Growing up in England, weatherboard homes were few and far between but I always admired the clapboard houses of East Coast America and longed to live in one of those. Moving to Australia, I thought I would achieve my dream of having a weatherboard home, as they are referred to here. They are one of the mainstays of Australian architecture, but sadly, I haven’t managed to buy one yet! With a husband who loves brick houses and can’t see the appeal of the weatherboard, it is a constant struggle but I hope to get there in the end! I may have to settle for a garden shed or summer house.
The weatherboard shadowline
Part of the appeal for me I think lies in my childhood dreams but what I have realised as a grown up and qualified designer is that the humble weatherboard, with its classic shadowline, is so much more receptive to exterior colour than a rendered house is. You can easily get away with soft pastels, grey blues and greens and dark grey and even black on a weatherboard home that you can’t do on a one dimensional rendered finish. Even classic white is elevated to another level because of the shadow that the overlapping boards create.
Different styles for a weatherboard house
Weatherboard houses also suit a more relaxed coastal or country style which really appeals to me. These houses are less formal than a solid brick or rendered property and really just prettier!
The classic Queenslander with its elevation from the ground, deep porches and ornate details add another dimension again and frankly make me swoon with envy. It’s almost enough to get me to move to Queensland – which I really love by the way – but I do find the heat is a bit of a challenge. Still, with a cool drink, an overhead fan and a beautifully decorated verandah, I could learn to adapt!
Related: My guide to painting eaves
Related: Why I love a crisp white trim
For a true country look, you can't beat weatherboards in natural timber. If you do want to keep the beautiful natural colour in the boards, you will have to commit to quite a bit of maintenance though as the boards will weather, particularly in a harsh environment or in a sunny western aspect.
The best approach if you don't want the maintenance, is to let the boards weather to a beautiful silvery grey. In fact this is what a lot of people actually want to achieve from the outset and as long as you have used a good quality stable hardwood, then this is absolutely fine.
I do really love both looks but this timber home really looks great with the depth of natural colour in the boards, trimmed with black, the look is subtle and understated – just what a true country home should be.
I can’t think of a favourite colour for a weatherboard house as there are so many options that look great, so it really comes down to the look that you want to achieve. For example, is the house a classic weekender by the coast? If so then you could opt for a white or a classic pastel hue which is fun and gets you into the holiday spirit.
The classic blue and white colour scheme looks great on a weatherboard house and is equally at home by the coast or in town.
As well as looking good in natural timber, countryside weatherboard homes also look good in soft grey greens or white or to really get the farmhouse look, black might be the answer. Or the weatherboard house may be in a smart inner city area, in which case a sleek grey may be more the ticket. Endless possibilities!
There is a heap of inspiration on my Pinterest Boards and it would be great to hear your comments and questions about weatherboard houses and colour schemes in the comments section below. Look forward to hearing from you!
Are you planning a renovation or building a new home? You might also like my article about how to Make an Entrance – one of the most important parts of a house.
Are you considering painting your weatherboard house in grey? This really is the neutral of the moment and is so successful on this style of house. If you are then you might like to read this post:
Do you like the idea of completing your weatherboard home with a colourful front door? This post helps you to fit the colour to your personality:
If you are building or renovating or even updating the look of your home with a coat of paint, you should download my free comprehensive exteriors checklist. This is in my Free Resource Library – you can sign up here.