It’s often said that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but sometimes exteriors give interiors a serious run for their money. So today, we’re taking things outside. Clad in brick, shingles, steel and corrugated metal, these homes from the WL archives make an unforgettable first impression. Keep scrolling to see what we mean.

Photo: Ema Peter

Pixel Perfect

Covered with shingles in various shades of pink, this home often delights and surprises people—and challenges their ideas of what a house is supposed to look like. “The clients wanted and had the courage to do something interesting,” says Clinton Cuddington, principal of Measured Architecture. Like what you see? The playful exterior is just a tease of what’s inside. Tour this one-of-a-kind residence.

Photo: Andrew Latreille

Brick Beauty

BLA Design Group and Wiedemann Architectural Designer had a goal of creating a four-level home that was both monolithic and full of light. So how’d they do it? By opting for brick masonry, double-height windows and black metal detailing on the exterior. It’s a far cry from the properties you typically find in Vancouver and we are totally here for it. Step inside this 9,700-square-foot abode.

Photo: Grant Harder

Rust Away

A lot of people (professional home builders or not) could probably tell you that using steel in a rain-prone city is a big mistake. But the team at DPo Architecture would say otherwise. Rusting steel panels give this Vancouver home an amazing textural quality that’s perfectly juxtaposed by the sleek glass windows. See more of this courtyard home.

Photo: Sama Jim Cazian

Face It

According to architect D’Arcy Jones, “conservatism and minimalism are overtaking architecture, and the results are way too bland and inhuman.” That’s why he and builder Aryze Developments installed a striking corrugated metal slab on the facade of this home. We love the bleached cedar siding and exposed concrete floor slabs, too. Learn more about this bold design choice.

Photo: Ema Peter

Practical Magic

This clean, modern structure stands in stark contrast against the lush West Coast wilderness—and for good reason! Since the house is located in a wildfire zone, architectural designer Mark Simone went with a black-on-black metal exterior that’s as stylish as it is safe. Explore this 4,200-square-foot family home.

Photo: Christina Faminoff

Ranch House

If you were to look up “modern farmhouse” in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of this Okanagan residence. The owners have two slightly different styles so the teams at Form Collective and Heartwood Homes had to find the perfect compromise—and this chic country style is it. Forget about Yellowstone! We’ve got a new ranch to dream about. Check out the rest of this amazing property.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Shy Guy

Striking, captivating, intriguing—that’s how we would describe this Vancouver home, owned by former NHL star Trevor Linden. But designer David Nicolay uses a different word: “introverted.” The extruded aluminum cladding, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass door, and basalt tile give the house a quiet, sophisticated presence. Check out the rest of this modernist beauty.