Charming and Chic: Small Houses with Enchanting Curb Appeal

Lately on the blog I’ve been focusing more on small spaces and small houses (thanks to a reader’s suggestion). I’ve always had a special fondness for quaint cottages, cabins, bungalows – you name it. So today I’m featuring a collection of charming and chic homes that are small on size but big on curb appeal.

When a house has unique architectural details, it’s always going to stand out. How many times do you seen an interesting window like this one on the second floor? Also note the yellow door with its arched glass and pretty skylights. And then there’s the trim work beneath the porch behind the small bushes.

Craftsman house exteriorPhoto by James Hardie Building Products


This tiny house from Our Town Plans catches my eye every time I see it. Their mission is to make classic, beautiful architecture accessible to all. They’re houses are historically inspired and so pretty to look at! You can see the plan for the Pendleton house (just 418 square feet) and enjoy a few interior photos.

Pendleton house -small housesPhoto by Our Town Plans


Okay – what’s more charming than a yellow cottage with red trim and a white picket fence? If I won the lottery, I think I would develop a community of small houses that don’t sacrifice style and are still affordable. 

yellow cottage with red trimPhoto by D. W. Chase RA


Just because a home is small in stature doesn’t mean it can’t be bold in color. Toss those decorating fears aside and have fun with color combinations. Note the two-toned windows. I’ve long been a fan of this paint treatment on exterior windows and my own windows are two-toned.

colorful bungalow with curb appealPhoto by D. W. Chase RA


Not too long ago I posted about stained glass windows making a comeback. Look how pretty they are on this blue-gray charmer with a bright yellow front door. This past weekend I was looking for stained glass at the flea market but walked away empty-handed. I saw a few pieces, but not quite what I had in mind. I’ll keep looking. 

dark blue bungalow with stained glass windowsPhoto by Harrell Design + Build


Do you enjoy earthy tones on a home’s exterior? This cottage makes great use of color to highlight the various architectural aspects of the home. The stone wall next to the sidewalk also helps amp up the curb appeal. 

craftsman small houses - earth tones exteriorPhoto by Noble Johnson Architects


Does the look of this little home seem familiar? It’s another beauty from Our Town Plans and you can see more of it on their website.  This one is slightly larger at 794 square feet. 

Our Town Plans - small housesPhoto by Our Town Plans


This adorable blue cottage looks like a little Nordic house in the woods. Or maybe I’m thinking that because it’s summer and this house is set in a snowy scene. 

dark blue small house


A small stucco house enjoys the same color on the roof and shutters. It’s a great way to tie the entire exterior together. Wrap it all up in a white picket fence and you’ve got plenty of curb appeal.

white cottage with green shutters


Is there anything more romantic than an English style stone cottage? Sigh.

brick cottage with green picket fence


And finally, a bright blue home with a pretty green vine clambering over the front door. Add a diamond-patterned window pane and you’ve got all the charm you need.

Small blue house in Los Angeles


If you enjoyed today’s collection of small houses, be sure to check out my post on Fifi O’Neill’s latest book, Small Spaces, Big Appeal. You can enter to win a copy of it!


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  1. Just love looking at these cute little homes. Would love some current pictures of your backyard and pond!

  2. Those Our Town cottages are just darling, but that English stone cottage has stolen my heart.