Why Australians love the Mixed Cladding look

A key trend in modern home designs is Mixed Cladding, where complementary or contrasting textures are used on a home’s façade in beautiful and unexpected ways. It’s worth considering for anyone who is planning a renovation or extension, or wants to build a modern home.

A rich material mix highlights features, celebrates materials and draws attention to often-underrated architectural forms. It’s a look Australians love, because it’s so versatile, working on almost any kind of urban block or acreage. Here are just a few of the reasons why the Mixed Cladding look is so popular.

Reason 1: It brings character and flair to urban design

Australians are drawn to modern style in all its forms, so it’s only natural that we’ve developed our own particular spin on modern architecture, with a Mixed Cladding twist. In urban spaces, we often see different cladding products such as Axon™ Cladding and Stria™ Cladding by James Hardie together – one surface in vertical shiplap cladding and another in horizontal – paired to highlight interesting arrangements and distinct shapes.

On occasion, cladding is set against a completely different material. This varied treatment makes the look compelling and allows homeowners to deliver their own spin on the look.

See it: Patching Residence by Dylan Barber Building Design

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Reason 2: It’s redefining traditional Australian coastal style

Mixed Cladding is being embraced by homeowners coast to coast – paired with materials such as stone and timber, with palettes referencing the tones of sand, sea and sky.

Linea™ Weatherboards by James Hardie will often feature, offset by Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding as an ideal feature material of this look, with its smooth, sand-like texture adding warmth and diffusing light. Look to sandstone crazy paving and native grasses for some welcome contrast.

See it: The Kiora house by Futureflip

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Reason 3: It’s bringing drama to acreage

When you think country, you might think plain, functional farmhouses, or cutesy heritage cottages, but there’s another type of dwelling breaking through. The new acreage look is defined by a rich material mix that nods to its heritage in a decidedly modern way.

Corrugated steel meets textured Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding and dark-painted weatherboard, with perhaps the odd brick surface thrown in for good measure. We love this look for its versatility and interest, and it goes hand-in-hand with sustainable living – important for a life lived in harsh Australian conditions.

See it: The Cobargo farmhouse by Glow Building Design.


Reason 4: It works for new builds as well as renovations

The beauty of Mixed Cladding is that it can tastefully update a new extension on a heritage or older home, it is cost effective and it saves time on a building site. This makes it a win for renovators and house flippers with an eye on the bottom line. And builders love it.

It’s also an approach that works on both small and large blocks, making it a key look for new builds. New builds will often feature just two hero materials, such as dark-painted Axon™ Cladding, which looks like a vertical-join timber, paired with speckled and characterful brick. Or Stria™ Cladding alongside the render-like finish of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding.

See it: The Bundeena renovation by J.P. Build.


Reason 5: It offers endless design opportunities

Using mixed materials is not all about one look or style – it works for almost any architectural approach. All you need is some inspiration and a little creativity to create a facade with unbeatable curb appeal.

Discover more inspiration on the James Hardie Pinterest boards or download our helpful Modern Look Book.

Modern Look Book

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.


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Ready to specify Hardie™ fibre cement products in your next project? Order a sample to help visualise your design decision. Paint samples in any colour to suit the vision you have for your dream home.  

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