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9 Cladding Styles, Ideas & Trends for Architects, Designers and Self Builders in 2020

Looking for some cladding inspiration for 2020? If you’re a home improver, self builder, architect or designer in search of the latest designer cladding styles and trends, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover what’s hot on design-led profiles, trendy species, or fixing styles

1. Cladding Trend: Shou-Sugi-Ban® Charred Cladding

Shou-Sugi-Ban® was hot (no pun intended) in 2019 — and is set to be scorching again as we move into 2020. Many home designers cherish Shou-Sugi-Ban® for its distinctive, characterful charred appearance and colour.

Inspired by the ancient Japanese practice of Yakusugi, it’s perfect for creating a highly unique exterior or interior finish. Interestingly, the charring process also gives the wood extra durability, as well as providing a striking visual effect.

We’ve actually written a whole blog post about this fascinating new cladding style!

2. Cladding Trend: Vertical, Horizontal or Both!

Historically people tend to choose to fix their cladding either vertically or horizontally depending on the shape or style of the building or just personal preference.

A top trick for architects and designers looking to add the illusion of height and uniform appearance to a building would be to go for a vertical cladding board, possibly in a single length. Most of the key cladding species are available up to 4.850m/16’ long.

With style in mind and the desire to stand out, we are increasingly seeing the use of mixing both horizontal and vertical cladding patterns. This can create a really eye-catching, exciting design.

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3. Cladding Trend: Mixing It Up

To take the above one step further, watch out for opportunities to add real texture and intrigue in 2020, especially within the commercial sector. Cladding panels can be fabricated with various different profiles.

Arrange cladding to form a unique mix of patterns and sizes — perhaps with a combination of V-Groove, shadow gap, shiplap, screen or feather-edge to mention a few.

4. Cladding Trend: Shadow Gap Profile

For architects seeking a design-led trend, consider shadow gap cladding for your next project.

As the name suggests, this profile provides a distinctive 10mm shadow between the cladding panels as sunlight falls on the cladding once fixed. Shadow gap is increasingly popular amongst designers looking to create a graceful, contemporary aesthetic using natural light.

A stylish touch for architecturally-led exterior projects, shadow gap profiles are available in any species. You can’t go wrong with the warm reddish-brown hues of Western Red Cedar — a perennial favourite of architects and home improvers. Other top timbers for this modern profile include Siberian Larch, Thermowood and Lignia.

5. Cladding Trend: Get the Weathered Look

When it comes to the final aesthetic of a project and its timber cladding, there is a distinct divide between keeping its natural colour and wanting the subtle silver-grey tones of natural weathering.

Of course, there’s not much work required in order to achieve this esteemed, weathered ‘look’ — simply just leave the timber untreated to silver over a period of approximately 18 months. Let nature take its course! One species of timber highly revered for its excellent even weathering tendencies include Western Red Cedar. Indeed, we’ve written a blog post about Western Red Cedar treatments.

If, like many of us you are impatient however, look no further than Swedish Impregnation System Si00x. This patented wood surface modification protects and excellerates an even weathering process.

With this interesting trend, the term ‘silver fox’ can be applied just as much to your property as it can to George Clooney!

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6. Cladding Trend: Tropical Species

When it comes to cladding, you can’t go wrong with a perfect timber species such as Western Red Cedar. However, for projects where budget is less of a concern, but that oomph-factor is crucial, why not try an unusual, tropical hardwood species from some far-flung part of the world?

Iroko, a tropical west African hardwood, is a fantastic example — cherished for its golden-brown colour, irregular grain and teak-like properties.

As with other luxury tropical woods, Iroko trees grow slowly (they can live for up to 500 years!), which gives the species incredible strength and durability. Others to look for are Ipe, Paduk and Cumaru.

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7. Cladding Trend: Rustic Waney- or Feather-edge

No one can deny how charming a rustic look timber is.

Capturing that warm, countryside vibe is a growing desire for many home designers and architects; waney-edge and feather-edge claddings are great ways to achieve this.

If you’re in a hectic urban area, a traditional humble choice of cladding can provide a relaxing, welcome contrast and break. It’s a nod to simplicity and natural beauty, allowing you to create a home style which really stands out.

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8. Cladding Trend: Multi-Specie Feature Wall

Within the interior of our homes, a feature wall has transitioned through many styles over the years — the warmth and beauty of timber is a trend ready to burst onto the scene!

As you might have guessed, this bold trend is characterised by the use of lots of different timber species with different colours shades and grain patterns put together as cladding or panels.

Try the chocolate browns of Walnut next to creamy whites of Maple; perhaps throw exotic, striped timbers like Zebrano in for that extra ‘pop’ and pizzazz. It’s sure to grab the attention of whoever comes through your door!

9. Cladding Trend: Secret Nail

For an unblemished finish on your cladding, consider a secret nail profile.

It’s exactly as you might imagine — the fixings are concealed with each board, ensuring there’s no distraction from the clean lines and natural beauty of the timber. Secret nail profiles are available in all species, some of the most popular species include Siberian Larch and Western Red Cedar.

Thermowood is a heat modified softwood that’s especially popular for external commercial projects on a budget — as well as its soft brown hues, which come as a result of the ‘baking’ process, it also changes the fibre of the wood for added stability and durability. Ideal for those unpredictable British seasons.

Piecing Together An Interior or Exterior Cladding Project?

It’s no secret — designer timber cladding is in for 2020 — and there’s so much scope to get creative.

Thinking of something extra special for your next project? We’re a stockist and supplier of on-trend, luxury timber cladding. We operate the largest hobbyist and trade centre in the UK, as well as boasting over 65 years’ experience when it comes to wood — so maybe we can be of assistance in helping with your next timber cladding project!

If you’re looking to add some cladding flair to a home, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your project requirements.

In the meantime, why not check out our comprehensive cladding guide?

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