The extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECM-regulatory proteins mediate structural and cell-cell interactions that are crucial for embryonic cardiac development and postnatal homeostasis, as well as organ remodeling and repair in response to injury. These proteins possess a broad functionality that is regulated by multiple structural domains and dependent on their ability to interact with extracellular substrates and/or cell surface receptors. Several different cell types (cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial and inflammatory cells) within the myocardium elaborate ECM proteins, and their role in cardiovascular (patho)physiology has been increasingly recognized. This has stimulated robust research dissecting the ECM protein function in human health and disease and replicating the genetic proof-of-principle. This review summarizes recent developments regarding the contribution of ECM to cardiovascular disease. The clear importance of this heterogeneous group of proteins in attenuating maladaptive repair responses provides an impetus for further investigation into these proteins as potential pharmacological targets in cardiac diseases and beyond.