by Kara Demmrich

Exterior Design & Colour Considerations  

The old cliché that ‘first impressions count’ rings true when it comes to your home’s exterior. The right (or wrong) selections can really set the tone for the rest of the home. External material and colour choices are generally speaking a much more ‘permanent’ decision, as opposed to internal wall colours and furnishings – so it’s understandable that there is so much pressure when it comes time to locking in selections. 

Kyal and I have certainly been here. Our first home is the perfect example. Flashback ten years and we were brand new to the renovation game.  Our tiny weatherboard shack was undergoing a comparatively huge extension. I clearly remember tossing and turning about what colour we were going to lock in for the roof and cladding. Fast forward ten years, and many renovations in between, we’ve learnt a bucket load of tips and tricks to help navigate through the minefield of choices available, and selections are much easier. 

Mood Boarding

Social media has certainly made it easy to find inspiring homes and décor – but it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed with how many styles are available. Mood boarding is the perfect way of making sure all choices are going to work cohesively. Pinterest is a great way of digitally “organising your thoughts” – and I encourage people to note what it is they like about each image. For our major projects, we create a physical mood board, including tiles, colour swatches, steel samples and fabrics. It allows us to step back, and ensure all our selections are working cohesively. For our Long Jetty project, our external mood board began with an image of some mid-century breeze blocks, a COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt sample and some limestone cladding.

Long Jetty Reno Mood Board
Our Long Jetty Reno internal and external mood board.

Do Your Research 

Once you have a rough idea of the overall look you’re after, have a drive around and keep your eye out for homes with similar schemes. The best way to get an accurate idea of how a COLORBOND® steel roof colour is going to look, for example, is to see it in the flesh! We’ll often take note of homes we love, or even, things we don’t – because that’s the perfect way of narrowing in on exactly what you’re after.  Another important point to consider when renovating, is the home’s heritage. Whether it be a Federation home, Californian Bungalow or a more contemporary home, look for ways to ‘pay homage’ to the original design. Our light and fresh coastal colour palette for Long Jetty Renovation was inspired by the original 1970’s beach shack. With the quintessential Long Jetty shack containing breeze blocks, this was also a key element in our rear exterior design. 

Think Outside The Box 

When it comes time to locking in material selections, it’s important to have enough textural elements to ensure your façade has interest. This includes doing research into your options available – whether that be incorporating natural materials such as stone, or a cladding you hadn’t previously thought to use, for example COLORBOND® steel wall cladding – which may assist in adding depth and texture, and is also easy to maintain. 

Front of house
Head out for a drive and look out for homes that appeal to you

Paint Selections – Which White Is Right?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is ‘How do you select the right exterior paint colour?’ For any exterior renovation, our first colour selection is always the roof, we use this as our starting point to then gather swatches for the remaining materials. Another important consideration at this point is the colour of your window frames and doors. For Long Jetty, knowing that we had a COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt roof going on, and Pearl white aluminium window frames, we were looking for a fresh white that worked cohesively with these two shades. 

We’ve found whites can be the most daunting colour to lock in, as let’s face it, they all begin to look the same on small swatches! For this reason, it’s important to paint large samples of your options on a few different walls of the house and take a look at them at several times throughout the day, to see how they look in the sun versus shade.  Our general rule of thumb with exterior whites, is to choose a shade that is slightly warmer – as the natural light outside will make it appear lighter or more ‘stark’ than the same colour inside. Choosing a warmer white exteriorly will also help to hide any dust and dirt that may build up on the home over time. When it comes to selecting a white for exterior architvraves, our general rule is to use a crisp white that contrasts the cladding. When selecting a front door colour, this is your opportunity to keep things consistent and neutral or make a statement with colour – this is totally dependent on the look you’re after and how adventurous you’re feeling!

Let It Flow

A seamless flow from the indoors to the outside will assist in creating the illusion of extra space. Furthermore, continuity in the exterior and interior selections will assist in creating a home that feels calm and relaxing. To achieve this, ensure your external colour choices are working with your internal choices. Continually refer back to your mood board and look at the home holistically as opposed to two separate areas. For Long Jetty Renovation, internally we selected lighter timbers such as oak, key furniture pieces in soft hues and styled with sisal and linen. These selections worked perfectly with our external choices including blackbutt decking, weatherboards painted with Taubmans Endure ‘Barely Beige,’ limestone and COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt roofing.

Get The Look 

Exterior Key Materials:

  • Roofing: COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt, in Lysaght CUSTOM ORB® profile
  • Façade: Weatherboard Scyon Linea 150mm 
  • Decking: 140mm wide blackbutt decking
  • Windows: Wideline Windows Aluminum Casement Windows in Pearl White 
  • Stone: Limestone cladding from Cinajus
  • Driveway & Stepping Pads: Exposed aggregate, basalt and limestone 

Exterior Colours: 

  • Cladding: Taubmans® ‘Barely Beige’ 
  • Timber Trims: Taubmans® ‘Brilliant White’ 
  • Garage Door: Taubmans® ‘Snow Olive’ 50% tint

Interior Key Materials/Colours: 

  • Walls: Taubmans®  ‘Cotton Sheets’ 
  • Timber Flooring: Godfrey Hirst Oak Villa ‘Sanddrift’ 
  • Carpet: Hycraft Ravine ‘Oatmeal’ 


See more inspiration from the #LongJettyReno