The Biggest Cladding And Exterior Design Trends

Architecture is central to our exploration of art and style–and nothing speaks louder than the exterior of a building when it comes to expressing emerging tastes and sentiments.

If you are looking ahead to a new project, commercial or residential, you have a unique role to play in shaping the cultural zeitgeist. For a building that’s bold, beautiful, trend-setting, and fashionable, here are the modern cladding and exterior design trends that will help your building push the envelope.

The Modern Cladding And Exterior Design Trends

Color, Texture, Tone

It all begins with color. This is where personal tastes come into play–different shades invoke specific meaning and it’s all about what you want people to feel when they look at your building.

Here are a couple of examples of how others are using color to help you start developing the palette that is right for you.

The Modern CladdingAnd Exterior Design Trends: Color, Texture, Tone

Dark Tones

Bright, light, and white was once a popular mantra for exterior designers looking to pick the tone of their building.

While the modern farmhouse and white picket fence look still kicks around the catalog of home magazines–it is the darker shades that are quickly becoming the symbol of what is next in design.

The Modern CladdingAnd Exterior Design Trends: Dark Tones

Once considered brooding, buildings that at least incorporate some form of black, brown, or gray (or even off-shades like navy blue) are quickly becoming symbols of eloquence and luxury.

This is in part thanks to the popularity of metallic cladding options, such as Aluminum Composite Material (ACM). These offer a luxurious gloss that brings pop and a healthy dose of light that draws comparison to modern tech and sleek sports cars.


If going all-in on dark tones is not your fancy, accents are a great way to take advantage of the elegance of colors like black, brown, and gray–while still keeping the overall experience bright.

The Modern CladdingAnd Exterior Design Trends: Accents

Composition is everything in art, whether architecture, painting, or photography, so soffits, trims, roofing, and similar elements offer great opportunities to frame your cladding masterpiece and draw eyes where you want them to go.


Jumping off from accents, modern cladding and exterior design trends put a great emphasis on contrast.

The novelty of contemporary metal cladding lies in its smooth and glossy look–and there is no better way to showcase this than running it alongside more traditional materials that work in the opposite direction.

The Modern CladdingAnd Exterior Design Trends: Contrast

There is an opportunity to not just contrast with color, but also with texture. Using a blend of materials, both traditional and modern, is a great way to show off the unique features of each.

Wood polymer composite and aluminum siding wrap the warmth of nature with the elegance of contemporary innovation, the grit of stone makes the smoothness of ACM all the more profound, and so on.

The Modern CladdingAnd Exterior Design Trends: Contrast

The Modern Art Of Placemaking

In the world of architecture, the word placemaking is getting thrown around more and more. The idea began with designers crafting public spaces–and its principles are now being considered in the creation of all buildings.

The Modern Art Of Placemaking

At its root, placemaking puts an emphasis on the well-being, health, and happiness of the people, family, or community using a space–this all starts with a people-first exterior design.

High Windows

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: High Windows

Natural light is proven time and again to benefit both mental and physical health. It is no surprise that the best way to maximize this happiness-inducing natural light in your building is by designing exteriors with the most window space possible.

This trend is an easy one to follow: big windows–use them!

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: High Windows

Outdoor Space

The pandemic saw many of us upgrading our outdoor entertainment space–and this trend has not let up. Thanks to modern cladding materials, the same flair that goes into your interior design can be carried forth with your outdoor space–with durability that will put your mind at ease.

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: Outdoor Space

For example, your hardwood flooring may be your favorite part of your home–but keeping up the warm, knotty look outside is difficult given the resilience of natural wood.

Using a modern cladding material like wood polymer allows you to design your exterior with the same freedom as you have when it comes to your interior.

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: Outdoor Space

Put big sliding doors on the rear of your facade–and allow your building to flow seamlessly between indoors and outdoors. A luxurious venue for barbeques, gatherings, and cool summer nights, modern cladding does not just enclose a living space but can act as one in its own right.


The Modern Art Of Placemaking: Minimalism

Simplicity goes a long way. Modern design tools and features, whether you are looking at a building, an Instagram post, or a website, offer so many options that people have become overwhelmed by excess.

In a world where saturation can be cranked to the max, the more pop and staying power black and white can have.

The same is true for your building–less can be more if you choose to play into the strengths of a select number of features.

ACM is the king of this principle. In its simplicity, it becomes a blank slate for onlookers to attach their own desires, thoughts, and feelings. Keeping things minimalist also ensures a certain timelessness.

The loudest trends of today are quick to grow tacky. A smooth metal surface that catches the glow of the passing sun–that will always be in season.

The serenity and peacefulness of minimalism make for places and spaces that inspire people to reflect, relax, and fill in the blanks as their minds see fit.

Cubist Architecture

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: Cubist Architecture

We would be remiss not to put a spotlight on one of our favorite modern cladding and exterior design trends: cubism. Once the marquee style of the legendary painter Picasso, cubism has since grown off the 2D canvas into the 3D world of architecture.

Modern metallic cladding, as we know it today, was pioneered by one of cubism’s most important works–the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by architect Frank Gehry. Cubist buildings employ sharp lines, using simple geometry as building blocks to abstract, fragment, and form unique patterns.

The Modern Art Of Placemaking: Cubist Architecture


If you are looking for something that breaks the mold, looking for inspiration from this boxy style is the first step toward a building that truly embodies the future of design.

Flat roofs are growing more popular by the day, lending themselves well to cladding panels such as ACM which add geometric patterns to the greater silhouette of these profoundly unique buildings.

Geometric wonders like these make up some of the most cherished projects in our portfolio. We have had the honor of carrying out all of the trends listed in this article–and we cannot wait to push the envelope once more with your project!

To learn more about Wiedehopf’s intuitive and trend-setting design process, click here.

We cannot wait for you to call us at +1(905) 761 9791, so we can talk about the latest cladding and exterior design trends and start envisioning the design that will set your building apart!

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