How to Create a Modern Look-Inspired Outdoor Space

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For many Australians, the outdoor space around their home is one of their most lived-in areas – especially during the warmer months. From entertaining to pool parties, barbecues and birthdays, there’s so much fun to be had outside in the beautiful weather.

But what should you focus on design-wise? The Modern look is incredibly alluring and – most importantly – completely customisable to your tastes. To help you get started on your outdoor Modern reno, here’s what you should focus on.


While not quite all-encompassing, there are a number of variants of the Modern look, and choosing what works best for your outdoor space will help you when planning your renovation.

  • Box Modern: The ‘boxy’ look is foundational in modern architecture – it’s pure, stripped-back style. Think hidden roof lines and a colourless, tone-heavy palette.
  • Mid-Century Modern: Defined in Europe but influenced by suburban architecture, the mid-century look is all about being flexible and affordable. Think exposed structures, open-plan living throughout, and a strong connection with the outdoors.
  • Modern Coastal: Harking back to our history of weatherboard beach shacks, get coastal with clean lines, fantastic indoor-outdoor flow and a lifestyle that’s all about being laid-back by the beach. Think crisp-white weatherboards, coastal furnishings, modern windows and no contrasting trims.
  • Scandi Barn: Taking the humble barn to the next level, this Scandinavian style is unlike anything you’ve seen before – from steep-pitched rooves to the pared-back aesthetic and lots of dark colours. Think windows blending into the cladding, striking black and white details, and of course the pitched ‘barn’ roof. moderndeck_01-1536x768


No matter the type of Modern look you’re going for, you’ll want to consider these three focus areas for your renovation.


The walls of your outdoor Modern reno will be the first thing to draw the eye for guests. If you want a mix of old and new, Linea™ Weatherboard is characteristic of both the Modern look and the classic Hamptons style homes. Enjoy a relaxed coastal or country look that’s immediately reminiscent of a holiday home.

Contemporary weatherboards have flat profiles and smooth textures that deliver those clean lines you’re looking for. They should also be long and able to be butt-joined for a seamless look that’s easy to install.

There are plenty of other choices though – from the timeless aesthetic of Hardie™ Flex Sheet to the sleek and highly customisable Stria™ Cladding with deep grooves for a bold, contemporary look. Then there’s the dramatic ‘wow’ factor of Axon™ Cladding, where you get all the beauty and fine details of vertical-joint timber without the hassle and maintenance.

All of these products can be used in your outdoor Modern renovation – you can even mix and match to create a unique style of your very own.


Whether you’re after a high-quality deck to complement your Modern look renovation or something durable and water-resistant to line your pool, Hardie™ Deck is a great option. It’s a modern fibre-cement replacement for traditional timber while being ideal for its weather resistance and hard-wearing nature. Plus, it’s perfect for homes in bushfire zones.

Cabanas or verandahs

Go for an outdoor room that’s elevated and comes directly off your kitchen. HardieDeck is durable and comfortable underfoot, and resistant to moisture from cooking heat.

If you’re interested in building a relaxing cabana for those long summer days, HardieDeck works well with Axon Cladding for a space that everyone will want to occupy. Alternatively, Versilux™ Lining can be used in modern outdoor areas with wide eaves and soffits. moderndeck_02-1536x768


Ready to get cracking? Remember the five most important steps:

  • Visualise your Modern renovation and create a detailed design plan.
  • Figure out your budget, making sure to factor in all your materials and building costs.
  • Jump online to check if there are local rules or regulations that might hinder your build. Seek council approval if necessary.
  • Find a builder who understands the Modern look and embraces your vision.
  • Get the look you’ve been dreaming of with James Hardie cladding materials.

With the help of James Hardie products, you can enjoy an outdoor renovation that screams Modern. Get helpful tips and tricks from our Home Renovation Guide, and find design inspiration on our Pinterest page and in our Design Ideas hub.

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