151 Exterior Small Home Design Photos And Ideas

Constructed with sustainably sourced lumber and large, double-pane windows, Studio Shed’s all-season Signature Series units are popularly used as backyard offices.
At night, with the interior lights in use, the mirrored glass becomes transparent, exposing the interior to the outside.
The surrounding landscape was subtly modified to create a path to the bathroom, and to hide the columns on which the structure sits.
Smart storage tactics are combined with a U-shaped sofa to maximize space in this delightful tiny home.
After: The barn’s original framing was kept for its agricultural character. Faulkner Architects applied an exterior envelope of salvaged redwood and added a Cor-Ten steel roof that will patina over time.
If you’re traveling to Puglia in Italy, one of the most iconic sights are trulli (trullo is the singular), an ancient hut that's specific to the Itria Valley in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Made with dry stone, trulli date back to medieval times.
New entry with easy access for all
The oblique concrete roofs for each of the guest suites angle upward to allow for expansive views of the rolling hills and the valley.
The guesthouse’s staggered rooftop mimics the rolling hills of the landscape. Board-formed concrete on the exterior evokes wood siding while being low-maintenance and fire-resistant.
The three guest suites connect and appear as a massive minimalist sculpture set in the landscape.
The 840-square-foot guesthouse Mork Ulnes Architects designed in Sonoma, California, comprises three concrete-and-glass volumes that line a great ridge.
This three-bedroom, three-bath home was given a makeover by artist and designer Lindsay Hollinger. The 1,116-square-foot residence sits on a five-acre lot, and the interior is swathed in natural light. While the space is almost entirely updated, there are remnants of the original house—including an original stone wall that stands as a focal point.
AI SpaceFactory entered and won NASA’s competition to design a home for Mars—and now their otherworldly creation is a reality here on earth. Named TERA, the eco-retreat is 3D-printed out of the same biopolymer basalt composite used to create the competition-winning prototype.The plant-based, NASA-tested material has three times the strength of concrete, and can be recycled or resorbed back into the earth at the end of the structure's lifecycle. The install process treads lightly on the surrounding ecosystem—for example, a laser scan of the build site will eliminate the need to level the forest floor.
Black-framed windows and doors tie in with the black metal roof and dark chimney.
The tongue-and-groove wood boards are divided at the half-height by a contrasting, black steel plate.
A simple material palette of wood, steel, and glass clads the exterior of each house.
The simple structures are a modern play on the traditional cabin with wood-clad exteriors and gabled roofs.
Nestled within Verholy Relax Park in Sosnivka, Ukraine, these contemporary guest cottages by YOD Design Lab offer a sense of solitude and a meaningful outdoor connection. Highly reflective windows mirror the forest, while an outdoor terrace wraps around each cottage. Inside, interiors are swathed in organic hues and materials to allow the views to be the focal point—each dwelling is arranged so that windows peer at pines rather than another building. The houses are even installed on geo-screens to save the root systems of the surrounding trees in the forest, to prevent them from being cut down.
At under 100 square feet, the 8' x 12' Site Shack includes just the essentials: a wood-burning stove, a desk, and storage.
The narrow strips of alder that encase the exterior mimic the textured bark of the surrounding pine trees.
A Thermowood deck is enclosed with hot-rolled metal railings.
Spurred by the city’s generous ADU incentives and a desire to reduce their environmental footprint, a couple—he an architect and she a construction engineer—designed and built an elegant, 624-square-foot backyard home with sustainability at its core. Scott Mooney and Lauren Shumaker’s compact backyard home is located in the back half of their 5,000-square-foot lot in the Richmond neighborhood of Southeast Portland. The couple plans to track the energy use of their new-build’s electric equipment and appliances. The data will inform the size of their photovoltaic array they'll add to offset the energy costs of the ADU and the bungalow.
Faulkner likes how the new building acts to "fit like a glove over the top" of the old one, so the memory of what was there is preserved.
The doorway on the left accesses an entry porch, which can be closed with the sliding door. The screened porch is the stepped-down volume on the right.
The 56-foot home spent three years being used as a trade show prototype by HMK Prefab Homes. The current owners purchased it at the 2014 Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles.
As backers continue to donate to the project's Indiegogo campaign, additional amenities will be added to the grounds. For the time being, the home will rely on power from the grid.
A stay at TERA plugs visitors into the Hudson River's gorgeous setting. The home's design blends into the region’s landscape.
TERA will be made of a plant-based composite that is recyclable and biodegradable. The structure being built next to the Hudson River is a rehash of the MARSHA Mars prototype.
The hot pink bungalow peeks out from behind lush tropical landscaping.
“We’d go to the salvage yard every weekend and painstakingly go through hundreds of windows, see one that might work, write down the measurements, run out to Jeff’s truck, and put it in the SketchUp model,” says Molly. The chair is by Christophe Pillet for Emu.
"The building form was intentionally asymmetric and clad in hand-stained, split-face shakes and metal," says Campos Studio.
Now that the daughter lives just steps away from her mother, Campos says, "The laneway has reunited the family and provided a house that reflects their cultural heritage in a subtle but significant way."
Perched above a pond on 14 acres in Champaign, Illinois, this hut was designed for enjoying tea and meditation. Dominating the 97-square-foot structure is a butterfly roof, which channels rainwater to a central spout to be directed to the pond. Adding to the zen experience are water reflections that are projected onto the soffit throughout the day.
The 200 square foot house takes advantage of a tiny strip of greenery outside the front entry to the home. The sliding glass window allows for interactions with their neighbors and those passing by on the street. The entry to the home is actually off to the side.
The architects inserted skylights in an artful pattern in the rooftop.
At night, the exterior screen provides privacy when the house is illuminated.
Per the Kebony website, their wood products are composed of sustainable softwoods that have been modified with a bio-based liquid to give them the characteristics of hardwoods, making the end result hardy and durable.
The deck of Atelier Victoria Migliore's tree house in France has two swings attached.
The mobile office evolved into what is now dubbed the Site Shack. "It’s generally very comfortable," says Patrick Powers of Powers Construction. "It really is an amazing work space, and something we can have fun with."
The 1000-square-foot ADU is two levels with a footprint that allows the owners to retain plenty of outdoor space for their dogs to play. The façade “is a rain screen system, so the heat gain on the Brazilian hardwood is minimized by being physically separated by an air gap between it and the membrane behind it,” said Knight. “So, the wood heats up when sun hits it and this is not directly translated into the wall on the interior; it is instead buffered by this air gap.” The large doors and second-story skylights then work together to pull a nice breeze through the house.
An exterior view shows how the building wraps around the site’s existing trees.
Stilts elevate the home three to 10 feet above the ground. The firm suspended the building in order to preserve the root systems of the surrounding trees.
The exterior combines recycled brick, radial sawn timber, and galvanized roof sheeting. "Materials were selected to meet the clients’ brief that the house fit within the cognitive idea of an old shed," explain the architects.
The home is located in the desirable Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla.
The home's modular design is composed of an outer shell and an interior core unit that contains essential living functions, such as a bed, bathroom, and a small kitchenette.
The Minimod by MAPA of Montevideo, Uruguay, is a primitive refuge with a modern twist.
Full-height sliding glass doors bring a sense of the outdoors into the home.
The exterior of the Mill House.
This floating home by Atelier Drome features a wraparound Ipe deck that is accessible from every room. The building is clad in horizontal cedar siding that adds style and warmth to the structure sitting on Lake Union. A cedar slat screen provides privacy from the dock.
Exterior with cedar slat screen wall and additional storage
Exterior with cedar siding and large windows
Cedar siding and wrap around ipe deck with sitting areas
Wrap around ipe deck with doors to every room and storage
Wrap around ipe deck
Deck with cedar slat screen for privacy
The new, semi-custom PreMade mobile units can be used in a variety of applications.
The Site Shack in a pristine natural setting in British Columbia.
Pick-up points on the exterior allow the Site Shack to be transported by crane with ease.
The Site Shack is seamless in appearance without visible fasteners.

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.