Not sure how to describe the look you love? With so many ideas, products, influencers and fast-moving trends in home exteriors out there, it can be hard to picture what you want your house renovation or new home build to look like.
If you’re planning to build a modern home or are renovating for the first time, it can feel a little daunting – there are so many decisions to make. The process starts by defining the look you love, then bringing that theme to every part of it, from the all-important exterior of your home, including exterior cladding, to the decorating and finishing touches. Once you identify your unique design aesthetic, making decisions about colours, materials and finishes will naturally flow. There are so many resources out there that can help. Let’s cover the basics, and how to use them.
Embrace social media as a way to gather inspiration, advice and ideas.
No modern home builder or renovator should be without a set of Pinterest boards, the ultimate way to gather imagery and products and ideas you love. The platform is designed to share imagery, with users ‘pinning’ images from each other, or from websites, to their boards. You can then ‘repin’ them on your own boards or click-through to view the source – perfect for when you’re actively seeking inspiration. The search function is fantastic and, due to the wealth of imagery, the more specific search terms used, the better the results. You can also upload your own images, meaning you can see them alongside the other ideas or products you’ve pinned.
To use the platform effectively, set up boards themed into rooms, or topics such as ‘moody colour’, ‘modern exteriors’ or just ‘products I love’. Then, pin away – we’ll get to the editing later. At this stage, it’s important to simply capture images of exterior (and interior) looks you love (find some great ones in our Inspiration Gallery).
Instagram is another great tool for sourcing and saving ideas for planning a renovation, with an endless stream of global inspo. Find accounts to follow by using the Search & Explore function, or search using a #hashtag (think #Hamptons, #boxmodern or #exteriorstyle). Follow your favourite accounts to see more from them, and save images you love into Collections – or save straight to the ‘saved posts’ page in your profile by clicking the bookmark icon beneath the image.
Bookmark: Follow James Hardie’s Instagram, and be sure to reference our stories to see our collaborations with some of the platform’s brightest stars! We’re proud to collaborate with super-inspiring renovation experts such as Three Birds Renovations. When your project is complete, don’t forget to inspire others with your stunning results; tag @jameshardie and use our #hardiedreamhome hashtag.
For expert tips on planning your renovation, look to those in the know. An array of talented architects, interior designers and landscape gardeners offer practical and aspirational advice on designing the home renovation or build of your dreams, as well as sharing some great content for you to pin and share. Not sure where to start? Check out our collaborators, who are renowned for their style and renovation nous.
If you’re following an influencer on Instagram whose style you love, check out their website or blog. Gather it all for later by saving, pinning or bookmarking. You’ll need this gallery when it’s time to narrow in on your vision for your renovation, starting with the exterior.
Bookmark: James Hardie is proudly associated with BuildHer Collective, empowering women to build the home of their dreams. Follow them on all platforms for loads of building and design inspiration, from images to podcasts and articles.
Once you’ve collected your imagery, it’s time to focus on your home’s style story. When you look at all the images you’ve gathered, a theme should start to emerge. Perhaps there’s a thematic colour, a type of facade or a preferred material. This is great news, because it means your fave look is clear, and now you’re ready to edit it down. Focus on your favourite images and what you love about them, and discard the rest. What’s left is your home renovation, visualised.
To help narrow it down, here are some of our favourite looks explained:
Box Modern: The box shape is foundational in modern design. A single box isn’t particularly interesting, but an arrangement of a few distinct box shapes make for an architecturally compelling facade.
Scandi Barn: Barn-style homes are loved for their vaulted ceilings, open plan living spaces and bold street presence. A steeply pitched gable roof without eaves is a must for this on-trend look.
Hamptons: Inspired by weatherboard-clad East Coast American abodes, this is detailed, luxurious and all about lifestyle.
Modern Coastal: This is a classic Australian laid-back vibe with a shack history. Crisp white weatherboards and styled outdoor living areas convey that laid-back beach lifestyle.
Bookmark: James Hardie has experts on tap to help research, create and shoot inspirational content, to help you build your mood board – an invaluable visual tool for any renovator. The Style Sourcebook platform is an interactive way to create your own mood boards using products from a huge range of retailers, including James Hardie.
You’ve now created a clear picture of exactly what you imagine for your new house build or renovation. This keeps you focused and reminds you of the end goal – plus, it’s an amazing resource for your builder or interior designer. These boards will drive the all-important details such as colours, materials and other details that will make your home renovation or new build one of a kind; one that tells your style story.
Our Modern Look Book provides design inspiration and highlights hallmarks to help describe and define the clean, contemporary home of your dreams. Discover which modern look you love then use the images and language to brief your designer or builder.