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The 3 key elements of contemporary Scandi Barn design

Scandi Barn style is about simplicity, shape and refined palettes.

Our love of simple modern design has seen the Scandi Barn style become a firm favourite in contemporary design. This style is about simplicity, shape and refined palettes. The interiors reflect the aesthetic through corresponding colours and materials while accommodating modern lifestyles.

Architect and James Hardie Ambassador Joe Snell describes how The Kew House, an Edwardian period property in Victoria, incorporates 3 design features of the Scandi Barn style, as designed by Rebecca Naughtin.

1. Pitched Gable Roof

Pitched gable roofline on the The Kew House by James Hardie

The diagrammatic house shape is a must for any Scandi Barn. This is achieved with a steeply pitched roof that slopes 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.

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.

2. Cladding

Exterior cladding is a key feature in the Scandi barn design. Vertical profiles, such as James Hardie’s Stria cladding offer a pared back reference to barn siding by mimicking the fine detailing of vertical joint timber.

Exterior cladding is key to the Scandi Barn style. 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 façades original antique materials, but scaled back the detail due to its minimal joints, while allowing for a simple dark grey finish to create impact.


3. Indoor x outdoor

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.

Scandi Barn inspired interiors refine the rustic look while incorporating our 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 roof 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.

5 Award-winning Dining Rooms to Inspire Your Next Home Renovation

Take a look at these clever ideas for mastering dining room design.

The trend towards increased in-home dining prompted by COVID-19 lockdowns is set to continue a UBS report has found. Even fine-dining restaurants are responding by offering home delivery, with private chefs also noticing an increased demand.

If you feel your dining space could do with an upgrade, these fabulous dining spaces from the 2020 Houses Awards are sure to provide some inspiration.

Fitzroy North House 02 by Rob Kennon Architects, photography Derek Swalwell

1. Backless bench seating is a great option for the dining room. Pushed against the wall it doesn’t require as much space as individual chairs, and it can also make a space look bigger as there is less visual clutter than a regular chair.

Ruxton Rise Residence by studiofour, photography Shannon Mcgrath

2. An uncomplicated design that embraces simplicity, privacy, warmth, clean air and an abundance of natural light this clever dining kitchen uses the step to keep the benchtop one level while defining heights and spaces for the eating and preparation areas.

Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters www.vokesandpeters.com, photography Christopher Frederick Jones

3. A seamless connection between the kitchen and outdoor dining space is stylish and very user-friendly. The louvered wall of the outdoor room acts as a great buffer while still allowing a sense of movement and life from the street.

Glebe House by Chenchow Little Architects www.chenchowlittle.com, photography Peter Bennetts

4. The Glebe House has been designed to optimise internal volume and space by incorporating large voids and arched windows which flood the space with light and focus views out to the surrounding treetops.

Tulipwood House by Auhaus Architecture auhaus.com.au, photography Derek Swalwell

5. The warm timber table and chair provide a welcoming contrast to the cool concrete floor in the Tulipwood House. The modern pendant over the table provides a visual balance to the rectangular table and compliments the curved shapes in the room.