The Block 2020

The Block

The Block 2020 takes place in the suburb of Brighton, Victoria. This year’s build showcases the transformation of five iconic homes, from different eras, dating from the 1910s to the 1950s. Each of the older iconic homes will be complemented with an architecturally designed extension, studio and garage.

BlueScope is a proud sponsor of The Block, and it’s great to see TRUECORE® steel and COLORBOND® steel appearing in the show, from start to finish!

Thank you to our valued partners

Our Partners

Thank you to our valued partners of The Block 2020
Our Partners

The participation of COLORBOND® steel and TRUECORE® steel in The Block has been made possible by the support of our amazing customers and partners: Dynamic Steel Frame, Stramit, Architectural Cladding Suppliers, Reece Plumbing, LCS Plumbing & Civil Drainage, Nine in Six Builders, Centurion Garage Doors and Quicklift Garage Doors.


Supplied and Installed by:

LCS Plumbing & Civil Drainage

L Clarke and Sons is a family business in Mornington, Victoria with generations of experience in its tradesmen, which prides itself in giving every project the same dedication and aptitude – regardless of size or cost.

To find out more, please check out their website.

Reece Plumbing

The Reece business began over 100 years ago, in 1919, when Harold Joseph Reece commenced selling hardware products from the back of a truck. Now the company is Australia's largest plumbing and bathroom supplies business, operating both locally and Internationally.

To find out more, please check out their website.


The roots of Stramit date back to a number of family-owned roofing, rainwater and roll forming businesses in the 1890s. Today, it is one of the largest steel roll formers in Australia, with a strong commitment to safety and quality. Whether you're a builder, engineer, architect, specifier, distributor, re-seller, installer or steel fabricator, they've got you covered.

To find out more, please check out their website.

Architectural Cladding Suppliers

For the past decade, Architectural Cladding Suppliers has been fabricating architectural roofing and wall panel products, whilst supporting builders, developers and architects with a quality range and a dedication to unparalleled service. Alongside their cladding profiles, their sister company PPC Flashings delivers an extensive range of complementary metal rainwater goods, accessories and flashings, creating a complete start to end project solution. ACS and PPC Flashings are both very proud to have been a part of supplying their products this year for The Block 2020.

To find out more, please check out their website.


Supplied and Installed by:


Centurion Garage Doors has been supplying and manufacturing garage doors since 1976. The company is at the forefront of garage door innovation, providing high-quality garage doors, automation and accessories to the Australian market.

To find out more, please check out their website.

Quicklift Garage Doors

Quicklift Garage Doors opened in 1958 and works throughout Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria to bring their customers quality products and a reliable service. They offer an extensive collection of products, including garage doors, gates and entrance doors in a range of colours and styles, as well as repairs, maintenance and a 24/7 Emergency Team. Quicklift Garage Doors provided the garage doors, gates and automation for The Block 2020.

To find out more, please check out their website.


Supplied and Installed by:

Dynamic Steel Frame

Dynamic Steel Frame is a vibrant, customer focused, award winning light gauge steel frame manufacturer based in Melbourne. They manufacture for all segments of the building industry including commercial, light industrial, investment housing, high end bespoke homes, apartment multi-residential, owner builder, cladding and façade builders and even Tiny Houses.

To find out more, please check out their website.

Spantec Systems

Spantec Systems is a leading innovator of light structural steel beams and specialists in steel flooring systems. Spantec design flooring/roofing systems, including the manufacturing of the components for the systems and developing the software to make building easy. Boxspan® beams were supplied for The Block 2020 and were delivered as a designed kit system which meant no cutting required on site, and a strong foundation for this year extensions.

To find out more please check out their website.

Nine in Six Builders

Nine in Six Builders is a family owned business completing bespoke residential homes and commercial projects across Victoria.

To find out more, please check out their website.


Next Article


COLORBOND® steel is back on The Block!

COLORBOND® steel is back on The Block!

From front to back, old to new - COLORBOND® steel has been selected the whole way through.
COLORBOND® steel is back on the block

The Block 2020 is here, and we could not be more excited to once again sponsor the series! Like everything else in 2020, the build has been a rollercoaster for everyone involved, but the results have been amazing, and we can’t wait for the journey to unfold.

This season, five period homes have been sourced from all over Melbourne, and relocated to Brighton – an exclusive coastal suburb, 11kms from the CBD. Interestingly, all of the original homes are from different eras, dating from the 1910s to the 1950s:

  • House #1: 1920’s Art Deco / Hollywood style of home sourced from Kew
  • House #2: 1940’s Post War Home sourced from Reservoir
  • House #3: 1930’s California Bungalow sourced from Coburg
  • House #4: 1910’s Federation Home sourced from Malvern
  • House #5: 1950’s Mid-Century Modern sourced from Blackburn

We have been given the opportunity to showcase COLORBOND® steel Matt throughout all stages of the build - starting with the sponsorship of the ‘House-Decider Challenge’. This Challenge is used to determine which contestants would be in what house, and saw each team tasked with painting and decorating an iconic Brighton ‘Beach Box’. These Beach Boxes are a much loved feature of nearby Brighton Beach, and attract thousands of tourists each year. Each of the Challenge Beach Boxes included a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey with the walls a blank canvas for each team to demonstrate their creativity. Congrats to Jimmy and Tam who took out the win and selected House #5.


Jimmy and Tam’s challenge winning Beach Box that features a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey™
Jimmy and Tam’s challenge winning Beach Box that features a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey™


Similar to the Elsterwick season in 2017, this year will see the teams not only renovate the relocated house, but also build a substantial modern addition onto the rear of this home. A separate studio/garage structure will also be built at the back of each property that can be accessed through the rear laneway.

Each section of the build will feature COLORBOND® steel Matt roofing, and the new extensions and studio/garage spaces will also be clad in this material. The garages will also have sectional panel lift doors all made from COLORBOND® steel Matt.

The use of COLORBOND® steel Matt was the perfect way to elevate the build said COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant Christine McCoy. “The way the matt surface responds to light shows off all of the angles and curves - it’s the perfect enhancement to a really architectural build.”


One of the period homes features a COLORBOND® steel Matt roof in the colour Surfmist®
One of the period homes features a COLORBOND® steel Matt roof in the colour Surfmist®


When it came to decide on the exterior palette for each home, The Block’s architect, Julian Brenchley, knew that he wanted each home to be treated individually, whilst still making sure that the colours all worked together. “We wanted The Block to present like a neighbourhood rather than a series of cookie-cutter homes. They are houses from different architectural periods that essentially had unique briefs per house which was a great opportunity” he said.


Another of the original period houses features a COLORBOND® steel Matt roof in the colour Monument®
Another of the original period houses features a COLORBOND® steel Matt roof in the colour Monument®


The roof colour for each of the period homes was selected by Julian and Christine, who said that the selection for each needed to do justice to that era and style of building. “We wanted to ensure that the colour selections of the roofing and cladding across The Block were cohesive in every way”, said Christine. “Every time you build next door to other properties you need to be mindful of your next-door neighbour and surrounding properties because they all help to sell each other.”

Make sure to watch The Block on Channel 9 and follow us on social to stay-up-to-date on the build and see behind the scenes footage.

Next Article


Creating your colour palette

Creating your colour palette

Darren Palmer shares his tips for how to create a colour palette for your project
Darren Palmer and COLORBOND® steel’s, Christine McCoy

The Block judge and COLORBOND® steel advocate, Darren Palmer has shared with us his tips to create a colour palette that works for your project. In this article he discusses important considerations such as ensuring you develop a scheme that works with the surrounding environment, where you can find inspiration, and how to put everything together.


Darren Palmer and COLORBOND® steel’s, Christine McCoy

By Darren Palmer

People often ask me, ‘What’s the right colour palette for the exterior of a home?’. It’s a bit like asking, ‘What’s the right sort of music or the best type of art?’. There’s always an element of subjectivity with any aesthetic challenge, but don’t worry, there is a way to get to the right answer for you. Simply work through these questions to reveal the essential factors that will help inform your decision.

What do I need to consider for my colour palette?

Is it a renovation or new build? In either instance you’ll need to ask whether this is to be your forever home, or something to live in for a short period; say up to 5 years, before eventually selling, or a house ready to market as soon as it’s complete.

If you’re going to sell now or within the next 5 years, an easy thing to do is look around your local area and understand the aesthetic factors common to homes that sell quickly. These could be contemporary colour schemes and materials, on-trend styling details, or popular architectural and lifestyle features. Learning from in-demand homes can give you clear inspiration for a palette that will help you successfully transform your own home.


Dollhouse 2.0 by Aura Design Studio (pictured above) is located near various cultural hubs and this vibrancy is reflected in their contemporary colour palette. Combining a minimalist monochrome colour scheme of grey, white and black with brilliant pops of yellow from the front door through to the interior soft furnishings, gives the home a beautiful flow from outside to inside, and creates a distinct personality on the street.


Even if you intend to keep the home happily forever after, it’s still worth considering a palette that works well in your area.

Kyal and Kara Demmrich’s Blue Lagoon Build (pictured above) was a knock down and rebuild to create their dream family home. The property is located less than 200m from the beach and is surrounded by eucalyptus trees. The couple’s colour palette - combining a base of white and the warm, neutral COLORBOND® steel Dune® with the repetition of textured materials such as timber and sandstone, reflects their laidback lifestyle, and was inspired by the coastal location and surrounding fauna.

What does your heart desire?

Have you had a picture of your perfect house for a while? Perhaps you’ve created a mood board of looks that you love? Do you have a list of wishes and dreams that you want your perfect house and its scheme to reflect? Have you got a clear mental image of every detail? Well if you do, you’re one of the lucky ones, as most people get buried in the myriad choices and suffer paralysis by analysis.

If you don’t already know what you want, one solution is to find lots of reference on Pinterest or from magazines and then create your own mood board.

This mood board (pictured below) started with just two key exterior elements - the largest parts of the build: the roof colour and wall cladding. The trims were then added, followed by other materials which will combine together to blend or contrast. Timber added some warmth to the palette, and a strong smooth dark brick was chosen to tone in with the roof. This is a strong foundation for added touches such as a modern tiles or pavers. The materials or colours selected can then be repeated to flow into the interior palette.


Creating a mood board is an essential step

Of course, don’t forget your view; if you’re lucky enough to have one, as the inspiration could well be right there in front of you. Anything and everything can be included in the first stages of your reference gathering, but the key to being focused rather than having a scatter gun approach with different things you like all jumbled together, is to first look through your reference for common features and themes. Start with one large element such as roof profiles and colours, wall colours and materials, architectural shapes and forms, period and style elements, or landscaping and exterior detailing. Take note when any of these consistently appear in your reference collection; their presence is telling you something! Sorting through and removing the things that you don’t love or obviously don’t fit (and even putting them in another board or scrapbook) is also a way to help edit your selections so you end up with a concise visual guide.

If you are building a room that opens completely to the exterior, all of the colours and textures need to work together. Croydon Street House by Ben Giles Architect (pictured above), has a seamless continuation of a simple, and contemporary colour palette and modern textures from outside to inside. These selections also further highlight the unusual angles and architectural form of the home.

Where do I start?

The best place to begin is with the features you least want to compromise on. These are often the larger design decisions such as roof materials and shape or wall cladding profiles and colours, even the garage door; the visually impactful elements that quickly define your home’s style. A roof or wall, for instance, in COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt quickly sets a stylish and contemporary tone that can inspire other choices within your palette. Timber offers another layer of options; it can be stained in any number of nuanced variations, while different species can provide textural interest and contrast brilliantly with steel or stone. Paving tiles are relatively adaptable as well, and paint, of course, is almost limitless in its ability to work with the scheme of your home. These few but critical decisions that dramatically affect your home’s personality are the ones you should lock in first.


COLORBOND® steel roof in Surfmist® Matt

On their Hamptons Farmhouse project (pictured above), the designers at Indah Island knew that their roof would be highly visible and started with this colour selection first and worked their way down. This “white and grey” palette is complemented with touches of blue to form a classic Hamptons style that has been continued throughout the interior of the home.

How do I know what I want is going to look good in real life?

Well, you don’t. You have to get as close to a predictable and successful result as possible by studying details like paint chips, roofing colours, brick types, structural shapes, colour and texture and window profiles. If you have a feature coloured door in mind, you’ll want to include that too. Laying all your material choices out on a flat lay or on a board is ideal, even if you are simply scattering them on your table temporarily. You need to make sure that you see every visible exterior element next to each other to make sure they sit in harmony as part of your palette.

When you’re happy that you’ve created a palette that works, go back to your reference and ensure you haven’t just made a carbon copy of someone else’s home, but rather something with your own personal stamp and style on it; you’ll be glad you did. Make sure too that your approach still has the feeling and impact that you found attractive in your reference. If you’ve created something that truly works, others may one day include your finished home in their own reference boards as they embark on their own colour palette journeys.



  1. Dollhouse 2.0 was designed by Aura Design Studio and features a COLORBOND® steel roof in the colour Monument® Matt in Fielders KingKlip® 700 WA profile. Photos by Jakub Chruscinski and Jody D’Arcy.
  2. Croydon Street House was designed by Ben Giles Architect and features COLORBOND® steel cladding in Shale Grey and Monument® in the profile LYSAGHT SPANDEK®. Photos by Katherine Lu.


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Bringing the outside in

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Bringing the Outside In

Bringing the Outside In

Darren Palmer shares his tips for how to ensure a consistent flow from outside to inside
Darren Palmer shares his tips

The best homes are ones that feel connected and balanced. To ensure a seamless flow throughout your interior and exterior spaces, Darren Palmer discusses how you can create connections through colour and texture.


By Darren Palmer

As far as inspiration goes there are few better starting points than nature. Drawing from colours and materials within nature is a foolproof way to create a balanced palette - think about the nuance of colour across moss covered rocks or the variations of neutral tones and textures layered within paperbark trees. These colours, textures and combinations often surprise but never fail to please. From light schemes to dark, from monochromatic to high contrast, and muted tones to vibrant colours, the rules in nature apply perfectly to texture and colour choices for your home.

Creating a connection between the colours and materials outside the house, the ones applied to the exterior, and those inside the home itself becomes particularly important when looking at the house within the landscape and observing how it either settles into the environment or stands out from it. As Australians, it’s fair to say that we love the outdoors, whether it be for entertaining, cooking or just relaxing. Our exterior materials choices can really enhance this outside-in connection by complementing the naturally occurring colours, moods and textures that we see when we look out through skylights, windows or large exterior openings.

Alternatively, making deliberately contrasting choices can provide a definitive break between the natural environment and the interior spaces of your home. What’s more, the size, shape and type of exterior opening will also help either separate or connect the world outside so consider these elements carefully when designing your home’s interior and exterior schemes.


Barefoot Bay Villa by The Designory (pictured above) is located near the beautiful Byron Bay and instead of utilizing a pale, light colour scheme typical of coastal locations, the palette is instead drawn from the nearby dark coastal cliffs and surrounding bushland. The house is designed with entertaining in mind with the main living area opening up to the outdoor patio and pool area. The repetition of textured materials such as timber and matt surfaces, and the earthy tones used for the cabinetry and furnishings connect the outside to inside seamlessly.

A simple way to start is to look at the room connecting inside and out. Is it your kitchen and dining area or your living room? What’s the view that you see through this connection; is there a pool or an attractive landscaping piece? These features can provide clues to some of the colours and textures you can successfully introduce inside. Allens Rivulet House by Room 11 (pictured below) blurs the line between the interior and exterior through the use of oversized openings off the kitchen and living rooms. And through creating ‘exterior’ spaces within the interior of the home – like the courtyard below. The seamless connection between the spaces is achieved through the repetition of colours and textures.


COLORBOND® steel cladding in Night Sky®

Also look at the colours and textures that are dominant on the exterior. Are there small touches you can bring inside? Can you use subtle details such as stone or timber which will provide warmth and cohesion? Will you be able to use some of the roof or cladding colours such as COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey or Surfmist® or Dune®? Sometimes the colours in your view can also be reflected in your soft furnishings or cabinetry. A coastal style cabana designed and built by Cadence & Co (pictured below), takes inspiration from the natural surroundings by incorporating these colours and textures into the roofing, weatherboard cladding, furniture and soft furnishings, and beautifully connects the outside to the inside


COLORBOND® steel roof in Windspray®

Aside from how you choose to translate the colours and textures from the landscape into your home’s aesthetic choices, you should also consider your home’s actual setting as an important factor in the creation of its most appropriate and effective palette. A beachside locale will challenge not only your choices around durability but also a specific look and feel that will complement your home’s unique location. The colours and materials used should be informed by the bright light and cool temperature colours of the sea and shore, such as a white exterior that continues inside with similarly light soft furnishings and natural timber joinery. In contrast, an inland home will have a different set of physical challenges and require an altogether different approach, where colours may skew darker or more muted and be more aligned with the surrounding earth or trees.

Your physical environment can also encourage decisions that result in pleasing aesthetic impacts. For example, if you are in a bright, sunny and warm location you could diffuse the light beautifully with a matt finish. In this instance a pale colour such as Dune® Matt or Surfmist® Matt in the COLORBOND® steel Matt range may be the perfect solution, which can also help keep the surface temperature of your exterior roofing lower. Alternatively, if you have a cooler climate and a deeper, greener landscape, you could be well served by a darker Basalt® Matt or Monument® Matt colour. The choices you make should be led by how best to both manage the challenges and maximise the benefits of your location. Weekend Haven by Detail 9 Architects (pictured below) is a stunning example of how a house can settle into the landscape beautifully by drawing its colour and texture inspiration from the surrounding hills and gum trees. The design of the home includes large doorways and windows that draw the light in, and also incorporates the spectacular views as ‘artwork’ for the home.


Lower or higher light levels and climatic differences will also dictate things like size and type of exterior opening, with warmer climates instinctively calling for larger doors, windows and skylights. The amount of light within a home will clearly be affected by these decisions but less obvious is the impact of these openings on your ability to connect with the landscape, seascape and skyline from within the home. You can also use large openings to bring the scenery inside and create a light-filled space. Wilderness House by Archterra (pictured below) is a stunning example of this, and the home also works beautifully within its location by anchoring the colour palette with the landscape.


Designing a home and planning its colour and material palette seems like a task with endless variations and possibilities, but if you simply start with nature, and the environment around your home, you’ll naturally find a handy set of constraints and parameters that will help you narrow your choices and make the best possible decisions to connect your home to its location, from outside to in.



  1. Allens Rivulet House designed by Room 11 features COLORBOND® steel Night Sky® in a LYSAGHT profile. Photo by Ben Hosking.
  2. Cabana designed and built by Cadence & Co features COLORBOND® steel Windspray® in LYSAGHT TRIMDEK® profile. Photo by Simon Whitbread.
  3. Weekend Haven designed by Detail 9 Architects features COLORBOND® steel Woodland Grey® in LYSAGHT LONGLINE 305® profile. Photos by Derek Swalwell.
  4. Wilderness House designed by archterra architects features COLORBOND® steel Monument® (cladding) and COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey (roofing, not shown) in LYSAGHT SPANDEK® (cladding) and LYSAGHT TRIMDEK® (roofing) profiles. Photos by Douglas Mark Black.


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Complementary exterior schemes

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Complementary exterior schemes

Complementary exterior schemes

Darren Palmer shares his advice on what to consider when selecting your exterior colours and materials
Darren Palmer

Options for exterior finishes are endless and carry a great weight in determining the street appeal of your house. In this article Darren Palmer discusses a variety of material options, how to complement or contrast different colour palettes and textures, and gives us a guide for how lines and direction can greatly influence how large or small your home appears.


By Darren Palmer

These days, there’s a wide variety of exterior cladding materials available and the combinations that you choose will have far reaching effects on your home’s appearance. Aside from working to a period or style, and blending in or standing out from the surrounding landscape, the colours, profiles and materials you use to create the exterior of your property can have both expected and unexpected benefits.

One fundamental consideration is the way in which you can alter the perception of the shape of a surface by changing the direction of the material you place on it. For example, inside a home, a VJ or shiplap panel running vertically will elongate a wall, making it appear taller. The same is true outside; using wall cladding made from COLORBOND® steel in standing seam style profiles can also create that long and highly attractive vertical line, and enhance the sense of height in the wall. This style of profile was used on Middle Park Residence by Baldasso Cortez Architects (pictured below). The standing seam style profile, combined with the strong, dark colour elongates the 2nd storey of the addition to give the impression of sky-high ceilings and oversized spaces.


COLORBOND® steel cladding in Monument®

Brickwork is generally placed in a horizontal pattern; the longer the brick, the longer the line, which gives the appearance of pushing corners apart for a wider wall. The effect is enhanced with cladding such as weatherboard also laid in a horizontal pattern. Both traditional corrugated and standing seam style profiles will also give you a linear look and can be used in various ways on different types of houses to create this wider walled look. But first understand that the direction and accentuation of a linear cladding will change the perception of the proportion of the wall it’s applied to, so choose the type and the direction you run it with this in mind.

Croydon Street House by Ben Giles (pictured below) is a great example of using the direction of the cladding and colouring to increase the lineal feel and height of the build. The paler colour above gives the illusion that the top story floats, the openings enhance the light from outside to inside.


COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey™ and Monument®

You also can play with the effect of layering materials and directions to achieve different results. Barn-like or small houses with pitched roofs can look amazing with a roof and wall clad in COLORBOND® steel standing seam style profiles, tying in seamlessly with discrete or concealed guttering to create a slick and contemporary appearance that reinterprets those archetypal house shapes and enhances their geometry. Depending on the result you’re going for, you may want to choose light colours such as COLORBOND® steel Surfmist®, Shale Grey and Dune® to work with the softer palettes of earthy finishes, or take up stronger, darker tones such as COLORBOND® steel Woodland Grey®, Ironstone®, Monument® or Basalt® for a more dramatic look.


COLORBOND® steel cladding in Wallaby®

You could also consider using a similar colour across your exterior scheme and incorporating different and contrasting materials to make it more interesting. Arrow House by Mark Lam Architect (pictured above), is an example of how you can create a textured contrast with the same colouring by pairing an organic material such as charred timber with COLORBOND® steel cladding in the colour Wallaby® .

Of course, your choices for exterior cladding aren’t limitless. Broadly speaking, you have several categories including COLORBOND® steel, manufactured panels and boards, painted, stained or treated timber, glass, and brickwork. What combinations you use and the ways you use them together, however, opens up nearly limitless options and resulting effects.

Natural timber battening can look spectacular contrasted against a dark cladding in COLORBOND® steel standing seam style profiles; the vertical lines of both tying the look together beautifully but also adding a striking architectural quality to contemporary or industrial style homes.


Layering pieces together will help you make the final decision

The mood board (pictured above) is a beautiful example of layering materials to build your palette - the strength of the cladding choice of a dark standing seam style profile with the addition of the matt textured bricks, stone and charred timbers in equally strong complimentary colours. The visual of these elements laid out, creates a bold earthy industrial scheme and makes a strong architectural statement.

Brickwork and cladding in COLORBOND® steel paired together are the perfect union for creating an industrial or warehouse look, or to truly elevate a very traditional home when adding a contemporary addition. The play of colour and the repeated smaller pattern of brick contrasts very well against the large expanses of consistent colour and line provide by the use of wall cladding made from COLORBOND® steel, irrespective of its profile or colour. Fundamental House by Sandbox Studio (pictured below), features a COLORBOND® steel and brickwork combination to give the home a strong industrial scheme, and the deeper, earthy colours selected for each material also tie it beautifully to the landscape.


COLORBOND® steel cladding in Basalt®

In more traditional settings, weatherboard looks perfectly united with bullnose roofs, awnings and rooftops in a corrugated profile made from COLORBOND® steel. White weatherboards and a corrugated profile in a mid-grey such as COLORBOND® steel Basalt®, Windspray® or Wallaby® is a match made in heaven, as is mid to dark grey weatherboard complemented by steel details also in the mid to dark greys of COLORBOND® steel Woodland Grey® or Monument®. You can also achieve striking contrasts in monochromatic exterior palettes such as these by drawing out timber details, eaves and architraves in white or black to give a perfect level of cut through, freshness or moodiness to your home.

In more modern homes, with potentially more architect-driven rooflines, you can achieve wonderful effects by changing the direction of a linear roof profile to create a sense of movement and dynamism in the external appearance. These effects can be used to draw your eye in deliberate directions around the façade or exterior of the house.


The home pictured above by Bent Architecture is a great example of how an architectural roofline can be further enhanced by the colour and material of the roofing and cladding. It also demonstrates how you can also use a contrasting material to highlight exterior openings such as protrusions around windows or detailing around skylights or other exterior openings. By using the material’s colour and finish you can create lovely cut-outs that add to the exterior interest of the house.

Of course, you can also mix natural stone, weatherboard, COLORBOND® steel, brick and natural timbers in any way your heart desires to create a look that is unique to you and your home. Hunter Valley House designed by James Stockwell is a memorable exterior scheme that contains many contrasting elements such as the textures of stonework, timber trims and corrugated COLORBOND® Metallic steel cladding. These differences have been softened by the unique wave shape and rammed earth base that help to bring the scheme together.


COLORBOND® Metallic steel cladding in Axis®

Understanding what each material can do and the impact of things such as light diffusion, colour, texture and, of course, the linear element and its direction, will provide you with the best possible framework to create the most dynamic, balanced and coherent exterior your home can possibly have. You can even combine the ingredients and repeat the linear story on to the decking or bring some of the colour, shape and texture inside to continue the story from the exterior to your interior. As always, gather your reference, see what works for you, and don’t be afraid to express your own individuality outside your home, just as you do on the inside.



  1. Middle Park Residence designed by Baldasso Cortese features COLORBOND® steel Monument® (cladding) and COLORBOND® steel Windspray® (roofing). A standing seam style profile was used on the cladding, and the roofing profile is LYSAGHT TRIMDEK®. Photo by Tom Blachford.
  2. Croydon Street House designed by Ben Giles Architect features COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey and Monument® in the profile LYSAGHT SPANDEK®. Photo by Katherine Lu.
  3. Arrow House designed by Mark Lam Architects features COLORBOND® steel Wallaby® in LYSAGHT SPANDEK® profile. Photo by: Sarah Louise.
  4. Fundamental House designed by Sandbox Studio features COLORBOND® steel Basalt® in a Snaplock profile. Photo by: Katherine Lu.
  5. House designed by Bent Architecture features COLORBOND® steel Wallaby® in LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® profile. Photos by Tatjana Plitt.
  6. Hunter Valley House designed by James Stockwell features COLORBOND® Metallic steel in the colour Axis®, in Stramit Longspan® profile. Photo by Patrick Bingham-Hall; Paul Bradshaw.


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Creating your colour palette

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Get inspired by your surroundings

The Naturally Inspired Home

Why nature can be the best starting point for your home design.
Interior designer and The Block judge, Darren Palmer

COLORBOND® steel advocate and The Block judge, Darren Palmer discusses why taking inspiration from your natural surroundings is a great starting point when planning your design.

By Darren Palmer

It’s true that in home design, nature is often the best starting point. However nature isn’t a constant or predictable source across our country. In fact it can be quite the opposite from one part of a city to another, let alone throughout our sweeping, sunburnt land.

Australians have long gravitated to the coastline, choosing to live by the ocean in droves. Whether it be a small beachside hamlet or a large sprawling harbour city, there’s a set of uniting factors that are common to every seaside location. Whether it’s the blue of the water, the white of wave foam, sand that can be golden, white or rainbow coloured depending on where you are, trees that grow naturally like Eucalypts or those that just feel right near the beach the way palms do, there’s a fairly consistent, if not nuanced, look and feel for life by the Australian beach.

North Avoca Studio by Matt Thitchener (pictured below) is located up on a steep hill overlooking the beach. The studio was designed so that the structure extrudes out over the view but does not intrude on the landscape. This concept is further enhanced by the choice of COLORBOND® steel cladding in the colour Monument® that helps the studio to blend into the coastal cliffs and look at one with nature’s palette.

COLORBOND® Ultra steel Monument® cladding

This feeling flows through to the houses that we build close to the beachside. There’s the earthy charm of natural stone, all the better if it’s sourced close to your location. The palettes that work well are cool blue-based greys, white and charcoal. Timber looks wonderful by the sea, whether that’s teak or oak or blackened or aged grey.

If you’re looking to include roofing, cladding or both in a location inspired by the sea, the COLORBOND® steel colours that often work well are Windspray®, Shale Grey, Ironstone®, Surfmist® and Dune®. A beach shack could use the familiar undulations of corrugated steel really well, whereas a more architectural house naturally lends itself to the more contemporary standing seam style profiles.

If your tastes are tree change rather than sea change, then there are definitely easy references to pull from so that your home sits softly within the landscape. Eucalypt colours are calming and natural. There’s nothing better to slow your pace than centring yourself around the rhythm of the breeze through trees, and the right colours on your home can conjure an immediate association with this peaceful sense.

Greys, natural beiges and neutrals, dark charcoals, light off whites as well as the green-based neutral colours borne from de-saturated grey bases, all occur in our environment here in Australia and translate perfectly to a home amongst the parks and forests. COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey lends itself perfectly to these environments, as pictured above in Highlands Escape by Benn+Penna. The organic shape of this building helps to further blend the structure into the natural surroundings, and they have also continued the neutral pale colour palette through to the interior furnishings.

Natural timbers in your home’s selection might be darker or more aged. Ironbark, blackbutt and spotted gum all work as part of your timber palette. You may also take inspiration from stones and rocks that occur naturally in your area. There is also never any harm in providing some cut through with a sharp white or black to give a natural scheme the life it sometimes needs. Allens Rivulet House by Room 11 (pictured above) is a great example of a colour palette that cuts sharply through its natural environment. The vivid greens of the site called for a heavier hand in colour, and the almost black coloured cladding coupled with timber features delivers this contrast beautifully.

COLORBOND® steel in bush locations can look perfect in Wallaby®, Cove®, Evening Haze®, Pale Eucalypt®, Woodland Grey®, Gully®, Jasper® and Ironstone®. Outpost by Drew Heath (pictured below) is an example of how choosing the right colours and materials is integral in making your home fit life in the treetops. For this project, it was all about the view and being one with the natural surroundings, while still maintaining the practicalities of living in the bush.

COLORBOND® steel Ironstone® roofing and cladding

From lush greens to the red earth of the heart of our country, rural homes require a different approach in colours and materials. Country doesn’t have to mean traditional, though an Aussie homestead is certainly a thing of beauty and splendour. Red brick can be a gift in any location where natural surfaces turn red when the sun settles on them, while lighter brick can also be an appropriate choice, as too can greys within the spectrum. Archterra chose a palette of light and deep greys for Wilderness House (pictured below) to connect with the surrounding vegetation while providing contrast against the red soil. The textured ground-floor cladding material provides an anchor to the environment, with the upper storey COLORBOND® steel cladding adding a modern twist.

COLORBOND® steel Monument® cladding

COLORBOND® steel in a corrugated profile is an almost ubiquitous choice with period homes, but as with any location, these traditional forms can be enriched and enlivened simply by substituting with a contemporary standing seam style profile whilst leaving your other colour and material choices intact. Double Happiness by Glow Design (pictured below) is a beautiful example of a home that uses COLORBOND® steel in an elongated profile to blend perfectly into the tall gum trees that surround the home. The COLORBOND® steel Monument® Matt cladding draws from natures palette and this texture, combined with the stone feature wall allow the modern home to fit organically into the landscape.

COLORBOND® steel Monument® Matt cladding

Rural homes can also be architecturally driven and striking, especially due to the gift of space to allow a home to sit heavier on the land and create volumes of area that are as vast as the wide open lands beyond their walls. Blackwood Studios (pictured below) designed by Adam Kane Architect uses a simple palette of light and dark greys and textured materials to sit peacefully in the wide open space where vegetation is sparse and colours are pale.

COLORBOND® steel Monument® roof

Contemporary palettes look amazing in these sorts of larger reinterpretations of the traditional homestead, with blackened timbers, red brick and dark roofing and wall panelling looking as good here as it can in an industrial landscape. If you’re looking for a few safe choices to fit within a rural environment, consider the COLORBOND® steel colours Wallaby®, Cove®, Evening Haze®, Pale Eucalypt®, Woodland Grey®, Gully®, Jasper® and Ironstone®.

Playing with your palettes and working them out as part of a mood board or flat-lay is a great start. Taking that flat-lay into the location you intend to build is even better and comparing the colours and materials you’d like to use with the features that are in your view or the local setting of your home will give you the most confidence that you’re creating a cohesive effect. This mood board (pictured below) has been inspired by the lighter hues of crashing surf contrasting against the darker blues and greys of the ocean. The pink tones and light eucalypt complement the coastal colours, and connect with the surrounding native fauna.

A coastal inspired mood board

There will always be new choices of exterior finishes, but taking the landscape as inspiration and working that into your colour scheme and materials and finish selections will make for a home that is perfectly, and naturally, inspired.



  1. North Avoca Studio designed by Matt Thitchener Architect features COLORBOND® Ultra steel Monument® in SPANDEK® profile by LYSAGHT. Photo by Bob Seary; Paul Bradshaw; Keith McInnes.
  2. Highlands Escape designed by Benn+Penna features COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey in LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® profile. Photos by Tom Ferguson.
  3. Allens Rivulet House designed by Room 11 features COLORBOND® steel Night Sky® in a LYSAGHT profile. Photos by Ben Hosking.
  4. Outpost designed by Drew Heath Architect features COLORBOND® steel Ironstone® in KLIP-LOK CLASSIC® 700 profile by LYSAGHT. Photo by Brett Boardman.
  5. Wilderness House designed by archterra architects features COLORBOND® steel Monument® (cladding) and COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey (roofing, not shown) in LYSAGHT SPANDEK® (cladding) and LYSAGHT TRIMDEK® (roofing) profiles. Photo by Douglas Mark Black.
  6. Macedon House ‘Double Happiness’ designed by Glow Design Group features COLORBOND® steel Monument® Matt in the profiles LYSAGHT KLIP-LOK® (roofing) and LONGLINE 305® (cladding). Photo by Jack Lovell.
  7. Blackwood Studios designed by Adam Kane Architect features COLORBOND® steel Monument® in LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® profile. Photo by Adam Kane.


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Tips for harmonising old with new

Harmonising Old and New

Outgrown your home but want to stay put? Darren’s tips for your home renovation or extension.
Darren Palmer discusses harmonising old and new

Renovating your home is exciting, but can also be a daunting experience when trying to make sure that the old works with the new. The Block judge and COLORBOND® steel advocate, Darren Palmer, takes us through different methods for how this can be approached – continuing the traditional elements the whole way through, or instead, introducing a striking contrast between the old and the new.

By Darren Palmer

Like hermit crabs, we tend to outgrow our homes. While the crabs’ only option is to trade up, we thankfully have other ways to achieve a little more living space. The best way to add living area to your existing home depends on both the type of home you’re starting with, and the preferred approach of your local council.

With an older or heritage home you have to give careful consideration to whether you are going to carry the period style through or create a clear divide between old and new through a very contemporary addition. In some council areas that choice may be made for you, with some preferring a traditional style, and others requiring a clear delineation between old and new to maintain the integrity of the original structure.

Starting with the original home itself, make sure you understand what you’re working with by finding out when and in what period and style your home was built. Whilst some houses may be part of the same period, there can be real differences in style and inclusions. Begin with some comprehensive research so that when you’re restoring your home you’re reinstating the correct details and not forcing features on to the home that were never intended in the first place.

An example of this is wrought iron lacework and carved timber fretwork. They look best on their original facades yet could be well out of place on a modern or even faux-traditional addition. Colour schemes, on the other hand, are far more flexible. Keeping them simple and understated allows them to work in both modern and traditional applications, while a deliberate contrast, or a combination of the two, allows you to pay homage to the past while placing your own stamp onto the restoration or addition.

Sawtooth House by Adriano Pupilli Architects (pictured above) uses the continuation of the same roofing material and colour scheme to unite the original house with the new extension. This home features a stunning traditional facade with original heritage trim and the modern extension has been subtly tucked onto the rear of home to modernize and enlarge the space without impacting the streetscape. This has been achieved through both sympathetic design in the roofline, and by using the same roofing material and colour across the whole build – so the view from the street gives little clue as to the difference in styles from the front to the back.

In a completely different approach, you will find that some of the most successful buildings that combine two very different styles, have a boundary between the old and new – which is expressed by a change of exterior materials. Hunters Hill House by Joshua Mulders Architects (pictured below) is a perfect example of this concept. The rear extension uses strong colours and bold finishes that you can see sprinkled through the original part of the house to give hint as to what’s to come in the modern extension. This is also a great example of combining a period façade of weatherboard cladding and corrugated steel roofing with a contemporary version of the same material, COLORBOND® steel in a standing seam style profile, to unite the old with the new. This creates a strikingly architectural look whilst limiting the amount of additional materials and colours added to the house.

Where an old home would likely contain separated, modestly sized rooms, new additions can be wonderfully high and wide, with large internal spans supported by structural steel allowing for vast open-plan living spaces. Contemporary additions can also feature soaring ceilings in line with the heights of older buildings, but with the benefit of large windows and retractable doors that remove the barriers between outside and in. Mary Street House designed by Georgina Wilson Architects (pictured below) is a great example of using large windows and doors to give a better flow into the outdoors and allows more light into the interior living areas. In this project they beautifully retained some of the traditional fixtures like the weatherboard cladding (picture #2 below) on the original house but modernised this with a contemporary colour palette, that was continued into the new extension (picture #1 below).

This approach really does allow for the best of both worlds: old school charm and detail in bedrooms, libraries, studies and entrances, whilst in the new extension you enjoy the contemporary lifestyle benefits of open plan kitchens, dining and living spaces connecting seamlessly to exterior entertainment areas, backyards and pools.

There’s grace and gorgeousness in detailed ceilings and cornices, beautiful timber work, corbels, skirtings and architraves. There is a huge opportunity to bring old school glamour to a home by simply finding and reinstating the correct period details. If you desire a contemporary look, you can still achieve that within a period-appropriate restoration by including modern furniture and fittings, especially within bathrooms and kitchens.

If you instead decide to continue the more traditional look with an extension, you can also replace your roof material so that the entire new roofline is united rather than trying to match or patch the existing one, which can give equally patchy results. To the surprise of many, Hamptons Farmhouse by Indah Island (pictured below) was not a completely brand new build but in fact two wings were added onto an existing (and very old) brick farmhouse. The new additions were built onto the east and west side of the original 1860’s farmhouse and all structures were united using the same roofing material on the exterior of the home and colour palette on the inside.

You can achieve a traditional design with corrugated roofing in any number of COLORBOND® steel colours to complement the existing exterior walls and the overall colour scheme. By carrying on the traditional exterior of a home you have an opportunity for the house to look like it has always been the size and form it takes on with your new addition. Retaining or introducing special historic elements such as half round gutters to enhance the architectural detail, fretwork, iron lace, bricks & stucco walls married in with the new corrugated roof will retain a historic feel. Whether you’re creating a larger traditional home or adding a contemporary structure to an older one, this type of renovation project is remarkably exciting to undertake. The judicious use of external cladding materials such as COLORBOND® steel can allow for both sympathetic and contrasting results, either of which can help make your home an enviable inclusion in your street and suburb.



  1. Sawtooth House designed by Adriano Pupilli Architects features COLORBOND® steel Windspray® in a mixture of LYSAGHT profiles - CUSTOM ORB ACCENT® 21 and CUSTOM ORB ACCENT® 35. Photos by Simon Whitbread.
  2. Hunters Hill House designed by Joshua Mulders Architects features COLORBOND® steel Night Sky® in LYSAGHT LONGLINE 305® profile. Photos by Luc Redmond.
  3. Mary Street House designed by Georgina Wilson Architects features COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey in a standing seam profile was used for the cladding and COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey in a corrugated profile for the front of house roofing (not shown). Photos by Noel McLaughlin.
  4. Hamptons Farmhouse by Indah Island features COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt in a traditional corrugated profile.


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Working with Iconic Building Styles

Working with Iconic Building Styles

Darren Palmer takes us on a design journey through the early decades of the 20th century.
Working with Iconic Building Styles

Darren Palmer takes us on a design journey through the early decades of the 20th century - from the ornate details featured in the 1910’s through to the industrial materials used in the 1950’s. Our lifestyle throughout each of these periods has evolved and this is reflected in the architecture of each time, as demonstrated through this season of The Block. Darren also discusses how new life can be breathed into period homes through the careful selection of colours and materials.

The Block judge, Darren Palmer and Christine McCoy

By Darren Palmer

It’s never more evident how much influence the trials and triumphs of the times had on the houses created within different architectural periods, than when you see them lined up side by side. On The Block this year, we worked with five classic homes from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, and witnessed their re-birthing as contemporary homes, while keeping faithful to their past.

Whilst at first glance, there is some similarity between some of the homes, if you look more closely, you can see just how much changed from decade to decade, as a result of shifts in the way people lived, due to the events unfolding at home and around the world.

1910’s Federation (House #4)

Federation was the period from Australian federation on January 1st, 1901 into WWI that saw the creation of several related styles. With growing pride in the Australian identity, Federation unified us, and this clearly showed in the design and detailing of new homes, with Australian native flora and fauna showing up on ceiling panelling and cornices, while the front gable of homes began to feature the ubiquitous sunrise motif.

Federation ‘Queen Anne’ celebrated the outdoor lifestyle Australians had come to love; with decoratively timbered verandahs that reflected our satisfaction and pride and honoured our relaxed and welcoming pastime of sitting outside and enjoying the cooler part of the day.

Federation ‘Filigree’ was another popular style of the period, most easily identifiable as the classic Queenslander with large wrap-around verandahs and layouts and breezeways that promoted the free flow of cool air. This style has still-popular details which can be accentuated, but at the same time, these homes typically need to be given a more contemporary colour scheme, giving not only a more modern look to the exterior, but also facilitating better connections to the interior of the home.

The Block’s Federation façade (pictured above) used COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Dune®, creating a much softer and warmer neutral that works well with fresh white accents while also preserving the craftsmanship of the era through a lighter touch of colour. The new extension is only just visible behind the original house – giving you a taste of the contrasting trim colours and an insight into the modern rear build. By including matt surfaces across all exterior components, House #4 was able to unite the softness of the main buildings but use the stronger colour in the brickwork for the extension.

1920’s Art Deco (House #1)

The interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s roared to life, and a level of flourish was seen within homes that truly reflected the optimism of the time. People were flourishing socially and financially and wanted homes of a similar nature. If you’ve seen the Great Gatsby, you should understand what the style of the 1920s was all about. Of course, Art Deco was only one period within the 1920s and 30s that was popular, with Spanish Mission and Georgian Revival also being desirable decorative styles.

The Block’s Art Deco home (pictured above) features the well-known arches, curved walls, rough cast render, and nautical white exterior colour scheme of the period, but the new roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt® gives a stronger, even more attractive accent to the palette. Echoing the exterior, there are curves throughout the interior which are totally on trend today, as arches on stairwells and curved cabinetry can be seen in many new builds. A richer palette of colours on soft furnishings and tiles are then able to bring back the era for a more complete and cohesive result. Geometric shapes were also a feature of the Art Deco period and were incorporated into the rooflines of House #1’s extension. By selecting the much darker COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® for this section of the build, the stunning lines of these shapes are accentuated, and the colour also brings the home into more contemporary times.

1930’s Californian Bungalow (House #3)

Californian Bungalows were also a popular style from the early 1920s, reflecting the influence of the glossy Hollywood way of life on the Australian public. And due to the similarities in climate, Californian Bungalows, with their emphasis on connecting to the outdoors through large sliding doors and windows, became increasingly popular. This simple, modest style of exterior had broad roofs, deep eaves, and timber verandahs to bring the outdoors in, and can be easily brought up to today’s casual lifestyle needs with all the design features combining to take advantage of open plan living. It's for these reasons, plus the fact that you can modernise this style beautifully with a contemporary colour palette, that Californian Bungalows remain so popular today.

As with many Californian Bungalows, The Block’s example (pictured above) features a weatherboard build and although not as ornate as the Federation, its timber details allow the craftsmanship of the era to shine. The roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt® worked beautifully with the softness of the weatherboard colour. The colour Monument® Matt was incorporated as a trim colour on the awnings and gables of the original house. This palette combination of light weatherboard and dark trims was successfully carried through to the modern extension by using COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® for the custom fascia eave to link these two structures together.

1940’s Post War (House #2)

What goes up however, must come down. The Great Depression struck in 1929 and was followed by the outbreak of WWII in 1939. With yet another period of austerity, the bulk of the male workforce and resources were pushed into the war effort, affecting the number, and quality of finish, of the houses built during this period.

Post War homes were built with modern efficiency, usually single-storeyed with interconnected living rooms and featured mass-produced windows which were a huge shift from the handmade, artisan methods of the past. These economical homes are typically free of flourishes, so can readily be morphed into modern-looking builds.

Changing roof profiles, re-cladding, and renders have all provided renovators with opportunities to give Post War homes a contemporary look, and the team in the interwar 1940’s house on The Block (pictured above) has done just that. Starting with a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Surfmist®, they have been able to transform this home into a swan, with the new addition at the rear, seamlessly connected to the original home by the continuity of colour across the build. The pale canvas of the exterior means the interior can carry bright colours, which was typical of the era, as accents either in walls, tiles or soft furnishings. Reflecting this, the design adds a playful touch to the to the pale exterior colour palette, where an interlocking profile in a variable seam width was used on the rear extension, and a splash of COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® was included in the section between the old and new parts of the house.

1950’s - Mid-Century Modern (House #5)

As the 1940s came to an end, the pendulum swung from austerity back to prosperity, and this shift was reflected in a more modernist approach to design, using even more mass-produced materials and inclusions.

Perhaps creating some of the world’s most striking and iconic designs, the 1950s focused on modern building techniques and industrial materials which allowed for a new way of building and living in homes. Larger openings and internal spans and more dynamic architectural forms lead into the architecture of the contemporary age, elements of which we still celebrate and include within modern homes to this day. We’re seeing a 1950s revisit to mid-century modern architecture presently with exteriors displaying muted tones, crazy paving, large freeform sandstone cladding, breezeblock feature walls and, in amongst all that, very modern cladding profiles made from COLORBOND® steel that bring another new dimension to these classics.

The Block’s 1950’s home (pictured above) looks typical of the era, demonstrating why it works for our lifestyle, with rooflines at varying angles, large windows to embrace the outside, and simple, light-filled interiors. The roof made from COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey Matt works perfectly both as a link to the seaside suburbs and, on the new addition, showcases its ability to work with new and popular architectural styling.

It’s easy to see history as a dry subject, but when you look at the iconic ‘period’ Australian homes represented on The Block this year, in the context of what was happening at the time they were built, you can really appreciate the impact that one has had on the other, and where the trends in design have originated from. At the same time, as we watch the five homes on the Block evolve and transform with their modern additions, we can see how perfectly the old and the new can be connected together to create homes that are not only true to their past, but also set standards for how we will live in the future.

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A journey through this 1920’s stunner

1920’s Art Deco

COLORBOND® steel Matt features heavily in this stunning design by Harry and Tash.
1920’s Art Deco

After selecting the 1920’s Art Deco house, Harry and Tash quickly went off and did some research about home designs during this period to plan how they could pay homage to this period whilst incorporating a modern flavour. After initially feeling a little unsure about their direction, they quickly found their feet on the style of the Art Deco period and picked up their first room win in week #3 for ‘Master Bedroom and Walk In Robe’ week.

House #1’s winning Master Bedroom and Walk In Robe

Having included a roof made from COLORBOND® steel on a previous renovation project, Harry was familiar with the product but had never worked with the Matt range before. “I love the Matt range” said Harry, “It’s really beautiful, and full of natural colours. We were excited about the fact that we had the opportunity to use it.”

Their Art Deco house features COLORBOND® steel Matt in a variety of applications – from the roof on the original home, all the way into the back studio and garages.

Original 1920’s home:

The original house features a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt® in a traditional corrugated profile. The colour and profile style were selected by COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant, Christine McCoy in consultation with The Block architect, Julian Brenchley, to stay true to the period of the home. Said Christine, “Traditionally the Art Deco style featured a whiter, cooler colour with a darker contrast against it. By having COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt® on the roof, it meant that the team could do a white colour on the walls of the house and stay true to this design period.”


After consulting with their non-Block next door neighbour, Harry and Tash selected the darkest colour in the COLORBOND® steel Matt range – Monument®, for the cladding and roofing of their rear-extension. The profile is also more contemporary for this section of the build to reflect the movement into the modern section of the house and uses 38mm Snaplock with a 190mm pan.

This profile and colour selection highlight the long lines and complex rooflines of this building whilst tucking in subtly behind the front façade from the street view.


To unite the studio/garage with the front buildings, Harry and Tash chose to continue with COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® for the studio and garage space. This time a slightly different profile was used – a shorter 25mm rib Snaplock with a wider 325mm pan. The Sectional panel lift garage door is also in the colour Monument® Matt.

Of the colour choice said Tash, “We found the Monument® Matt to be really impactful - it gives you such a wow factor without being too in your face. People can be a little bit scared with dark and black colours sometimes but the way it is paired with everything else, it just looks absolutely beautiful.”

The father and daughter team also used the texture of the COLORBOND® steel Matt to help drive a cohesiveness not only between the exterior of each of the buildings, but also to ensure a seamless look from outside to inside. Said Tash, “The Matt finish just gave a softness to the design the whole way through”. Harry agreed and added, “We also used dark fittings all throughout the inside as well - the colour scheme inside flows so well with the black.”

Check back soon for more photos of Harry and Tash’s stunning house.

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The 1940’s have never looked so good

1940’s Post War

A playful mix of COLORBOND® steel Matt features on Sarah and George’s gorgeous home.
1940’s Post War

Each team started with a somewhat blank canvas but none more so than Sarah and George in House #2. Their 1940’s Post War home was built in a time of war where materials were scarce and labour even more so. Out went the handmade, artisan methods of the past, and in came building methods that were focussed on efficiency. It is this lack of flourishes that has allowed Sarah and George to adapt this home seamlessly from the period house at the front, into a modern masterpiece in the back. After coming 2nd several times, they picked up their first room win in the rear extension for ‘Guest Bedroom and Completion of Upstairs’.

The Sydney-based couple were thrilled to be using the COLORBOND® steel Matt range for most of the exterior surfaces of their build. Having the tallest rear extension on The Block, the exterior cladding made from COLORBOND® steel Matt is a major part of their streetscape appeal and the selections the couple made here have really allowed their house to stand out amongst the others.

House #2’s extension is very visible from the street

Original 1940’s home:

To pay homage to the period, the original house features a traditional corrugated roof, but with a modern twist in the selection of the colour. COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant, Christine McCoy along with The Block architect, Julian Brenchley, chose COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Surfmist® because of its flexibility. Said Christine, “This was really the least characteristic house, so it was perfect for using Surfmist® Matt. It’s such a versatile colour so we knew it would work with whatever direction that the contestant wanted to pursue with the house. And this choice has really elevated the style of this home and helped the house come into its own.”


After initially having their eye on using COLORBOND® steel in the colour Monument® Matt for the rear extension, Sarah and George chose instead to continue with COLORBOND® steel in Surfmist® Matt. And this is where the fun began. Rather than using the Snaplock profile on all four walls like their neighbours, Harry and Tash, they instead selected an interlocking profile in a variable seam width for the front and back walls to play with the lighter, brighter colour. Of this choice said Christine, “It was perfect for this colour since it’s the softest, and you can be really playful without overdoing it. Surfmist® Matt might be the softest colour in the palette, but it can also be the most interesting.”

Sarah and George had no idea what to expect when they made the selection but couldn’t have been more thrilled with the result. Said George, “I remember that moment distinctly when we came back from the break and walked out to see this vertical, pitched, amazing line of cladding. It was beautiful. We just stood there and took a moment to admire it.”

Interlocking profile in a variable seam width


To allow the studio/garage spaces to blend into the background, Sarah and George chose a darker colour from the Matt range – COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt®. Christine applauded this selection as being a softer take on black and white. “The Surfmist® is absolutely stunning when it’s sitting against the Basalt®. They are really soft against each other and complement one another perfectly.” Sarah loved their modern take on monochrome: “The Block taught me very quickly that you don’t have time to muck around with decisions. We were really lucky with the monochromatic side of things - it really played to our favour when it came to the 1940s, and we just embraced it for what it was.”

In addition to referencing their monochromatic exterior colour scheme throughout the inside of their house, Sarah and George have brought the outside in by using matt surfaces throughout. “There is nothing glossy in this house” laughed Sarah.

Stay tuned for more photos of Sarah and George’s Post War beauty.

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1930’s California Bungalow

1930’s California Bungalow

COLORBOND® steel Matt helped to put a modern stamp on this popular style.
COLORBOND® steel Matt helped to put a modern stamp on this popular style.

After coming second in the House Decider Challenge, Daniel and Jade were thrilled to select House #3 – the 1930’s California Bungalow from Coburg. Although not as ornate as the 1910’s Federation home next door, this style still includes timber details and fretwork that allow the craftsmanship of the era to shine through.

Daniel and Jade had their first winning room in week #6 for their stunning, and very functional kitchen, that featured a similar colour scheme to the exterior of the home – a light and textured palette with splashes of dark tones and timber.

House #3’s winning kitchen

Familiar with COLORBOND® steel but new to the Matt range, Daniel and Jade immediately noticed the difference in the finish and couldn’t wait to get started on their exterior design.

Original 1930’s home:

Staying true to the period, the original home features a traditional corrugated roof in COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Basalt®. Daniel and Jade also included awnings made from COLORBOND® steel in Monument® Matt and painted the gables and fretwork this colour to match. These two darker tones provide a stunning contrast against the light-coloured weatherboard cladding.

COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant Christine McCoy, loves this palette: “It has beautiful characteristics right from the start, with the gables, fretwork and high ceilings. The use of COLORBOND® steel Basalt® Matt plays homage to the era, adding a nice solid look and really accentuating the front of the building.”


To decide on the palette for their rear-extension, Daniel and Jade met with Christine to discuss their options. “It was so helpful” said Jade of the meeting. “Christine came along with a bag of goodies and a mood board that she set up to show us, which was really, really helpful.”

The couple decided to extend the weatherboard cladding onto the rear-extension as well, and added custom detailing made from COLORBOND® steel in Monument® Matt to once again provide a contrast against the light walls. This continuation also tied the extension seamlessly to the original house. Said Jade, “We didn’t sway from the original picture that we were given which had included darker colours and tones for the house. We really liked them and being in the middle and having such a large frontage on our house we had to stand out. The darker COLORBOND® steel Matt colours have helped us do just that.”

Their rear extension also included a roof made from COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey in a 25mm Snaplock profile with a 325mm pan.

Daniel and Jade met with COLORBOND® steel’s Christine McCoy


Daniel and Jade chose a much darker palette for the studio/garage, selecting COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® for the roofing, cladding and garage door. Again, the 25mm Snaplock profile with a 325mm pan was used for the roofing and walling.

Of their overall colour palette, the couple was really pleased with the darker highlight colours and how well they were able to bring the outside in. “We used black accents throughout the home as well in the form of sheer curtains and other fixtures - a lot of black touches to bring the black from the outside into our home rather than choosing brass or a stainless steel” said Jade.

We can’t wait to see more of Daniel and Jade’s 1930’s bungalow. Check back soon for more photos.

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1910’s Federation House

1910’s Federation House

COLORBOND® steel in Dune® Matt added a warm touch to this stunning period home.
When Luke and Jasmin selected the oldest house, they knew that they would have their work cut-out, but the character and detailing on the 1910’s Federation were too lovely to overlook. “We chose this house because we loved the character of the home and we felt that it was the best fit for Brighton” said Jasmin. She continued, “We also loved that it looked quaint and small from the front which was quite deceptive because out the back it is not small at all!”.  Their Federation home is typical of the period,

When Luke and Jasmin selected the oldest house, they knew that they would have their work cut out, but the character and detailing on the 1910’s Federation were too lovely to overlook. “We chose this house because we loved the character of the home and we felt that it was the best fit for Brighton” said Jasmin. She continued, “We also loved that it looked quaint and small from the front which was quite deceptive because out the back it is not small at all!”.

Their Federation home is typical of the period, where a growing pride in the Australian identity came through in the design and detailing of new homes – showing up on ceiling panelling and cornices, and front gables. COLORBOND® steel Matt has been used throughout their build to add a beautiful texture and depth of colour to the exterior of their home, and clearly link outside to inside.

The stunning COLORBOND® steel in Dune® Matt roof

Original 1910’s home:

The front façade of House #4 is typical of the decade which included steeply pitched roofs and front gables – making it the most visible roof from the street in the collection of The Block houses. To keep with the period, COLORBOND® steel in a corrugated profile was selected for the roof in the colour Dune® Matt. Of this choice, COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant, Christine McCoy said, “COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Dune® works gorgeously on any heritage house. And there is such a beautiful cut to the house - you can see it really well from the street.”


The majority of the extension is clad in brick, but The Block Architect, Julian Brenchley chose to clad the front wall between the old house and the extension in COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® (in a 25mm Snaplock profile with a 325mm pan). This combination gives a nod to the modern rear of the house, and the moody Monument® Matt colour adds a modern component to the more traditional dark brick.

After consulting with judge Darren Palmer, Luke and Jasmin chose to continue with COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Dune® for the roofing of the extension.


In their consultation with Darren, Luke and Jasmin also selected COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Monument® for the roofing, cladding and garage door of the studio/garage space. The same 25mm Snaplock profile with a 325mm pan was continued on this building as well – a combination that allows for this structure to settle well into the background of the property.

House #4’s winning Master Ensuite

Describing the style of the house as their take on the Hamptons, Jasmin said of the exterior palette “What we went for was very white-on-white with beautiful brass and timber accents to warm it up so that it didn’t feel too cold. We then added some dark and black accents as well, for a bit of a pop and wow!”. This stunning colour scheme was demonstrated beautifully in their Master Ensuite (pictured above) which landed the couple their first winning room win in week #4*.

Christine also loved the continuity of colour and texture that Jasmin and Luke have used to bring their exterior palette together – in particular the use of a paint colour that matched their COLORBOND® steel in Dune® Matt roof for the decorative pieces on their front gable. Said Christine, “The softness of this colour really talks to the timber finishes used, and you get the warmth straight away. It answers outside to inside perfectly”.

We can’t wait to see more of their house as the season unfolds.


*Luke and Jasmin won the judges score for week #4 but tied with Jimmy and Tam who used their bonus point gnome to make it a draw.
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1950’s Mid-Century Modern

1950’s Mid-Century Modern

COLORBOND® steel in Shale Grey™ Matt elevates this 1950’s beach shack.
COLORBOND® steel in Shale Grey™ Matt elevates this 1950’s beach shack.

Starting their journey with a bang, House #5’s Jimmy and Tam won the House Decider Challenge and selected the “newest” house on the block – the 1950’s Mid-Century Modern. The QLD couple were thrilled when they won the initial challenge and got to pick the house that they had their eye on. “We were so stoked when we got it” said Tam. She continued, “It’s very different to the other houses. It’s quite eye catching, and it really stands out from the rest.”

House #5’s winning Beach Box

They have since gone onto win week #1’s Guest Bedroom and week #2’s Guest Ensuite and tied with Luke and Jasmin in week #4 to win Master Ensuite week. Envisioning a modern take on a 1950’s beach shack, COLORBOND® steel Matt has been used across majority of the build to help bring their vision to life.

Original 1950’s house:

The original house features a statement-making skillion roof and varying rooflines which were very common in this period of architecture. COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey was chosen for the roofing to enhance the coastal style of this house. Of this selection said COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant Christine McCoy, “When you see this style of house you think “Beach Shack” which is why COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey Matt works so well.”

COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey™ roof

A traditional corrugated profile was used for most of the roofing, but the Skillion roof uses a 38mm Snaplock profile with a 190mm pan for the 1-degree pitch section.


After consulting with The Block architect Julian Brenchley, Jimmy and Tam decided to use a combination of COLORBOND® steel Matt in the colour Shale Grey (in a 38mm Snaplock profile with a 190mm pan) and light brick for the cladding on their rear-extension. This part of the build includes some unusual and complex rooflines which are highlighted by the continuation of Shale Grey Matt for the roofing.

The couple were thrilled with the result. “When we left for the COVID break, it was literally the TRUECORE® steel frame out the back, and then when we came back it was fully bricked, with the COLORBOND® steel cladding. The angle of the brick with the COLORBOND® steel Matt cladding was perfect. It just blew us away seeing that completed” said Jimmy.


After finding out that Julian considers COLORBOND® steel in Basalt® Matt the ‘shadow’ colour to COLORBOND® steel in Shale Grey Matt, House #5 selected this for the roofing and cladding of their studio/garage space and their garage door. To ensure that the line of studio/garages looked cohesive along the laneway, a 25mm Snaplock profile with a 325mm pan was chosen for the profile.

Christine loves the way that Jimmy and Tam have stayed true to the 1950’s era of their original house, and also incorporated elements of the traditional Australian beach shack saying, “It really is the answer to the Mid-Century Californian look and lifestyle.”

Jimmy and Tam have enthusiastically taken on the era of the original house and plan to continue this into the new parts of the build as well. Says Tam, “We want to stick to the 1950’s theme. Some of the other houses have stopped this as soon as they’ve gone into the new part of the house, but we want ours to flow on throughout the whole house, and also into the exterior as well.”

Check back soon for more photos of House #5’s Mid-Century beach home.

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The versatility of COLORBOND® steel Matt

COLORBOND® steel Matt

A striking array of profiles and colours were selected for this seasons homes.
COLORBOND® steel Matt

Each of the homes in this season of The Block incorporates a variety of COLORBOND® steel Matt roofing and cladding. COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant, Christine McCoy worked closely with The Block architect Julian Brenchley and each team to ensure that the recurrence of the material looked cohesive across the development and connected with the era of each individual home.

The stunning neutrality of the COLORBOND® steel Matt range

Establishing the colour palette for each house was simple, but considered said Christine. “The COLORBOND® steel Matt range is so lovely and neutral that the colours are almost a palette in themselves. And combined with the Matt finish, it really elevates the build. The way the Matt surface diffuses light accentuates the perfect lines of each roofing and cladding profile.”

COLORBOND® steel Matt accentuates the perfect lines of a profile

In addition to colour, the profile selection for each section of the build was an equally important consideration noted Christine: “The profile selections needed to ensure that the original houses paid homage to their heritage, while also incorporating a more modern aesthetic for the extensions and studio/garages.”

A traditional corrugated profile was used on the roofing for all original houses

A traditional corrugated profile was selected for the roofing on all of the original homes*. This nod to the past was complemented by the more contemporary Snaplock profile that was used on the roofs and walls of all of the extensions, except for House #2, where, to play with the lighter, brighter colour of COLORBOND® steel Surfmist®, an Interlocking profile with variable seam widths was chosen for the wall cladding. Of this choice said Christine, “It was perfect for this colour since it’s the softest, and you can be really playful without overdoing it. Surfmist® Matt might be the softest colour in the palette, but it can also be the most interesting.”

The Interlocking profile with variable seam widths featured on House #2

The Snaplock profile was also chosen for the roofing and wall cladding on all of the studio/garages to ensure a cohesiveness between the extensions and the rear buildings.

The format of the build this year allows for each home to include some really traditional lines with a modern interpretation behind the original houses. Says Christine, “It’s a great combination and really shows how adaptable and versatile COLORBOND® steel Matt is.”

Old meets new on House #5

Melbourne-based Architectural Cladding Suppliers (ACS) fabricated all of the roofing and walling sheets made from COLORBOND® steel Matt. General Manager, Shane Hart is no stranger to The Block having been involved in previous seasons. Shane was excited to again be part of The Block, describing it as a “Humbling experience for everyone involved because of the tight turnarounds and the pace that’s involved. Unless you live it, you can’t ever really know it.”

Shane has been involved in the architectural cladding industry for many years and has seen first-hand the steep rise in demand for COLORBOND® steel. He has also witnessed plenty of trends during this time and noted that the introduction of COLORBOND® steel Matt has had a big impact on the market. “The Matt range is popular, and it has invited people to see cladding in a different light” he said. It’s proved to be so popular that Shane estimates he now does double the amount of COLORBOND® steel Matt jobs compared to non-Matt projects.

With so much architectural cladding being featured this season, Shane knew that teamwork was very important to delivering a quality result. He was very pleased when his colleague, Les Clarke owner of LCS Plumbing was contracted to complete the installation of the cladding, roofing and gutters. “It’s good to work with someone like Les who has a passion for architectural cladding. It’s something that he loves and enjoys and that shows through in his work. He’s has surrounded himself with a very good team of cladders that do a fantastic job. It’s a credit to him and the team he has built to support him” said Shane.

“Baptism by fire” is how Les Clarke laughingly described his experience working on The Block this year. He went on to explain that this was by far the largest cladding installation his company had ever undertaken. “In the end I think it was about 1,300 square metres of cladding. It is the biggest job we have completed cladding-wise and it was pretty hectic given the timeframe you have to complete the work.”

In addition to tight timings, another challenge faced by Les and his team was the interlocking profile in a variable seam width on House #2. “It was very difficult” said Les. “Shane actually designed the variable seam himself. We literally had to write it all out and draw it on the walls before we started installing the panels.” Thankfully the extra time was worth it. “It looks pretty incredible and the team in House #2 were absolutely thrilled – they couldn’t believe how good it looked” said Les.

In order to ensure that the COLORBOND® steel Matt cladding that ACS fabricated looked flawless once installed, Les and his team had a meticulous job to complete. One of the key things they wanted to get right was ensuring that the roof to wall transitions on the extension and studio/garages was seamless. Said Les, “You need to make sure that it doesn’t look like it has been stopped and started. It should look like it continues on and it’s all streamlined.”

The continuous line from roofing to walling gives a seamless finish

The Block architect Julian Brenchley is really pleased with how the exterior of each home has come to life. “There’s an interesting mix of colours and profiles” he said. “With so many profiles, colours and textures available, it was important to consider how the choice of profile, colour and texture will have an overall impact on the play of light across these builds. The selections we’ve made this season do create an interesting composition and give a unique difference to each house.”

Christine agrees. “We wanted to ensure that there was a flow to the colour palette from the front to the back of each house, and also as a whole across the development. I think we’ve captured this, and they all look really beautiful.”

Ensuring that the colours and profiles all worked together was essential


*In addition to the corrugated profile, House #5 also incorporated a section of Snaplock with a 190mm pan for the 1-degree pitch section.

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Inspired by The Block

The Block inspired colour palettes

We’ve created a series of flatlays – each drawing inspiration from this season’s stunning homes.
Christine McCoy

Flatlays are an essential tool in any designers toolkit, and in celebration of this season of The Block, COLORBOND® steel Colour and Design Consultant, Christine McCoy has created five of them – each inspired by one of the period houses.

Palette inspired by House #1

House #1 – 1920’s Art Deco, Hollywood Style
The roof colour for this period home is COLORBOND® steel Basalt® Matt – a colour that lends itself to being used in highly contrasted combinations – in this instance with chalky white coloured walls, deep charcoal coloured details and marble. It’s a wonderful combination, drawing inspiration from an era of glamor and extravagance. The flatlay inspired by this home includes the COLORBOND® steel Basalt® Matt roofing, some matt bricks from Austral’s La Paloma range, the gloss of a tessellated black tile and the luxurious look and texture of marble - which are all so reminiscent of the very best of the Art Deco period. It’s deceptively simple palette, and stunningly elegant!


Palette inspired by House #2

House #2 – 1940’s Post-War
In contrast to House #1, the 1940’s Post-War home comes from a much less glamourous period. To achieve a ‘bridge’ between this home’s history, and a more modern, warmer style that works beautifully today, a softer, paler, COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt was selected for the roofing. In the flatlay, Christine has chosen to complement this COLORBOND® steel Surfmist® Matt with reclaimed bricks from Austral’s San Selmos range – showing how the façade can retain some of the features which tell the story of the period. Christine then added colour, and some warmer timber details, pale greys and earthy textures. This combination of textures and colours creates a look that is both connected to the home’s roots yet is inspiring in a contemporary context. We love it.


Palette inspired by House #3

House #3 – 1930’s California Bungalow
Hailing from one of the most decorative eras, and perhaps, also one of the most endearing period styles comes House #3, and the flatlay inspired by  this home started with the COLORBOND® steel Basalt® Matt roofing. From this bold beginning, COLORBOND® steel Monument® was then added as a colour that can really effectively highlight sections of the house. From there, the use of concrete tiles, terrazzo pavers, timber for the decking and darker brick, like the Austral La Paloma, help give the home a stylish and modern interpretation of the 1930’s.


Palette inspired by House #4

House #4 – 1910’s Federation
In contrast to the 1930’s California Bungalow, House #4’s Federation home has a COLORBOND® steel Dune® Matt roof, to bring a really modern warmth to the façade, and add an elegant and more natural aesthetic to the palette as a whole. In the flatlay you can see how the softness of COLORBOND® steel Dune® Matt has been used to inspire a combination of materials, textures and colours - with red brick, limestone pavers and Australian Beech timber selected to enhance the warm undertones.


Palette inspired by House #5

House #5 – 1950’s Mid-Century
Sitting on the corner of the street, the 1950’s Mid-Century home has the opportunity both to stand out from the crowd, and to set the scene for what lies beyond it in the group of five homes. COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey™ Matt was chosen for the roofing to showcase the coastal inspiration drawn from homes Brighton location. Being a lighter colour, this partners beautifully with stronger accents such as COLORBOND® steel Basalt® which Christine has included in the flatlay as a trim colour. The palette was completed using sand coloured bricks (Austral slimline designer bricks), pebbles and crushed sandstone to add a retro landscaping feel, and a native or cacti inspired garden - which has become a hot new trend and brings a sense of effortless style and sass. 


As demonstrated through these flatlays, each of the five houses have very different looks. All are beautiful examples of how working with textures and palettes can yield an overall aesthetic that is both connected to the original period of the home, but modern and individual at the same time.

Darren Palmer and Christine McCoy
Colour Palettes

Read The Block judge, Darren Palmer's, tips for how to create a colour palette for your home. 

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The #COLORBONDcreators series gives us the opportunity to share the stories of some amazing people creating stunning builds featuring COLORBOND® steel. In each story, we get behind the scenes of the build to get an insight into how these individuals brought their design ideas to life, their colour stories, key challenges and helpful tips when building.

We have Bec and George Douros who have chosen COLORBOND® steel Basalt® Matt for their duplex conversion, David Barbour (The Block’s co-creator and Executive Producer) and his beautiful beachside home featuring COLORBOND® Ultra steel in the colour Windspray®, The Designory, a design firm who have incorporated COLORBOND® steel Monument® Matt into their stunning Byron Bay Villa, Kyal and Kara building their dream family beach house with COLORBOND® Ultra steel in Dune® and Natalee Bowen, interior designer and owner of Indah Island renovating a stunning farmhouse in Toodyay – a rural township located an hour north-east of Perth.

We hope these stories inspire you and help you with your next build!

Click here to be inspired.

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Read below to see what our Design and Colour Consultant Christine McCoy has to say about COLORBOND® steel colours and textures
Christine McCoy

Christine’s passion for colour and design is evident in everything she touches, and she has been particularly pleased with how the colours and textures on The Block come together this year. She has also really enjoyed the development of the latest ‘Make it Yours’ video series with Darren Palmer.

Christine’s top tips for anyone considering the colour and texture palette for their home are:

  1. Think about the ‘whole story’ for the palette for your build. Then start by choosing the fixtures and fittings that work with your story and are hardest to change down the track.
  2. Think about the light and how it changes, and how this impacts the colours through the day.
  3. Recognise that all colours appear differently from one location to another and all colours are different depending on their texture. So, viewing onsite is paramount.

And, if you’re looking for some early inspiration, Christine suggests starting with textures and colours drawn from nature – “warm, earthy colours combined with matt finishes will not only look wonderful now, but stand the test of time”. 

Christine’s favourite images from our photo gallery are COLORBOND® steel Shale Grey™ in LYSAGHT SPANDEK® profile (Image (12) by Cohen Leigh Architects) and COLORBOND® steel Monument® in LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® profile (Image (57) by Kane Architect) because both show colour and form, and innovative uses of COLORBOND® steel.

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