It is also a chance to play with colors and materials. In the area of Norway where I come from, the old style would be a white house made of wood with a different color around the windows and for the doors.
With apartment buildings everything has become more uniform and functional. But if you keep looking, you will find unique details. Especially if you get out of the big cities.
I had a chance to take a quick walk during a visit to Pirenopolis in Brazil, a couple of hours drive from the capital Brasilia. Here, it seems like everyone has gone out of their way to make their houses stand out.
The city itself has a thriving community of silversmiths that make beautiful jewelry and other artifacts, often mixed with semi-precious stones. If you ever have the chance to get to this area, make sure you include a visit here. You will not regret it!