It’s your home’s equivalent of a first impression. Why not make it a lasting one? We’ve taken a look at some of the growing trends in Australian home exteriors and have created a comprehensive review of a few of the nation’s most up-to-date façade fashions.
In the market for a new address or an extensive remodeling? These tips can help your brand-new or renovated home put its best face forward.
Just as the clothing industry has had fun juxtaposing different fabrics and textiles over the past few years, Australian homebuyers and builders are becoming increasingly attracted to the patchwork look—an aesthetic that blends various materials to create a boldly stunning architectural style.
What sorts of materials, you ask? Any kind you can think of.
Virgon Property Group reports an uptrend in building components that evoke the natural world such as timber, metal and glass, while James Hardie reps rightly point out their Scyon Wall Range of cladding (which comes in finishes like weatherboard, panel, blockwork and a host of other options) offer an extensive textural palette for any wood-framed exterior.
When in doubt, however, brick and brick veneer are still regarded as sensible choices, no doubt because of their timeless feel. Director and founding member of Architect EAT Albert Mo said in a recent interview, “Bricks will gain momentum, and there will be new ways of working with bricks in the years ahead.”
Gone are the days when the thought of concrete conjured images of a corporate asphalt jungle. Techniques such as “off-forming” are redefining the concrete finish, recasting the “bland” material as a richly textured and adaptable ingredient in home exterior construction. Its neutral colour pairs well with any scheme—especially with the lighter tones that remain popular in Queensland’s sticky climate—and its malleable viscosity allows it to mimic its surroundings (off-form concrete, for example, can be molded against a timber frame to create a mock wooden surface—a perfect feel for a home that’s situated among the trees).
Concrete also has the added benefit of a high thermal mass, meaning it can absorb some of the heat that plagues our warmer Australian suburbs.
As Australian society becomes more environmentally conscious, its houses appear to be following suit. As a result, homes with one foot in the great outdoors are in high demand, and buyers are becoming more and more interested in alfresco styles. These designs include attributes such as larger windows, airy atria and patios that are effortlessly connected to their main structures via pathways or open-roofed corridors.
When creating a new exterior, you may wish to consider a few accents that open your house to the elements such as stone or tiled walkways that unite your home with your garden or sliding glass doors that invite the light into your rooms. Home buyers interested in going green take note: the more windows your home has, the less likely you are to use electricity throughout the day.
The picture above shows a house which is perfect for a roof renovation. The modern front yard and clean linear walled exterior seems out of place with the old, dirty tiled roof. A new Colorbond roof with the right colour choice would really add the finishing touch to this house.
With Australia’s current penchant for all things modern, you may have to call on the famed father of geometry for some help when designing a new façade. Homes that play with horizontal and vertical lines seem to be entirely en vogue, with many exteriors displaying rectangles of varying shapes and sizes to create an exceptional, one-of-a-kind silhouette.
Brisbane suburbanites tend to add rectangular depth by including a porch, deck or balcony in their design plan, and, in keeping with the mixed media theme, these additions often feature railings made of wood or glass. Australian homeowners also appear to enjoy experimenting with cladding, applying boards in such a way that their lines are perpendicular to one another instead of parallel, a system that creates a more detailed geometric effect.
It should come as a shock to no one that choosing exterior colours for a home is a tad trickier than selecting interior shades—if for no other reason than the outside of your home will be seen by more people than the inside. There’s also the legacy factor to think about. Most likely, whatever colours you decide on for your exterior will remain in place for several years, if not several generations. You’ll therefore have to choose carefully and wisely.
This idea probably won’t be lost on buyers and designers in the coming year. Across the media and the blogosphere, the watchwords for exterior colour in 2017 are “neutral” and “earthy”. Tones such as creams, taupes, beiges and greys will continue to be safe bets in the coming decades, colour experts indicate. But that’s not to say new homeowners should shy away from brighter hues altogether.
On the contrary, tonal accents are enjoying a definite upswing, and painting a pleasantly contrasting colour on your eaves or timber work can provide a lovely finishing touch to your overall exterior look. A softer accented shade can even draw the eye to certain angular architectural features of a modern home.
For coastal communities like Brisbane, buyers might want to opt for an accented hue that evokes the sea such as a light green or a pale blue (both of which can be used as the primary wall colour as well). But if you find you simply can’t live without a more vibrant scheme, it’s advisable to stick to tones that are found in nature. Slate blues, emerald greens, sunny yellows and charcoal greys will doubtless be more preferable to deep purples or violent pinks if you’re looking to complement your surroundings or blend in with your streetscape.
The Final Choice is Yours
Remember, the trends mentioned above are just that: trends. Your exterior design choices are ultimately all your own and while we can help point you in the right direction by showing you color swatches, if your instincts tell you to go with a certain colour or material, there’s nothing standing in your way! Best of luck in your housing renovations and planning.