House and Garden

Home Design Inspirations

  • Written by James Hardie

Expert tips for achieving the look


The designs of Australian properties have been influenced by the diversity of global trends, but what makes our homes uniquely ‘Aussie’ is how we use distinct design and style to make the most of where and how we live.


“With Australian blocks and backyards getting smaller, the style of modern homes is now focused on form and function,” says Joe Snell, Architect. “The best home design ideas are inspired by your vision and how you want to use the space as well as being a reflection of how it makes you feel.”


Homeowners planning their dream renovation or new build scour social media and magazines for inspiration and to help form their vision and brief for their designer or builder. However, familiarising themselves with the correct terminology to describe their ‘look’ and the hallmarks that define it are crucial during those early conversations and throughout the build. James Hardie has launched a new Australian Home Design Guide to help homeowners who are looking for inspiration when renovating or building. Here, Architect and James Hardie Ambassador Joe Snell shares the main elements to consider to define your home style and achieve the look you want.


  1. Make a bold statement with shape

The shape of your home can give it curb appeal and make it stand out. What is the impression it makes? Does it have character and reflect the suburb? What will it look like in a couple of decades? The Box Modern house style is a distinct look, and uses multiple box shapes and cantilevered upper storeys to create interest and façade articulation. Keeping elements of the home sharp and square gives the illusion of more space and a truly modernist feel with design flexibility. An alternative modern style with equally bold street presence is the Scandi Barn look, with its diagrammatic house shape achieved with a steeply pitched gable roof. To add detail to clean shapes, choose cladding. Use Axon™ Cladding to show craftsmanship with the appearance of vertical joint timber or Matrix Cladding to create square and rectangular geometric patterns that complement or contrast the shape of the building.


  1. Add uniqueness to your design style with colour

Colour palettes add personality to your home style and can really help define it. Bold, monochrome colours accentuate facades and create a strong contemporary feel, which is perfect for the clean lines of the Mid-Century Modern look. Whereas, using crisp white is perfect for a relaxed lifestyle, well suited to the Modern Coastal look.


  1. Create interest with texture

Textures can add depth, individuality and interest to the home aesthetic. A trend that has become increasingly popular is to mix cladding styles on the home façade to create an architectural feel. This Mixed Cladding look offers clean lines and a contemporary finish, and can easily be achieved by combining any number of fibre cement exterior products. Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding provides a modern-render and minimalist look due to its embedded texture. Choose a low-sheen paint that works with the texture to give your choice of colour a contemporary matte look. When combined with Linea Weatherboard for its deep shadow lines, the cladding creates an interesting façade and streetscape. Both lightweight fibre cement products provide long-lasting beauty for homes as they are resistant to fire, impact, termites, rotting and warping - whilst delivering the look of cement render and timber with minimal maintenance required.


  1. Bring atmosphere with light

Light plays a crucial role in your home’s atmosphere. The orientation of your home is essential for maximising natural light. Consider gabled roof lines and high ceilings for rooms which allow for bursts of light. Incorporate skylights or extensions to increase the amount of open space and natural light in the home. This can affect mood or alter the perceived size of a room.


  1. Offer flexibility with open plan indoor-outdoor living

Modern design embraces open plan living that bridges the divide between the surrounds and the home. It focuses on a more outdoor lifestyle by creating an extended, cohesive space and a seamless transition between the interior and exterior. When designing this space, take note of the prevailing winds and where there are opportunities for shade. With Australians spending so much time outdoors, the home is the backdrop to many life memories, so the home’s exterior is important. By using durable fibre cement exterior products, the design possibilities are endless and you can enjoy your home for many years to come.


Find out more tips on how to achieve the look for your home with the James Hardie Australian Home Design Guide.


For more information, visit

Instagram: @jameshardieau

About James Hardie™:

James Hardie Industries is the world’s #1 producer and marketer of high-performance fibre cement and fibre gypsum building solutions. The company empowers homeowners and building professionals alike to achieve the home of their dreams with premium quality solutions that enable endless possibilities for design and aesthetics, while also delivering trusted protection and long-lasting beauty. Key to this effort is the company’s dedication to its customers, market driven innovation, an inclusive and empowering company culture, and an unwavering commitment to its Zero Harm safety initiative. For more information about James Hardie, visit

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