Exterior cladding not only shields the structure of a home from the elements and provides insulation, but also makes a strong visual statement. Most of us are familiar with the various forms of traditional cladding, but when it comes to modern exterior cladding designs, the options extend beyond standard brick, or horizontally laid, external weatherboards.
Today there is a huge variety of cladding styles available. These range from traditional timber and natural stone cladding to composite, brick, vinyl, aluminium, steel, concrete, ceramic, fibre cement, fibreboard, glass and metal.
All cladding styles can be installed in a series of creative ways. And cladding is no longer limited to walls; these days we are cladding kitchens, ceilings, outdoor settings, fences and more.
Once you have explored the cladding types available, mixing and matching is then just a matter of taste. So, here are some creative cladding design ideas for your next project.
Why go horizontal when you can go vertical?
Contemporary wood cladding on Australian homes often follows the traditional layout of timber boards laid horizontally. There is nothing wrong with this, but the new trend is to run the boards vertically, and from an eco-friendly perspective, to use a reliable composite to help save our forests.
The vertical lines provide a sense of height and emphasis to a particular part of the building. Also, in areas where tall trees or hills and mountains form a backdrop, the vertical lines attract the eye upwards to take in the magnificent scenery and the home does not appear dwarfed by comparison.
As an example, this architecturally designed home in Scarborough, WA, built by Broadwater Builds, features NewTechWood ShadowUH61 Castellation cladding in Ipe, installed vertically.
Also, this two-storey home in NSW built by Clarendon Homes showcases NewTechWood Castellation cladding in Ipe. When combined with other construction materials, exterior timber look cladding can create an accented feature that breaks up large areas, adding character and warmth.
This vertical installation uses NewTechWood’s Shadowline cladding US31 in Teak.
Of course, some designs demand a traditional horizontal installation for authenticity. For example, the Hampton’s style exterior cladding, the archetypal Australian cottage, or the traditional cladding on a Queenslander, as shown here.
Blend timber/composite cladding profiles
Building a contemporary style home gives you carte blanche to install your contemporary cladding in whichever manner you please, so why not mix cladding profiles for something different? Your design can make an impact not only with multi-directional cladding, but also by using different styles of cladding and even contrasting colours, as seen in the examples below.
Here, not only has the architect opted for two different cladding products (metal cladding and timber-look), but they have also installed it in two different directions, vertically and horizontally.
Even though it is all in the same colour, the visual effect is eye-catching and adds a modern element. The size of the panels used will also determine whether they will look best laid vertically or horizontally. Vertical panelling produces a taller looking visual, while horizontally laid panelling produces a wider visual.
In the image below, the right side of the window is clad vertically in NewTechWood Castellation in Ipe, in contrast to the upper and left hand side, which run horizontally. To really switch things up, the designer has chosen a different NewTechWood cladding profile, Shadowline in another colour for the bench/table and contrasts this further with the NewTechWood decking in Antique.
Why be same-same, when you can mix ‘n’ match?
Modern housing doesn’t feature many exterior embellishments, with a preference for a more minimalistic look using clean, simple lines. The challenge then becomes how to look interesting, while remaining clean and simple. Mixing contemporary exterior cladding materials is a trending design technique, which adds diversity and personality to otherwise cookie-cutter home styles. Plus it adds immense kerb appeal.
For example, combining brick with cladding panels, or rendering with cladding. Or, as per this architecturally designed home in Karrinyup, WA, why not combine all three? This house is a visual feast, featuring NewTechWood’s Shadowline cladding in Walnut, installed vertically, and contrasting perfectly with the different cladding formats and colours surrounding it.
Another eye-catching idea is mixing modern stone cladding with timber/composite as in these examples below, using NewTechWood’s Castellation cladding in Aged Wood. This is as stunning on the ceiling as it is on the wall, against the rough beauty of the two different styles of stone cladding. Consider other combinations with timber-look cladding, such as glass and metal, which will also add interesting dimensions to your styling.
Who said fencing must be boring?
You can stick to those clear and simple lines to clad your fence, and for some landscape designs, this would be an essential component in the overall design concept. Let’s face it, even with a simple horizontal clad installation – as seen by this pool fence using NewTechWood’s Shadowline in Silver Grey – the effect is classy and definitely gives ‘The Joneses’ a run for their money.
However, the beauty of using cladding boards to hide an ugly fence or provide an exciting new fence is that you can go in any direction. The fence below is a showpiece in its own right; a true feature wall that draws the eye as soon as you enter the garden. This beauty uses NewTechWood’s Castellation cladding in Ipe.
Then again, if you really want to show off, why stop there?
If you want to stand out on the street and make a statement so bold that your neighbours will have their work cut out trying to top it, you can unleash your creative genius and come up with a design like this one, using NewTechWood cladding profiles in Aged Wood. Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
Forget the outside! What about the inside?
Going for that Scandi vibe, or rustic country look? Clad your ceiling and/or walls in timber-look cladding, or clad just one wall as a feature wall. For that popular Scandi look, paint it white, as these examples demonstrate.
Any room can be instantly upgraded by adding Hamptons style cladding (in white, black or grey tones) to walls, ceilings or cabinetry.
Why stop at walls and ceilings?
There are myriad creative uses for cladding apart from the traditional. Let’s take the modern kitchen, for example. Island benches are a kitchen feature found in most modern homes, and designers are always looking for ways to make theirs stand out, especially in all-white kitchens.
Both of these kitchen islands below utilise NewTechWood Castellation cladding, but they would also look amazing using brick or stone cladding, depending on the overall styling the designer wishes to achieve.
You have to admit, if these islands had been all white, or all grey, these kitchen spaces would not be so attractive.
And let’s not close the door to beautify other fixtures and fittings in and around the home. This front door below has been cleverly camouflaged with NewTechWood Castellation cladding to match the side panels.
The owners of the property in the image below were so enamoured with NewTechWood’s Castellation cladding, they didn’t stop at the walls and front door, but included their garage door, too. The darker timber-look cladding makes a striking contrast to the lighter stone panelled wall.
Put the leftovers to good use
Leftover cladding pieces need not be wasted either. Consider using off-cuts for projects such as planter boxes, seating areas or cubby houses.
The planter box below built by Decking Out Melbourne uses NewTechWood Castellation cladding. Stone cladding would also have looked outstanding if the overall design was rustic in nature.
Or give The Joneses a further run for their money with a stylish chicken coop. The one below uses NewTechWood’s Shadowline cladding in Maple on the roof and was designed and built for the Padbury Child Care Centre in Perth. A clever carpenter knows that nothing need ever be wasted!
Of course, you don’t have to be quite so avant-garde in your cladding design choices, but you get an idea of the possibilities.
And if you would like to discuss such possibilities further, feel free to contact our friendly team for advice.