If you’re searching for a wonderfully natural but also intrinsically unique way to add personalisation to your home or garden, look no further. I found them for you. You’re welcome. Totally nailing current interior desires for the organic and the individual, shingles can be stained, painted, cut, shaped or left entirely as god intended them, little rectangles of cedar loveliness.
Shingles are architecturally rife across the Atlantic on roofs or as cladding – they call them sidings. They can have a slight propensity to looking twee, but only in the wrong hands. I fell hook, line and sinker for them a few years ago on this Canadian beach. Up close, their texture and salt battered staining only serves to make them more gorgeous. I was kinda determined to use them, even if not actually on a roof, and in the ensuring years some truly inspirational images have filtered through. Low key to most but yelling at me whenever I spotted one. When we designed and built this garden room in the first shot above last year, I quite fancied the idea of a wall panel, almost like wallpaper, but more natural. The outdoor space was built in memory of a wonderful mum whose most favourite colour was orange (hence the cushions), so what better than the glowing fire of cedar wood.When shingles are first cut from cedar, the wood widely used in the US and Canada for its resistance to bugs, longevity and appearance, they’re this deep reddish colour, but gradually face to silvery grey dependent on weather and exposure to the sun. This quite lovely US house is just a little bit magical, don’t you think?
Timber shingles don’t do fantastically in rainy, drizzly climates, which is probably why we Brits use slate on our roofs or terracotta on our elevations instead. Whatever the material, the shingle effect is unique and entrancing, as here on Nikki Tibbles’ sublime country cottage.
Let’s put it out there. There is literally nowhere shingles don’t look good. Nowhere.
Look, I’ll show you what I mean…Protected from the British weather, they look lovely painted white to create a backdrop wall. Natural timber accessories and pastels work well with white shingles, adding a touch of crisp black accenting to keep the look sharp.
I *might* be creating this look in my new kitchen #hinthint 😉
Protecting shingles from wet weather is a good idea and anyone with a porch-like overhang on their home is quids in. How about painting or staining them black from a very contemporary feel. Tip: you can buy felt or manmade shingles to achieve this vibe on a tight budget. These look very uniform to me, they’re either super high quality shingles (yes, you can get different grades) or they’re a non-timber material.
Of course, you don’t get rain indoors….
If you’ve already fallen in love with shingles and texture doesn’t scare you, then you’ll be equally as enamoured with shakes, a shingle’s slightly rougher cousin. Battered and split, they’re cut in a different way, their flaws embraced and their random sizing encouraged.
I adore this wall in the Beckenham House on Shoot Factory (property porn alert). I suspect these shakes are weathered and reclaimed, such is their natural beauty. If you want to recreate this look, buy a load of shakes, leave them outside for two years to bleach and weather then dry and fit them. They look almost like driftwood, as though they’ve been stripped from a Cape Cod beach house and re-fitted in this bedroom. Stunning.
Some people just aren’t that into texture or the faff of fitting wooden shingles in their pristine homes, but they’d quite like the look. Graham & Brown are on this for 2018 and have just launched a fantastic new paper called Hygge pictured above which I saw yesterday. Looks great doesn’t it? I haven’t see it in the flesh yet, might have to order a sample!
Who says shingles have to be rectangular anyway? Or even timber, black or white? This astonishing facade is the Assembles Yardhouse Studios in London. Yes I’d just stand there and gaze at it too. I would LOVE to see this in ‘real life’. These are actually concrete shingles cast on site, aren’t they incredible.
Twisting the shingle theme again is the use of copper, a very malleable and bendable metal which lends itself beautifully to being shaped into exquisite facades.
The one on the left, Fields Street at Kings Cross by Project Orange, and on the right, unknown, use traditional copper in contemporary ways. Be mindful that copper doesn’t stay this sheeny, shiny state but oxidises to a verdigris pretty rapidly. Unless it’s laquered and protected of course. Lush isn’t it, maybe one for an ambitious self builder?
Back to timber and there are no rules where shingles are concerned.
Mixing up shapes and sizes is almost de rigeur to get an eclectic, natural feel, but this wall takes it a step further by throwing rounded scallops in with the more trad rectangles. It’s called the N-Holiday House, a seaside getaway by Sohei Nakanishi Design. I’d like to getaway to here.
The scalloped shingle effect is growing apace and no doubt you’re start to see images like this all over Pinterest and Instagram.
These green and white tiles are from Domus and do actually mimic shingles in the way they physically overlap. The fishtail or scallop tiles being launched by lots of tiling companies at the moment are a flat twist on this. Now you know where the initial inspiration for this style of tile comes from.
Interestingly the ceramic tiles photographed above in the kitchen of a stunning Melbourne beachside home featured on Inside Out are actually flat and not overlaid, but the clever randomness of the sizings give the impression of shingles. These are ace. No credit in the article as to where these tiles can be sourced, I wish I knew!
Dreamily dark and mysterious, this bar mixes up materials brilliantly. It’s very luxurious but a competent DIYer or joiner could replicate this look quite easily. Nice use of two shades to add extra visual interest. Does anyone please know where this place is, I saved the image yonks ago and can’t now find it online, I think it was in some bar awards??
Back to full walls, this interior wall photographed by Zooey Braun turns a minimalist white box into a space filled with life. Wood just does that doesn’t it, makes you want to stroke it. Once you’ve got the bug, there’s no end to where you can pin a shingle or stick a shake. Sebastian Cox’s intricate chestnut-cleft Shake furniture captures the beauty of this process perfectly. Just waiting for that lottery win to have my home filled with these pieces.
So, have I persuaded you that the future is shingled? It is here at Moregeous Mansions, with a cheeky wall of cedar loveliness already appearing in one of the bedrooms, soon to be photographed. It was very easy to do too. Once I’ve actually got a bed in there, I’ll do a How To for you, honestly, it’s a doddle!
Right, I’m off to finish off my dining room storage wall and price up a garden job. What about you, got any exciting ‘making’ plans today? We’re also off to Spring Fair 2018 next week, checking out new buys and trends with 2LG boys and filming with Real Homes – cannot wait for that 🙂
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