Paint It Black! Trendy Home Exteriors Are Going Dark

A new Phaidon book pays tribute to black-clad homes through the ages, and the HGTV Dream Home 2018 is proof of black's trend-setting power.

Photo By: Oller & Pejic Architecture/Marc Angeles

Photo By: Design by GSA Architects; Photo by Nate Grant

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Photo By: Johnsen Schmaling Architects/John J.Macaulay

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A Little Desert Drama

Black isn’t only for interiors: It’s a bold, modern choice for exteriors of every style, too, as seen in a new book from Phaidon Black: Architecture in Monochrome and in the HGTV Dream Home 2018. According to the Phaidon book, the owners of this home in the California High Desert wanted a home that resembled a shadow.

Take it Outside

"The black exterior allows this house to blend into its dark, forested surroundings while providing a bold contrast to the colorful foliage and bright interior," say the architects at GSA Architects, the creative minds behind the HGTV Dream Home 2018 in Gig Harbor, WA. "Painting the vertical tongue and groove siding a dark color helps hide the joints between boards, giving the siding a more homogenous and minimal look. Make sure to use a satin exterior paint to avoid accumulating too much dirt on the siding."

Cool Cottage

An exterior shot of this tiny slice of paradise showcases the floor-to-ceiling windows and the front door trimmed in white. Semicircular planted areas feature short shrubs that add appeal without taking over the exterior of the house. The black paint is a bold finish against the lush, natural surroundings.

NYC Tighthouse

This 19th-century home renovation featured a new back facade, a third floor, a roof terrace and an artist's studio on the basement floor. It's black facade is a striking contrast with surrounding homes.

Go Gray

Black is the best and most effective way to add drama or moodiness to your exterior. Since black is a neutral, it works harmoniously with just about every other color out there. One thing to be aware of when using black is how quickly it can become yellow-green when coated with a layer of springtime pollen. In order to keep it true to its color, you'll need to plan to hose down your trim and shutters if you live in areas highly affected by pollen.

Black Traditional Rear Facade

The rear facade of this Brooklyn townhouse is painted all-black, a bold decision that lends drama to the traditional structure. A bricked terrace adds to the home's livable space, while a tall fence provides privacy.

Back in Black

The LeJeune Residence in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is featured in the Phaidon book Black: Architecture in Monochrome, celebrating this resurgent trend for dark home exteriors. Built in 1890, this building was once used as a home for the groomsmen who cared for wealthy residents' horses.

Stacked Cabin in the Woods

This entirely unexpected modern cabin in Muscoda, Wisconsin is even more arresting for its striking black exterior. The vacation home is featured in Phaidon's tribute to the history and modern examples of black clad architecture, Black: Architecture in Monochrome.


Thought to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited wooden homes in the world, this stunning Faroe Islands, Denmark home demonstrates that black home facades are not a recent phenomenon. Dated to the 11th century, the "King's Farm" home's black color comes from wood treated with a tar mixture and is featured in the impressive Phaidon publication Black: Architecture in Monochrome.

Modern Home Features Wraparound Deck

An ipe wood deck wraps around this modern home, providing plenty of space for outdoor entertaining. Black door and window frames show how black elements can be incorporated into exterior design when a completely black exterior might be intimidating.

An Urban Beauty

The design intent for this stunning, on-trend urban exterior was to design a version of a traditional brownstone. One of the ways this was achieved was by using an interesting mix of materials. Brick, stucco, custom millwork paneling and cornice detailing, and custom iron details complete the look.

Colonial Home Front Door

If an entirely black exterior is to much of a leap, think "gateway" uses of black. A stone patio and black French door opens into the foyer of this renovated colonial home that uses a black entry for a touch of drama.

Black Door Brings the Modern

Warm exotic hardwood offers a backdrop that helps this sleek, modern door and address plaque pop for easy curb appeal.

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