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What are the best modern rustic exterior options?

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

We’ve decided to move to a more rural area just outside of the city but would like to maintain some type of contemporary feel to the home. We are really drawn to a modern but natural blend of aesthetics, both inside and outside. After doing a lot of exhaustive research this is what we came up with.

So, what are the best modern rustic exterior options? The best modern rustic exterior options are vertical planks, shou sugi ban charred cedar, wood: Tongue and Groove and Board and Batten, fiber-cement siding, metal siding, and brick and stone.

With many of these options one trend we are seeing a lot more of lately is the vertical look as compared to the horizontal. Many modern farmhouses have a vertical look with “A” frame type peaks that give it a very tall image.

Yakisugi charred cedar siding

Shou Sugi Ban (Yakisugi) Siding

One of the more bold and creative exterior siding options would be charred cedar, or yakisugi. It is often a jet black or brown tone so it definitely makes a statement. It has been used for centuries in Japan as a siding option often seen on farmhouses and some commercial buildings and has made a comeback recently as the perfect modern rustic material. Although not easy to come by I highly recommend it for its uniqueness and durability, there are still examples of places over 100 years old still with the original siding. When charring the side it prevents rot and keeps insects away, also waterproofing at the same time. If you’d like to learn more about this ancient tradition and see examples of shou sugi ban check out this article.

Modern Rustic Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove siding fits together tightly, edge to edge, creating a smooth flat surface. In the past it was usually done horizontally so to get a more modern look think about installing it vertically.

A variety of wood species can be used and you can also determine how much knottiness or smoothness you prefer. The more knotty it is the more rustic and cabin-like you are going to get so you have to balance your desired goal with the overall feel for the house. If this is just an accent area knotty might be an interesting rustic combination with a more clear texture elsewhere. Tongue and groove can be a very affordable option for exterior siding.

Board and Batten

This is a classic style that is also used as barn siding sometimes. Vertical pieces of wood are put side by side and an overlapping piece of Batten goes over the seem. Wood is often used but vinyl and other materials can also be used. Recently you can see the board and batten style a lot on the modern farmhouse style.

Fiber-Cement Siding Adds Contemporary Sleekness

The versatility of fiber cement siding provides a wide amount of options with long durability. You can get a natural wood look, stucco or masonry look all with the same product. On a modern rustic style building you can often see fiber-cement rectangle panels that provide a sleek masonry look paired with a natural wood siding in other areas.

Modern Rustic Metal Siding

Metal siding can also be used to provide a sleek or rustic look. Just like metal roofs, steel siding is also an option. If you go with a more raw finish you will get a rusty look that will uniquely weather and provide a real natural look that you will have to balance with something contemporary to avoid looking like a shack. Oppositely, solid painted metal can also look cold and sterile if not balanced somehow. I think that if you are going for a metal siding option having a fair amount of large windows is important for giving some life to the house.

Brick and Stone Siding

Brick and stone siding can add a nice modern rustic element to the home if they are not overdone. Getting quality bricklayers is becoming more difficult and it is not a cheap thing to take on. Therefore I suggest using it as an accent area possibly near the entrance or on wall only. A stone and stucco or metal combination could like nice together but again, too many patterns of stone will either look too busy or a traditional English cottage.

A solid painting of brick however can bring a very modern look to it. Here you can see an example of old brick that has been painted with a darker navy blue. Here you have a natural blend of contemporary and rustic with old brick providing an interesting texture that comes through even though everything is painted with a solid dark color.

There are many different options when it comes to modern rustic exterior siding options but the previous ones are going to be the most effective for that type of desired look.

Related Questions Is there vinyl siding that looks like wood?

In the past vinyl had a very negative image, and rightly so. The identical plastic siding that lines suburban homes throughout North America is something that can’t be overlooked. However, nowadays technology has come a long way and there are some nice looking products out there that are still inexpensive. There are some great vinyl products that look indistinguishable from cedar shingles.

More and more people do not want to deal with the upkeep that is required with a real wood exterior. Vinyl isn’t going to rot, warp, swell or expand like rain can do to wood over time. One of the main reasons someone might want a wood-like vinyl siding is because it is extremely cost effective. If you are thinking about siding you might also be interested in an article on some roofing ideas. If you’d like to learn more or get more ideas for creating a modern rustic home then check us out at ShizenStyle.

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