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RenovatingNeale Whitaker Reveals Stunning Black Guest House

From black sinks to black benchtops, dark hues are a popular choice amongst renovators today.

But the beauty of black doesn’t end with interiors. Revealing his stunning guest house, Taylor’s of Berry, on the NSW South Coast, Neale Whitaker expertly demonstrates the power of a dark façade.

And we are head over heels.

Why black?

Source: James Hardie

Anything but boring, black is a bold neutral that stands out in a street. It brings an element of drama with the perfect balance of luxury and it plays well with almost any environment and architectural style.

Perhaps what’s most exciting about black as an external colour for homes is that it creates a stunning backdrop for the angles, lines and architectural elements of a home.

Source: James Hardie

We knew black was the colour for our barn-style guest house from the beginning. Black buildings tend to disappear into the greater landscape, yet with our own farmhouse being white, we loved the idea of a contrast. The black is quite sensorial and depending on the day it throws incredible light and shadows that creates interest,” explains Neale

Materials made for Australian conditions

Source: James Hardie

Neale’s striking barn-style guest house was brought to life with James Hardie Stria™ Cladding. Not only does this pre-primed and customisable material tick the critical box of durability, but it’s also warp-resistant, tough enough to withstand Australia’s harsh weather and it adheres to Bushfire Attack Level BAL) requirements.

And with deep grooves and strong horizontal lines, Stria™ Cladding couldn’t be more perfect for the ‘modern barn’ aesthetic.

The right shade of black

Source: James Hardie

If you thought black was black, think again. As Katherine Champion, colour consultant for Wattyl explains, there is actually no one uniform black colour.

There are many shades of black and each has subtle nuances that will influence the end result. Finding the right black shade for a home’s exterior cladding is all about considering the undertones and light,” says Katherine

Source: James Hardie

The trick to choosing the perfect black is about learning the subtle undertones in each swatch – it may be anything from red to brown, blue, green or purple. Cooler tones of black tend to pair better in bushlike landscapes, whereas saturated black looks exquisite in a modern urban setting.

Source: James Hardie

Taking into account the environment, Neale chose a warmer black to soften the appearance of the house against the natural landscape.

“Knowing that black can be a harsh colour on its own, we introduced a mix of warmer browns and greens to the palette through the use of brick, timber and foliage, to soften the look of our guest house,” says Neale.

The ideal paint

Source: James Hardie

According to James Hardie, low-sheen paints offer the best coverage and durability for exteriors using cladding or render. It hides imperfections and it’s fuss-free when it comes to cleaning. Love that.

“We love the clean lines and pared-back aesthetic of the Stria™ Cladding, and how Wattyl Solagard’s low sheen black makes it the perfect backdrop for our outdoor living areas,” says Neale.

And the perfect partners for black

Source: James Hardie

From the warm brick pavers laid in herringbone to barn lights and gentle olive trees in planters, Neale’s mix of outdoor materials is a match made in heaven with the Stria™ Cladding.

“As an alternative to black, dark greys and charcoals suit many different styles from Hamptons through to contemporary, they give grounding and offer tonal depth and contrast, a softer look and feel. They also provide the perfect backdrop for greenery,” says Neale.

Stria™ Cladding has its place in unlimited types of builds, from three-storey homes to farmhouse-style guest houses like this. It’s the perfect external solution for a modern silhouette.

James Hardie is a proud partner of the Making HOME renovation series.

(Photography credits: Rachel Tagg)

Obsessed with black? Don’t miss our shortlist of Australia’s best black fridges. And if you’re about to renovate the bathroom, check out this lineup of stunning black vanities for modern homes.

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