Exterior Design Series: Materials and Finishes

Home exterior design tips: Hear from the experts

Welcome back to our design series exploring the top exterior design tips to consider when building your new home. Last week, we took you through how to find your personal style. So now that you have found your style, making decisions on colours, materials and finishes should be much easier.

For a lot of us, this process can still feel a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first time building a new home. That’s why we’ve sat down with our 3 industry experts to bring you the most up to date advice and insider tips on selecting the right materials and finishes for the exterior of your home.

Colour, materials and finishes

When choosing your exterior selections, always refer back to your personal style which we established in week 1 of our exterior design series. This will help guide you throughout the entire selection process.

For example, Coastal Hamptons will often incorporate weatherboard cladding, constructed in a colour pallet of lighter hues such as greys and blues with bright white striking features and mouldings. Colours, textures and materials play a huge part in accomplishing a style, so if you’re feeling lost refer back to your mood boards for guidance.

Our expert Sarah says it’s always advantageous to create interest, and this can be created in various ways such as:

  • Creating articulation with the walls and roof line to provide depth, scale and structure.
  • Incorporating design elements such as blade walls, attached piers, and recesses.
  • Using different textures and materials such as contrasting render, facebrick, stone cladding, tiles, weatherboard cladding, concrete panelling and so on.

We also spoke with our expert Briana who shared these tips, “Bring life into your facade by mixing materials and finishes. Try teaming a rough recycled brick with a smooth render and a crisp feature cladding. Combine a bright feature front door with a muted render and face brick. Adding layers, textures and colour will bring depth and vibrancy to your facade.”

Insider Tip: Be sure to investigate if your block has any developer guidelines or covenants applicable which may need to be addressed and incorporated in the design aspect. You don’t want to get your heart set on something if it will not be permitted by the developer.

Pick your feature

To avoid a visually overwhelming facade, pick one main feature and let it stand out from the crowd. Our expert Katrina says, “When you start playing with too many different features and introduce face brick, cladding, render, posts and more there’s too much to look at.” So, think about what key features reflect your style – Do you want a bright coloured entry door, a skillion roof, or timber wall cladding? Don’t be afraid to be daring with this aspect.

Katrina says the majority of her clients are opting for a neutral external palette whilst introducing small accents of personality, “One of my favourites was a client opting for a blush pink front door in an otherwise Wattyl White and Monument colour scheme.”


Lastly, don’t forget lighting! Don’t just illuminate your front facade to see, illuminate it for style. Well-designed lighting can accentuate your home’s best features and in turn increase the value of your home. Our expert Sarah explains, “Lighting is not only an added aesthetic feature to the front elevation but adds another fantastic benefit of visibility and security.”

Consider lighting in these main areas of your exterior:

  • Front door
  • Along your driveway and/or footpath
  • Garage lighting
  • Landscape/garden lighting
  • Highlight any main features

Be true to yourself

The most important thing to remember about creating the perfect facade is to be true to yourself. Pick elements you love. Let your new home contribute something to the neighbourhood. Have fun with what you are creating. At the end of the day, your home is yours. Enjoy it.



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