Unless you are building a museum or any other such historical landmark, you will probably need to have architecture that looks nice and sleek. This is especially true when you talk about building a new home for yourself and your family as you would want your house to last for a long time, preferably until the time your kids grow up and move on with their lives.
When you talk about nice clean lines in a house, the one thing you have to remember is that modern architecture is simple and straightforward. So, instead of using the traditional clapboard siding, replace it with board claddings which are smooth and broad in width. Likewise, if you want to use wood or stone in the house, ensure that it is simple and has the minimal amount of engraving etc.
Another tip here would be use stained wood instead of the painted one as this will emphasize its original color and character.