Language of The Looks: Learn Key Exterior Terms

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If someone asked you to describe the look of your dream home, what would you say? We’ve compiled a glossary of terms and phrases that will give you the language you need to explain the look to your builder or architect.


The ultra-modern look is defined by the mantra “less is more.” Kristy from Inform Building explains that it’s essential not to over complicate a modernist design, and let the form of the building complement the materials that you work with.

Key terms:

Modern, uncomplicated, clean lines, open plan, geometric, flat/sloped roof, square, horizontal lines, vertical lines,

Key materials:

Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Axon™, Scyon Matrix™, Stainless Steel, Render


This look is defined by thinking outside of the box. It’s about balance—creating an extension that contrasts the existing character of the home but also works in harmony with the original structure.

Key terms:

Contemporary, contrast, juxtaposition, balance, symmetrical, horizontal lines, transition, highlight

Key materials:

Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Axon, Scyon Matrix, Scyon Linea™, Brick, Timber


For those who want to push the boundaries of design and experiment with abstract shaped, incongruous materials and wild pops of colour. This look ebbs on the wild side but requires clever design to ensure the varying elements work in harmony together.

Key terms:

Abstract, clash, contrast, angles, artistic, asymmetrical, contemporary, irregular shapes, disproportionate, central feature, opposing

Key materials:

Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Axon, Scyon Matrix, Scyon Linea, Metal, Found Materials


Similar to the Ultra-Modernist look but far more calculated, the challenge with Geometric Design is getting the right mix of materials to ensure the façade doesn’t look monolithic. It’s about using textures sparingly and focusing on shapes to add visual depth.

Key terms:

Geometric, square, rectangular, minimal, boxy, pared back, simple, uncomplicated, monolithic, lines, angles, symmetrical

Key materials:

Scyon Matrix, Scyon Axon, Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Linea, Render, Metal cladding, brick


Creating an alfresco look requires a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors. The look requires that materials be adaptable to an indoor or outdoor look—they need to be robust but also refined.

Key terms:

Indoor/outdoor, seamless transition, open, airy, light, spacious, casual, pared back, simple, horizontal lines, neutral colour palette

Key materials:

Scyon Axon, Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Linea, Render, Glass, Timber


The Born Entertainer look is about treating the outdoors as another room of your home. The look has to be bold but also timeless, and the materials need to be durable and able to stand the test of time.

Key terms:

Durability, outdoors, robust, versatile, long wearing, timeless, modern, warm, seamless transition, open.

Key materials:

Scyon Linea, Stria™ Cladding, Scyon Matrix, Scyon Axon, Timber, Plywood

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