Thursday 13 August 2020

The Secrets to Modern Scandinavian Barn Style Living

Australia’s love of angular, simple modern design has seen the Scandi Barn style take on a more contemporary look that draws inspiration from traditional Nordic homes, with the addition of sleek finishes and modern materials. In line with modern design, this style is about simplicity, shape and refined palettes. Here, architect and James Hardie Ambassador Joe Snell describes how The Kew House, an Edwardian period property in Victoria, now exemplifies the Australian Modern Scandi Barn style, as designed by Rebecca Naughtin.

Pitched Gable Roofs
The diagrammatic house shape is a must for any Scandi Barn. This is achieved with steeply pitched roofs that slope downwards at an angle of 35 to 45 degrees, creating a gable below. Born out of necessity, this feature was first designed to help homes shed snowfall in Scandinavian winters.
These roofs can be added as a beautiful, contemporary update to conventional Australian architecture. On The Kew House, the pitched gable roofline is extended out beyond the wall line to create a hooded affect. However, unlike a traditional eave, this protrusion is continued along the wall line, creating the diagrammatic house outline that’s essential to the style.

Exterior cladding is key to taking the Scandi Barn out of the field and placing it in Modern Australia. Traditional barn style facades are distinctive for the provincial craftsmanship of timber lines and mixed panelling. For the Modern Scandi Barn, it’s essential to add to the overarching diagrammatic shape, not distract from it, so the right wall finish is a must. Too much detail and the home will look cluttered, while too little will leave the home looking plain. Updating an exterior with large panel cladding will immediately strike the right balance.
Vertical profiles, such as James Hardie’s Axon cladding offer a pared back reference to barn siding by mimicking the fine detailing of vertical joint timber, but has geometric lines and a smooth finish that allude to pared-down Nordic simplicity.

A balance between The Kew House’s heritage and the new Scandi Barn style was created with James Hardie’s Matrix Panels. This cladding harmonised with the façade's original antique materials, but scaled back the detail due to its minimal joints, while allowing for a simple dark grey finish to create impact.
It is also possible to mix cladding styles in an ode to the traditional, board-and-batten variation. James Hardie’s Linea Weatherboard is designed with the traditional look of timber, with crisp, structured lines and deep shadows that give a rich texture to exteriors. As with all James Hardie cladding products, they’re durable and resistant to warping, flaking and damage from moisture and fire, making it ideal for the Australian climate.

Interiors x exteriors
Scandi Barn inspired interiors refine the rustic look while incorporating the Australian love for indoor-outdoor lifestyles. The basis of this style is organic textures and clean traditionalism anchored in practicality, with a deep connection to its natural surroundings.
The modern interpretation takes the comfortable, relaxed barn style and focuses on creating fusion between indoors and outdoors to make the design feel effortless. Interior spaces are created for open plan, connected living with light-filled spaces.
The modern Scandi Barn interiors are defined by the steeply pitched gable rooves as they create high vaulted ceilings. Infuse interiors with v-groove wall panelling, such as James Hardie’s HardieGroove, which perfectly captures the timber look with vertical joint panels, grooved ridging, and modern geometric lines.
To create a consistent look, use colours such as bright whites, warm wood tones, and dark accents, such as grey and charcoal. The Kew House completed its exterior Matrix boards, which are pre- primed and ready to paint, with Dulux Black Caviar on the front façade and accents of this were carried into the living space to create continuity.
From construction to colour, The Kew House is a perfect example of how to transform traditional builds with updated materials to capture the modern Scandi Barn trend.
I love that the interiors mimic the exteriors and reflect the Nordic aesthetics through colours and materials while accommodating the modern Australian lifestyle. The perfect marriage!

Hope you too enjoyed this Nordic inspired home tour. 

Till next time... find out how to get the Scandi Barn look for your home at!

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