey.

The ten most popular architectural facades

1. Modern Facade

Source: A.J. Lash/IG

This style first appeared in the early 20th century due to industrialisation and the need for more inexpensive, effective, and ecological buildings. The minimalist, clean-lined, and utilization of contemporary materials and technology are highlighted in the modern facade, which departs from the elaborate architectural styles of the past.  Innovative features like solar panels and energy-saving materials are frequently included into modern facades. Here are some more details about this style: 

Entrance: The entrance of a modern facade is often simple and minimalistic, with clean lines and geometric shapes.

Roof: Modern facades typically feature a flat or low-pitched roof, often with large windows or skylights to let in natural light.

Emphasis: Modern facades emphasize minimalism, simplicity, and the use of technology and modern materials.

Shapes: Modern facades feature clean, geometric shapes such as rectangles, squares, and triangles, emphasizing simplicity and minimalism.

 2. Contemporary

Source: Best Builders/IG

While the terms "Contemporary" and "Modern" are often used interchangeably, the Contemporary facade distinguishes itself from the Modern style by embracing current design trends and incorporating elements from various architectural periods. The house above is one good example. It was labelled by the builder as their most contemporary rancher style-home. 

Unlike the strict adherence to specific design principles in Modern architecture, the Contemporary facade allows for a more eclectic and adaptable approach, reflecting the spirit of our rapidly changing world. Inspired by the ever-evolving design landscape, this style represents a departure from conventional norms, celebrating creativity and pushing the boundaries of architectural possibilities.

Entrance: The Contemporary facade welcomes with a bold entrance, often featuring clean lines, striking geometric shapes, and an emphasis on simplicity. The front door serves as a statement piece, reflecting the facade's modern sensibility.

Roof: Reflecting the Contemporary style's focus on minimalist design, the roof is typically flat or low-pitched, adding to the facade's sleek and streamlined appearance.

Emphasis and Distinctive Features: The Contemporary facade prioritizes open spaces, large windows, and a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living. The design exudes a sense of lightness, with an emphasis on maximizing natural light and embracing energy-efficient technologies.

Shapes: Contemporary homes present diverse shapes, often featuring asymmetrical forms and dynamic angles. This design freedom allows for an individualized expression of architectural artistry.

Materials: A mix of innovative and sustainable materials, such as glass, steel, concrete, and metal cladding, elevates the Contemporary facade's visual appeal. The juxtaposition of these materials adds depth and texture, creating a captivating facade that stands out in the modern landscape.

Today, the Contemporary architectural facade remains at the forefront of design innovation, captivating homeowners seeking to embrace the present while envisioning the future. Whether gracing urban cityscapes or nestled in scenic surroundings, the Contemporary facade serves as a canvas for self-expression, creating homes that push the boundaries of architectural artistry and celebrate the ever-evolving spirit of modern living.

3. Colonial Facade

Source: Buildings of New England / IG

Colonial architecture is a style that has stood the test of time, with roots tracing back to the 17th century. Known for its practicality, functionality, and emphasis on simplicity and symmetry, colonial facades have become iconic in their design. 

Entrance: Colonial facades typically feature a symmetrical entrance with a central front door and evenly spaced windows on either side.

Roof: Colonial facades often have a steeply pitched, gabled roof with a central chimney.

Emphasis: Colonial facades emphasize simplicity and symmetry, focusing on practicality and function over ornate decoration.

Shapes: Colonial facades typically feature a rectangular or square shape, with evenly spaced windows and a central entrance.

4. Victorian Facade

Source: S Jensen/IG

Victorian architecture flourished in the mid-1800s under the reign of Queen Victoria, leaving a lasting impact on architectural design until the early 1900s. This period was characterized by abundant wealth and rapid technological advancements, which translated into highly intricate and extravagant facades that adorned Victorian buildings.

The Victorian era brought forth a remarkable blend of architecture and industrial advancements. This period, known for its association with the Industrial Revolution, witnessed the birth of mass production. With this new capability, architects were able to create magnificent buildings adorned with intricate and detailed ornamentation, achieving levels of grandeur never before witnessed. The diversity of architectural styles within this particular genre is truly remarkable. From the intricate details of Gothic Revival to the elegance of Italianate, and from the ornate designs of Queen Anne to the grandeur of the Second Empire, each sub-style brings its own distinctive features and characteristics that add depth and beauty to this architectural movement.

Entrance: Victorian facades feature grand entrances with ornate detailing, such as carved woodwork, stained glass, and decorative tilework.

Roof: Victorian facades often have steep, gabled roofs with ornate detailing such as patterned shingles and decorative dormer windows.

Emphasis: Victorian facades emphasize ornate decoration, intricate details, and a sense of grandeur and opulence.

Shapes: Victorian facades often feature asymmetrical shapes, turrets, and bay windows, with emphasis on vertical elements and decorative details.

5. Mediterranean Facade

Source: Parasol Properties

The Mediterranean architectural style is a popular choice for people who want their homes and structures to have a warm, laid-back vibe. The Mediterranean region's vast history and cultural influences inspired this design, which skillfully combines components from North Africa, Rome, and ancient Greece. The end product is a blend of sophisticated and rustic design elements that uses elaborate accents and organic materials to produce a cozy and pleasant feeling. Mediterranean facades often harmonize classic elements like columns and arches with modern touches such as clean lines and contemporary materials. The overall effect is a timeless and contemporary style, making it a favored choice for both architects and homeowners.

Entrance: The entrance of the Mediterranean facade typically features a grand, arched doorway with ornate detailing. The door may feature ornate carvings or ornamentation and be made of wood or iron.

Roof: A Mediterranean facade's roof is typically made of red clay tiles, which gives the building a homey, rustic feel. The roof may be flat or sloping, depending on the building's architectural design.

Emphasis: The emphasis of a Mediterranean facade is on creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere. This is achieved through the use of earthy colors, natural materials, and ornate details such as wrought iron balconies and intricate tilework.

Shapes: Ancient Greek and Roman architecture frequently has an impact on the shapes of a Mediterranean facade. This can contain structural elements like columns, arches, and domes as well as ornamental components like elaborate tile designs and elaborate ironwork.

6. Craftsman Facade

Source: Carolina Craftsman Builders/IG

Craftsman architecture gained popularity in the early 1900s as a response to the excessive ornamentation of the Victorian era, and was a key part of the Arts and Crafts movement which emphasized simplicity in design and handmade craftsmanship. The Craftsman facade reflects this philosophy, prioritizing natural materials and functional design. Craftsman homes were designed with everyday comfort and practicality in mind, incorporating features such as open floor plans and built-in cabinetry. The style was popularized by influential architects such as Gustav Stickley and William Morris, who believed that well-designed homes should be beautiful and useful. The result was a clean, natural, and detailed style creating homes that are warm, inviting, and timeless.

Entrance: The Craftsman facade features a covered porch with tapered columns and a striking front door.

Roof: This style of architecture typically has a low-pitched gable roof with deep overhangs and exposed rafters.

Emphasis: Craftsman facades prioritize simple, functional design and the use of natural materials.

Shapes: Craftsman homes are typically rectangular or square in shape, with a front-facing gable roof and dormer windows.

7. Tudor

Source: Alpine Manor/IG

The Tudor architectural style, which originated in England in the 16th century, emanates an allure that has withstood the test of time. This facade style, which draws inspiration from the Tudor dynasty, exhibits a distinctive fusion of medieval and Renaissance influences, resulting in homes with a feeling of timelessness and Old-World attractiveness.

Entrance: The Tudor facade welcomes all with a captivating entrance, boasting an elaborate door surround adorned with intricate carvings and elegant arched openings. This meticulous attention to detail sets the tone for the regal elegance that awaits within.

Roof: The Tudor style features steeply pitched gable roofs, charmingly complemented by dormer windows that evoke a sense of grandeur and add a whimsical touch to the facade.

Emphasis and Distinctive Features: The Tudor facade's hallmark is its half-timbered design, where dark wooden beams artfully crisscross against the lighter stucco or brick infill. This striking emphasis on half-timbering adds depth and character, infusing the home with a timeless sense of history and allure.

Shapes: Tudor homes typically present rectangular or square shapes, with front-facing gable roofs that enhance the facade's stately appearance. The incorporation of dormer windows adds further dimension to the overall design.

8. Ranch

Source: Marc-Michaels Interior Design /IG

Originally envisioned as an embodiment of the American dream, Ranch homes gained immense popularity in the post-World War II era. The returning soldiers sought a place to call their own, and the Ranch style provided the perfect blend of practicality and comfort tailored to family living.

A hallmark of the Ranch facade is its seamless indoor-outdoor connection, drawing inspiration from Spanish haciendas and Southwest adobe dwellings. Large picture windows, sliding glass doors, and open floor plans invite abundant natural light and foster a sense of unity with the surrounding landscape.

Today, the Ranch architectural style endures as a beloved classic, embodying a timeless allure that transcends generations. Whether nestled in suburban neighborhoods or gracing countryside settings, the Ranch facade stands as a symbol of a cherished American way of life – one that cherishes simplicity, warmth, and a deep connection to nature.

Entrance: The Ranch facade welcomes with a charming simplicity, often featuring a covered entryway and a welcoming front door that exudes a sense of warmth and openness.

Roof: The Ranch style typically showcases a low-pitched roof with a sprawling, single-story layout, reflecting the architectural emphasis on horizontal lines and a seamless connection with the surrounding landscape.

Emphasis and Distinctive Features: The Ranch facade prioritizes functionality and practicality, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a comfortable and unpretentious living space. Its single-story design and open floor plan create a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, embracing a relaxed and casual lifestyle.

Shapes: Ranch homes typically present a rectangular or L-shaped layout, with a focus on providing a comfortable and efficient living environment. The facade's horizontal orientation contributes to a visually appealing and harmonious exterior.

9. Mid-Century Modern

Source: Best Builders/IG

The architectural facade known as "Mid-Century Modern," which has its roots firmly planted in the middle of the 20th century, emerged as a representation of a new era of design and creation. This style, which came into being in the years after World War II, symbolized optimism and an appropriate forward-thinking mindset for the time. Inspired by the principles of the Bauhaus movement, this style sought to blend form and function seamlessly, creating homes that were both visually striking and practical for modern living.

Entrance: The Mid-Century Modern facade welcomes with an understated elegance, often featuring a sleek and uncluttered entryway that sets the tone for the home's clean design aesthetic.

Roof: Reflecting the architectural emphasis on simplicity and horizontal lines, the Mid-Century Modern style typically showcases a low-pitched roof, creating a harmonious connection with the surrounding landscape.

Emphasis and Distinctive Features: The Mid-Century Modern facade prioritizes a sense of openness and seamless integration between indoor and outdoor spaces. Large floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding glass doors, and open floor plans invite abundant natural light, fostering a sense of unity with nature and the surroundings.

Shapes: Mid-Century Modern homes often feature asymmetrical and geometric shapes, breaking away from traditional box-like designs. A unique blend of angles and curves adds a touch of artistic flair to the facade, enhancing its modern and innovative appeal.

Materials: A thoughtful selection of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and glass, brings warmth and authenticity to the Mid-Century Modern facade. These elements blend effortlessly, contributing to a timeless allure that continues to resonate with homeowners seeking a design that transcends generations.

Today, the Mid-Century Modern architectural facade remains an enduring classic, cherished for its timeless elegance and an iconic representation of mid-century design principles. Whether nestled in contemporary urban neighborhoods or embraced by natural landscapes, the Mid-Century Modern facade stands as a tribute to an era of design that continues to inspire and captivate homeowners, celebrate relationship between simplicity, function, and beauty.

10. Traditional

Source: Tamra Lea #Itsahouselovestory/IG

Rich in heritage and steeped in history, the Traditional architectural façade stands as a testament to enduring beauty and timeless elegance. Originating from diverse cultural influences, the Traditional style combines elements from Colonial, Victorian, Georgian, and other classic architectural movements, resulting in a facade that exudes a sense of familiarity and comfort, evoking a nostalgic charm that feels like home.

The Traditional facade continues to fascinate and be a favorite in current times despite the constantly changing landscape of architecture and design. Its ability to achieve the ideal harmony between timelessly beautiful aesthetics and a cozy sense of heritage is the source of its enduring appeal. The Traditional design offers homeowners a haven that transcends time, celebrating the past while catering to present-day demands. It accomplishes this by skillfully fusing traditional aspects with current living necessities.

Emphasizing ornate detailing, finely crafted windows, and a harmonious mix of enduring materials, the Traditional facade resonates with those seeking a connection to the past and a design that endures. Whether gracing historic districts or adding character to modern neighborhoods, the Traditional facade serves as a cherished reminder of timeless architectural beauty, celebrating the legacy of centuries of design mastery.

Entrance: The Traditional facade welcomes with a gracious entrance, often adorned with a classic front door framed by pilasters or columns, and complemented by an inviting porch or stoop.

Roof: Displaying a sense of symmetry and balance, the Traditional style typically showcases a pitched roof with gabled or hipped elements that add depth and character to the facade.

Emphasis and Distinctive Features: The Traditional facade places emphasis on traditional design elements, such as ornate detailing, decorative moldings, and finely crafted windows. These elements, inspired by historical architecture, infuse the facade with a sense of grace and sophistication.

Shapes: Traditional homes embrace a variety of shapes, from rectangular and square to more complex configurations. The facade's balanced proportions contribute to its visually pleasing and harmonious appearance.

Materials: A harmonious blend of enduring materials, such as brick, stone, wood, and stucco, ensures the Traditional facade stands the test of time. Crafted with precision and attention to craftsmanship, these materials impart a sense of sturdiness and authenticity.

Today, the traditional architectural facade continues to captivate homeowners seeking a connection to the past and a design that endures. Whether gracing historic districts or adding character to modern neighborhoods, the Traditional facade serves as a cherished reminder of timeless architectural beauty, celebrating the legacy of centuries of design mastery. 

Choosing the perfect architectural facade is about meeting your client's needs and realizing their vision for their building. That is why exploring the unique features of the most popular facades is crucial. These styles can be distinguished by their use of symmetrical patterns, elaborate detailing, clean lines, and natural materials. Architects and designers can produce outstanding, aesthetically beautiful, and practical structures that stand out in their neighborhoods by fusing these distinctive aspects. This procedure can help your clients make educated choices and ensure their vision is achieved.

The role of 3D home rendering services in showcasing different facades. 

In the dynamic world of architecture and homebuilding, staying ahead of the competition requires not only impeccable craftsmanship but also innovative marketing strategies. Incorporate 3D home rendering, a powerful tool that revolutionizes the way builders showcase their architectural facades to clients and potential buyers. 

Gone are the days of relying solely on blueprints and static images; by getting 3D home rendering services, builders can bring their facade designs to life in stunning detail and immersive realism. Understanding the client's vision and lifestyle preferences is paramount, and 3D home rendering plays a pivotal role in this process. By creating lifelike visualizations of various facade styles, builders enable clients to explore different designs and make informed decisions. They can customize colors, materials, and landscaping, allowing clients to envision their dream home, fostering a strong emotional connection throughout the design phase. 

Moreover, 3D home rendering addresses practicality, showcasing how climate-appropriate features and energy-efficient elements optimize functionality and sustainability. It also aids builders in striking the right balance between design aspirations and cost-effectiveness, as clients gain a clear understanding of the investment involved. Harnessing the power of 3D home rendering in marketing allows builders to captivate potential buyers, as these immersive visualizations can be used in promotional materials, websites, and social media, deepening the emotional connection to the property and increasing the likelihood of positive purchasing decisions. 

Ultimately, 3D home rendering empowers builders with a persuasive marketing tool that elevates their facade designs, enabling them to confidently embark on awe-inspiring architectural creations that resonate with clients and leave a lasting impression on the market.


In conclusion, the world of architectural facades offers a diverse array of styles, each with its unique charm and enduring appeal. By understanding client preferences, considering location and climate, and incorporating sustainable elements, builders can create homes that embody both individuality and practicality. The introduction of 3D home rendering as a marketing tool further elevates their designs, captivating clients and buyers alike. Let us embrace the spirit of innovation while honoring the timeless beauty of each facade style, leaving a lasting impact on the landscape of homes for generations to come.

This article was last updated on Sep 20, 2023