Renovate

These 11 homes confirm that white exteriors are superior

If you're on the fence about whether to go white, these houses will convince you.

Some love white homes, others… not so much. It’s a colour that’s divisive, especially when there’s a lot of it. But this curated collection of Home Beautiful’s most-clicked homes confirms it: white exteriors are superior.

There’s no denying that a fresh coat of white paint can transform a home’s facade in the best way possible. If you choose the right shade of white, it can take your home’s street appeal from sad to stunning.

From a faded weatherboard house, to a new build with modern features or even a tired bungalow with bricks that are lacking in the style department, a white makeover might be just what’s in order.

You can go all out with white, with everything from the roof and gutters to the door and fence for a crisp, uniform look. Or introduce other elements like a calming green roof, black-striped awning, recycled brick stairs or a bright yellow door to hint at the personality that lies inside.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at Home Beautiful’s best of the best white homes.

1. A beautiful beachside cottage

This once dim and dated cottage looks completely different now, thanks to a bright, white makeover. Both the interior and exterior were painted white. “White is an excellent base for any room, but it needs to be partnered with pattern, texture, colour or interesting hardware to really shine,” says homeowner and interior stylist Sarah Parry-Okeden of Wild Orchid Spaces.

It’s advice that can also be applied to a white home exterior. In the case of this cute home in Sydney’s Avalon, heritage features like the stained-glass windows add character to the white. “The entrance to a property needs to be inviting,” says Sarah, who designed the porch stairs in a staggered format, which allowed enough space for some potted plants. Additional accents were added overhead to reinforce the home’s heritage.

Avalon white cottage exterior
White refreshes this heritage home’s front entry. (Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Lisa Hilton)

2. A romantic heritage cottage

Homeowners Gemma, a public relations consultant, and husband Dale, a builder, plus their young sons Hugo, three, and Angus, one, love nothing more than welcoming family and friends to their beautifully reborn home in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. The dilapidated cottage became a dream abode painted in creamy white with bullnose verandah.

The garden helps the white facade feel fitting for a fairytale. Flowering white roses and English box hedges grace the entrance, imbuing the magical garden with a traditional quality that is perfectly in keeping with the home’s classic Edwardian facade. “It’s come together very well,” says Dale of the garden that he and his dad created together.

heritage white cottage modern renovation exterior
This cottage looks quaint in creamy white. (Photography: Armelle Habib / Styling: Julia Green)

3. A dream Federation home

Dappled leadlighting, shingled roofing and a chic, elegant exterior made homeowner MJ fall in love with this Federation beauty on Sydney’s lower north shore, even before she took a single step inside. The classic lines and details felt similar to those on the homes around where she was raised. “My husband Andrew and I grew up in Adelaide, and the home was so evocative of the city’s beautiful bluestones that I knew he would love it as much as I did,” she says.

MJ and Andrew bought the property in 2014, and moved in with their children, Alexandra, now 13, Kate, 12, and Jack, 10. Interior designer Viv Hannigan came on board to help the family update the property which is now an eye-catching masterpiece in white with striking black accents.

heritage family home Sydney
This stark white facade works beautifully with sharp black accents. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Ashley Pratt)

4. A dignified cottage in Leura

Carol, her husband George and their children Jacob, 21, Benjamin 11, and Claire, 14, had been visiting the Blue Mountains suburb of Leura for many years before buying their cottage in 2014. “We love Leura – it holds many precious childhood memories for our family,” says Carol, the driving force behind this elegant home renovation.

When they first saw the house it was small and dark, but go-getter Carol loved facing the transformation challenge. “Restoring the cottage was no small undertaking!” she admits. The facade was refreshed with Dulux Vivid White with a contrasting dark Colorbond roof and black door for a smart, classic look.

white weatherboard cottage leura exterior
The white exterior of this cottage is made extra inviting with brick stairs. (Photography: Helen Ward)

5. A contemporary new build

With Greek heritage and a shared appreciation for Scandi minimalism, Brisbane couple Christal and Chris of Zou Build melded their influences into their contemporary new-build home. They opted for a sleek interpretation of a gable facade that ticked the council requirements. It features light-toned Knotwood in Norwegian Beech and Cooma stone from Edge Tile & Stone.

“We see a lot of beautiful homes, being in the building industry, but we wanted our own home to feel fresh and a bit different,” says Christal. “As we are on a small lot with just a 10-metre frontage, we excavated and located the garage in the home’s undercroft. It gave us more space internally and has given our facade a point of difference.”

Contemporary coastal home exterior with stone feature wall
A modern white home is warmed up with stone details. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

6. A tropical Hamptons home

After living in the WA hinterland for eight years, homeowners Kristie and Andrew wanted a sea change for their family of four. “This empty lot ticked all the right boxes,” says real estate agent Kristie. “It was slightly elevated, which would give us views of the beach with a north-facing backyard.”

In keeping with the coastal vibes, they went with an all-white facade for the laid-back tropical Hamptons home with pops of green in the pots and garden. The James Hardie Scyon ‘Linea’ 180mm-wide weatherboard cladding was painted Dulux Casper White Quarter to evoke an “island feel”.

laid back tropical hamptons home wa front white exterior
A classic Queenslander gets a dose of coastal white. (Photography: Jody D’Arcy / Styling: Angela Lyon)

7. A modern farmhouse in Brisbane

When Brisbane couple Kristy and Mark bought the house, the plan was to knock down and rebuild. They had looked to buy in this area for years, and it was all about the land – a one-hectare block where their children, Joshua, now 10, Ruby, nine, Lachlan, six, and Stella, four, could enjoy a rural lifestyle. They hit it off with builder Rachael Turner of Front Porch Properties, who ran the 18-month design and build. “We wanted a home that was classic, cosy and comfortable,” says Kristy.

The entire process of creating their modern country farmhouse was a dream fulfilled for Kristy, who’d spent years collecting images of Queenslanders, Australian farmhouses, cottages and American architecture, which helped inspire the finishes and details. The white facade ties in perfectly with the timeless palette of timber, tumbled limestone and polished concrete floors throughout.

modern country farmhouse brisbane exterior
This white exterior is about as beautiful as they come. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

8. A country manor in the Southern Highlands

Sitting on a sweeping half-hectare block, this modern country manor is surrounded by majestic gardens. While working from her home office, busy corporate executive homeowner Annelise enjoys an outlook of evergreen trees and Japanese maples that change colour with the seasons. “This constant view of nature is a great counterbalance to my busy work days,” says Annelise, who also co-owns vintage and secondhand furniture marketplace Curated Spaces.

Annelise is happy the facade isn’t the originally intended all black. “The white looks so homely and inviting,” she says. Throughout, the base palette has been kept fresh and neutral – white walls, natural stone benchtops, warm engineered oak floors and sisal carpets – with blues and greys in the living spaces. 

modern country home southern highlands
This white home is all about the details in cladding and a pergola. (Photography: Natalie Hunfalvay / Styling: Lisa Burden)

9. Barefoot beach house

Interior designer and SOUL Home founder Simone Mathews is known for creating homes that have a year-round holiday vibe. Before she set to work on this barefoot beach house it was dark and outdated. It was given new life with a refined coastal palette of white, soft blue, grey and white with touches of sandy beige – tones inspired by the home’s coastal location. 

The decking in ‘Turpentine’ by Big River Group, was selected for its durability. “Turpentine ages so well, creating nice silver tones,” says Simone. “It is also low-maintenance when left to age, which is again exactly what you want in a holiday home.” 

Rear deck of a renovated beach house on the NSW South Coast.
A wonderfully welcoming white facade with timber decking. (Image: The Palm Co)

10. A colourful city cottage with white exterior

Tucked into a pretty pocket of Sydney’s Lower North Shore, this joyful bonbon box of a home comforts its owner, Clare, and her eight-year-old daughter Betty. Clare purchased the circa-1905 abode in 2014, choosing the neighbourhood for its proximity to her family and the sparkling harbour. She enlisted the help of the team at Anna Spiro Design to beautify it to her liking.

While the front of the house is white, the gate and front door in vivid Dulux Midas Touch hint at the vibrancy inside. “Colour was in; neutrals, beige, white and blacks were out,” says homeowner Clare of the transformation of her two-bedroom cottage. 

Colourful city cottage with white exterior
Proof that white doesn’t have to be bland but can work as a base for brights. (Photography: Tim Salisbury / Styling: Penny Sheehan)

11. A Brisbane worker’s cottage

With plans to take a luxurious Mediterranean holiday cancelled due to Covid, Monica and husband Joe instead decided to redirect their travel budget into renovating their 1930s worker’s cottage where they live with their two teenage children. Hayley Hayes of Porch Light Interiors oversaw the project and devised a refreshed interior scheme throughout.

The heritage exterior, previously brown and white was also refreshed in Porter’s Paints Explorer Blue, with trims and filigree screens accented in Dulux Whisper White. “Rather than a white clinical home, I really wanted a vibrant look with an unexpected combination of colours and fabrics and Hayley pulled it off perfectly,” explains Monica.

white queenslander cottage exterior
A white exterior is made all the more interesting offset with a muted blue. (Photography: Mindi Cooke)

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