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Dark on the landscape

White is nice while black is best – and so it goes with these dark-toned homes where their moody cladding and sometimes roofing all contributes to drama or, conversely, quiet harmony in their own way

1. Nestled in


The exterior of this mountain home is cloaked in a rough sawn larch timber rainscreen and represents the idea of a bird’s nest and appeals to the natural setting. The cladding's also support's the holiday home's bespoke appeal as a potential rented luxury escape.

Designed by Barry Connor Design

Photography by Dennis Radermacher

Roof and cladding – Vertical Larch rainscreen

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2. Local dialect

Clad in dark-stained cedar teamed with steel-tray roofing in a charcoal tone gave the home a low-key presence that melds with the drama of the bare hills. The gabled forms are like a mini miners' village, keying into the vernacular architecture of the Central Otago region.

Designed by David Reid Homes

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3. Rugged character

Designed for a young builder from a rural farming background, the home's raw and robust materiality was a key connection to the homeowner’s roots.  The owner also wanted something that was eye catching would stand out within the more traditional  streetscape.

Designed by Janik Dalecki, Dalecki Design

Photography by Renae Roberts

Roof – Colorbond

Cladding – Weathertex

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4. Contrast and drama 

This rural home offers a pleasing two-tone palette of natural timber and stained wood cladding, with an accent of schist on the chimney – the sides and rear of the home are exclusively in the darker cladding.

Designed by Landmark Homes

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5. Inspired by the tree line

This home sits on a large established site that is spotted with pockets of protected Kanuka trees – the geometric and angled larch rain screen took inspiration from these Kanuka trees, which have been whipped into fantastical shapes and angles by the prevailing winds. 

Dark and darker – stained larch meets 

Designed by AO Architecture

Photography by Simon Larkin

Cladding – Siberian Larch rain screens; Dimond Veedek and Dimond Eterpanto under rainscreen; Eurotray in black on wings

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6. Different on the inside

Darkly stained cedar facade elements were incorporated into the wider material palette of this home –  balanced white plaster accents to create a dichromatic scheme that has been married right through the home.

Designed by Garry Mayne, Chilton + Mayne Architecture

Photography by Dennis Radermacher, Lightforge Photography

Cladding – Hermpac Shiplap in Cedar

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7. Low key

A black home can stand out, but it can also unassumingly fit in – the latter applies to this modern home which steps down and back into the bush line.

Designed by Box Build

Photography by Sophie Heyworth

Cladding – Weathertex

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8. Black recedes?

This home also favours a discreet street presence and working with the science of colour – the house combines low scale and seamless lines with a contrasting black charred façade surrounded with a white envelope and hardwood details.

Designed by Alex Urena, Alex Urena Design Studio

Photography by Nat Spadavecchia

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9. Moveable feast

Like that little black cocktail dress, this modular home's tones will look good most places. Designed to be scalable, with a nationally accepted multi-proof consent and produced in large volumes, the home is crafted using locally sourced, dark stained Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). 

Designed by David Wingate, Wingate Architects

Photography by Samuel Hartnett

Cladding – Xlam Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)

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