Case study

Inner city trends: modern mixed materials

Exterior with a unique, contemporary look

Taking a bold, non-traditional approach to designing your home’s facade – and the materials used – means creating a unique look in an urban area is easier than ever.

Ahead of the curve

Whether you’re building a new home or considering a renovation to give your existing property a fresh makeover, this is one design trend that will truly set your home apart. Mixing old and new, industrial and traditional, dark and light, this look is all about clean, simple lines and a clever use of materials to create the modern home of your dreams.

Mixed materials building exterior

Mixing natural materials like timber with the modern lines of Scyon™️ Stria™️ and Scyon Axon™️ to create a unique, contemporary look. Photography by Scott Burrows.

“Designers are trending towards using neutral, linear shapes as a backdrop for irregular geometry or a wild change of material.”

“Designers are trending towards using neutral, linear shapes as a backdrop for irregular geometry or a wild change of material,” says Jordan Walker from Odyssey Studios, whose Hex House design – which cleverly contrasts dark vertical cladding with white, rendered cladding – won the Hardie Dream Designer Awards 2016.

When it comes to integrating geometry into your exterior design, think about shapes such as squares and rectangles created by Scyon Matrix™️. Be bold and experiment with asymmetrical layouts, or choose different patterns for different walls to accentuate an elevation or entranceway.

Mixed materials building exterior

Scyon Matrix has been used alongside Scyon Linea™️, creating a visual tension between an industrial aesthetic and classic weatherboard look.

"Australian design is beginning to set its own trend, which is very exciting. We are starting to see a break from the traditional form of homes and we are moving towards a fusion of ideas."

When it comes to key features of the modernist trend, there are no rules or restrictions – pushing the boundaries is all part of the fun. “Australian design is beginning to set its own trend, which is very exciting,” says Jordan. “We are starting to see a break from the traditional form of homes and we are moving towards a fusion of ideas.”

Inner city style

With so many small lot homes in urban areas, it can feel like a challenge to make a property stand out from the crowd. However, Jordan says the city is the perfect place for inspiring new ideas. “The beautiful thing about building in the inner city is the kaleidoscope of references that we as designers have to draw on,” he says. “Great design will always reference its setting and we can do this by using a palette of mixed materials.”

“Great design will always reference its setting and we can do this by using a palette of mixed materials”

Mixed materials building exterior

This design experiments with odd shapes and sharp angles that give the build a sleek, modern aesthetic and ensure it stands out in a high-density environment.

City dwellers should need to think innovatively when it comes to their choice of materials. Taking design cues from the urban environment – stone, steel and cement-based cladding all influence an industrial feel that can be softened with more traditional home exterior styles. In addition, fibrecement cladding like Scyon can be applied directly to the frame to increase internal living space, a commodity when it comes to inner city living.

Think outside the square

Jordan emphasises the importance of homeowners rethinking the way they approach both the design of a new home or renovation, as well as the materials used. “Every great home should be a celebration of its owners and occupants, so don’t be afraid to stamp your personality on it!” he says.

Mixed materials building exterior

The trend continues: using the warm tones of wood to offset the industrial aesthetic created by the strong, vertical lines of Scyon Axon. Photography by Scott Burrows.

A growing trend is to use traditional materials and contrast them against elements that wouldn’t ordinarily be found on a family home. Creative combinations of materials including cladding, wood, and steel, warmed up with plywood and bring a strong sense of character to an otherwise utilitarian design. A mix of interesting textures will also create the look of an architecturally designed – rather than mass-produced – home that feels uniquely you.

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