If you’ve been paying attention to the skyline in your city, you would have noticed the recent shift to bold geometric shapes and monochrome colours in architectural design.
These new house designs called the modern house design seem to have become the recent favorite of most real estate developers.
In recent times, we have seen a rise in the popularity of these modern house designs. This style could easily be mistaken for contemporary house design.
Which on the other hand changes to adapt to the current trends at a particular time.
Contemporary house design does not refer to architectural design from a distinct period. It is rather more fluid and takes inspiration from many diverse styles.
Now more people are curious about what classifies a house to be modern, what it’s made of, and how best of an option it is.
These are some of the prevalent questions asked about modern houses. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about a modern house.
What Is A Modern House?
Modern house style originates from the early to the mid-20th century and refers to houses built according to the principles of modern architecture.
Modern houses take a minimalistic approach and embrace the sleek look, open spaces, asymmetric lines, and rectangular or box shapes all to maximize space.
The very distinct aesthetics of the modern house makes it hard to miss!
This house style appeals to the senses and prioritizes attention to detail, and comfort. It’s more about curves, angles, squares, and circles.
The modern house style was a break away from the repetitive historic architectural style e.g (the victorian era house style that was common at that time).
The style emerged towards the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century and celebrates advancement in engineering, building design, and technology.
Modern House Styles
Several architects have drawn inspiration from modern design and made several variations to create their unique style. Some of them are listed below.
1. Prairie-Style Modern Houses
This modern house design of a broad and flat landscape with sharp geometric lines owes it to Frank Lloyd.
Frank Lloyd Wright was the originator of this style of house and was an early pioneer of modern architecture.
His notable works include the Guggenheim Museum in NYC and Fallingwater Residence in Mill Run, Arizona.
The prairie-style modern house is believed to have taken inspiration from the landscape of the midwest prairie in the United States.
It embodies. minimalism and emphasizes the need for houses to serve basic needs without being ostentatious.
The features of this house include an asymmetrical, low-pitched roof, and an open-concept plan.
The use of natural materials like brick, wood, and stone and several small windows in a row gives the illusion of a glass wall.
Strong horizontal lines blend in with the prairies in which they are placed.
The Soviet Union in the 1920s was the pioneer of this modern house style. The characteristic feature of constructivism is the use of 3D cubism to abstract and non-objective elements.
The heavy influence of straight lines, cubes, cylinders, and rectangles is observed in this style. Steel frames are used to hold up large areas of glazing and exposed building joints.
3. International Style
These styles of modern houses set the tone for other modern house styles. Major architects of this movement include Le Corbusier, real name Charles-Édouard Jeanneret.
His famous works include Villa Savoye, Pavillon le Corbusier, and the Pavilion for the Villa church in Ville d’Avray.
He is arguably one of the most influential modernist architects. The features of the international modern house style include flat roofs, open floor plans, rectangular shape, use of materials like concrete, steel, and glass, smooth non-textured surface, and large floor-to-ceiling windows.
This house style obeys all the tenets of the modern house style as we know it.
This style of modern houses only became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It embraces sharp blocky looks, texture, interesting shapes, massive forms, geometric shapes, and flat roofs.
Movement, science, natural materials, and technology. This style originates from Italy in the early 20th century. Long chromatism and long dynamic lines hive the perception of motion and lyricism.
6. Art Deco
This modern house style sticks to the signature flat roof, and smooth walls are usually made of stucco.
With additional features like walls with rounded corners, interior decor material made from opaque glass panels, glass block, neon, chrome, and bold zigzag or sunrise exterior designs.
What Defines A Modern House
Several features define what a modern house is and below are some of them.
1. Sustainability and Reusability
A mix of wood, reinforced concrete, brick, stone, steel, and glass comprise the major materials used in building a modern house. In essence, modern houses are more durable than traditional houses.
The concept of the switch to more solid materials started in the 1920s when modern architecture pioneers decided to switch to more pragmatic building materials.
This innovative switch spread worldwide and during the great depression in the U.S.A, these industrial materials greatly served the needs of that time, Hence their popularity.
Concrete, the major material used in constructing modern homes offers multiple advantages. One, they absorb and maintain heat better than conventional wood-framed houses.
Also, houses built with concrete are less susceptible to molds and other airborne pollutants. Another modern house feature is reusability.
This makes use of already existing materials, for example, shipping containers which can be redesigned to create more affordable modern houses. One, two, or three shipping containers could be stacked on the other.
Before the 20th century, architects had to reference Victorian-style houses in all their designs. Lots of curves, walls, and arches even were unnecessary.
The modern house style design emphasised functionality in its design. By this, a building’s purpose has to influence its design.
If it’s a library, train station, or hospital it has to look like one and not a 14th-century museum.
An example of this is Finland’s Paimio Sanatorium designed in 1932 by Alvar Aalto. Built to house tuberculosis patients, the building form follows function by use of easy-to-clean materials, no sharp edges or ornaments to gather dirt, and plenty of windows to induce light therapy which was believed at that time to aid tuberculosis treatment.
His design enhanced the building’s ability to serve its purpose.
With stronger building materials introduced for support, houses could have fewer walls and entire floors could open up.
This gave way to the open floor concept plan which requires fewer walls.
Modern houses have a simple floor plan layout with fewer intrinsic curves and angles. Large expanses of glass or windows that emphasize views of the outside
3. Geometric Shapes
The most defining feature of a modern house style is the prominent use of geometric shapes. The modern house forms Utilise rectilinear and simple curvilinear outlines in the design.
Rectangles, boxes, circles, and straight lines. Geometric designs are expressed either in structure, exterior designs including windows, landscape, roofs, and interior designs including the choice of cabinets, light fixtures, counters, and décor.
The austere look of modern houses helps them lean more on minimalism. The appeal of less is more is strongly introduced in modern houses. Fewer walls, less intricate designs, and more open spaces.
The sleek minimal look is seen in the simple detailing of this house style. The use of horizontal rooftops, basic design, and straight lines.
5. Smart Features
Most modern houses have eco-friendly and progressive elements for energy conservation and comfort.
Usually, a green area, installed solar panels, smart features ranging from smart locks, inbuilt audio system, and smart TVs.
Also read: Top 20 Real Estate Technology Trends In 2023
A dominant feature of modern homes is the smart features. smart locks, smart home command centers usually use a voice assistant or remote control that provides access to every smart feature in your home.
Remote home security that interfaces with smartphone apps to access your home surveillance feed and is controlled from anywhere with a data connection.
Smart windows and blinds, smart lawn care system mowers, smart dishwashers, and smart thermostats regulate temperatures within the home.
Characteristics Of A Modern House
Various features of a modern house design are expressed in each part of the house to create a modernist appeal. The following gives you an insight into the different characteristics of a modern house.
Utilizing your bathroom space to highlight its best features, the best bet would be going for the modern bathroom look. That is the clean and sophisticated look. Although, the intensity of the styling would depend on your personal preferences.
The defining features of a modern bathroom include :
- A neural colour scheme of grey, white, beige, or hues of brown.
- Freestanding oval or rectangular-shaped bathtub.
- Double-layered lighting.
- Frameless geometric-shaped mirrors Marble countertops
- Minimalistic single-handle faucets
- Curbless walk-in shower
- High gloss tiles
- A sleek vanity
The living room serves as a multipurpose space, a family area, and a guest receiving area. The modern house living room uses a combination of clean geometric lines and minimalist decor to achieve a sleek and sophisticated look.
More frameless objects are used in interior decor as we notice a shift from frilly designs to ultra-sleek looks.
Features of a modern living room include:
- High ceilings
- A natural soft colour palette for the walls which are usually monochrome colours in shades of brown, black, white, and grey to create a visual of depth and dimension to your space.
- Large open windows to let in natural light.
- Clean-lined sofas with a simple design to match the general room colour usually in hues of brown, beige, grey, or white.
- A dash of nature with potted plants
- Layered lighting i.e LEDs, track lights in the ceiling, and backlights.
- Minimalistic and multifunctional furniture
- Hardwood floors
- Simple sofa pillows accentuate the feel of the place, usually in a nude palette.
- Geometric coffee tables with simple decorative patterns are usually made of glass, wood, or marble.
- Simple art pieces or decor
- An accent of bold and vibrant colours.
- Console tables with glossy lacquer or metal finishes.
To some, the kitchen is the heart of the home. There, most food preparation and dining activities take place.
This makes it essential that it’s designed in a way to allow easy flow of movement between work areas, like the sink, oven, and cabinets.
Incorporating the modern kitchen look is a perfect way to start. It could be custom designed to your taste and it combines a clean sophisticated look with adequate functionality.
The most common kitchen styles are the galley kitchen, the L-shaped kitchen, the Island kitchen, one walled kitchen, peninsula kitchen.
Depending on how much space you have to work with, additional features like pantries, an island bench, an extra breakfast bar, or an extra countertop sink could be added to your kitchen.
The modern kitchen look ensures that light is maximized with the use of reflective materials. Subtly defined zone divisions in the kitchen layout.
Features of a modern kitchen include:
- Uniform monochromatic colours set the tone for the general feel of your kitchen to be light and welcoming.
- Integrated appliances like the oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and sink.
- Frameless full cabinetry usually white wood with overlay panel doors and drawer fronts.
- Use of reflective materials like stainless steel, granite, or marble countertops.
- Multi-layered ornate lighting
- Large windows or open floor plan to allow lots of natural light
- Stone-like tiles
- Concrete walls
- Large multifunctional islands
Modern houses favour flat roofs, either in straight lines or at a slope. Flat roofs are said to complement the geometric look of the house’s exterior features.
Flat roof styles use a range of materials from concrete, steel, laminated beams, and steel. One major good thing about flat roofs is the cost.
Materials used and installation for flat roofs are usually cheaper than those used in pitched roofs. Flat roofs could also be built on a slope.
Windows help to create an extra sense of space. For modern houses, ceiling-to-ground windows are the perfect way to achieve this feel.
This provides an abundance of light and a perfect view of the outdoors. Usually, there is a repetitive pattern observed as all windows of the house have the same style.
A visually appealing landscape adds to the overall veneer of a modern house. The landscape for modern houses serves more for aesthetics than nature itself.
It has to follow the tenets of modern houses, clean lines, and bold geometric shapes. Usually a mix of concrete pavement, metal gates, gravel, and more emphasis on greenery than flowers.
You can find sustainable features like solar power, wind power, and natural water features also.
The major features of modern house landscape include:
- Clean lines and subtle use of colour usually various shades of green with one or two accent colours.
- Uniformity of plants usually smaller trees or shrubs.
- An outdoor pool
- Symmetrical concrete pavements
- Manicured lawns
- Sustainable features like solar or wind power
- Metallic gates
- Large sliding or accordion glass doors
Pros And Cons Of A Modern House Design
Modern houses have their pros and also cons, we have a few of them listed below.
Modern house design is evergreen and has a timeless appeal. This house design goes against the trends as it comes from a particular period and has no need to be constantly updated.
Modern houses are designed to be energy efficient. Materials used in modern houses could help save energy costs.
The large windows let in plenty of natural light throughout the house, and concrete walls serve as an insulating material.
The maintenance for modern houses is minimal. The clean lines, flat roofs, and minimalist designs make maintenance easy and less cost-cutting.
Also read: Cost of Roofing A 4-Bedroom Flat In Nigeria
Also, the design materials used experience less wear and tear.
For example, hardwood floors are more durable as compared to other floor coverings like laminates and carpets.
Depending on who is asking, modern houses could serve as a cheaper alternative for long-term housing plans. The structure requires less maintenance and fixes and the materials used are more durable.
The materials used in building example concrete are less susceptible to rot or burns, absorb heat better, are more water resistant, and are an adequate sound-proof material.
Modern houses are generally more expensive to build when compared to houses made solely of wood.
The design might be considered too rigid and bare of character for people who prefer more expressions in their houses.
7 Tips To Make Your House More Modern
Here are six tips that can spice up your house and bring it from outdated to modern.
Colors are a key factor in achieving a sophisticated modern house look. The dominant colours come in shades of beige, brown, grey, muted blues, and greens or white.
Brighter colours are best used to accentuate spaces and as a rule of thumb, less is more.
Hues of Natural and earthy colours like brown, and greige are a perfect way to create a calm modernist home.
If you’re gunning for the tranquil, relaxing look or the uber-sleek look, your choice of colour could work like magic to achieve that.
A consistent colour scheme of nude/ Soft colours (soothing and chic colours-light brown or warm viridian colours always go best for large spaces)
2. Wooden Floor Boards
What better way to add an understated elegant look to your home? Wooden floorboards. This is a far distance from ceramic tiles made of porcelain or terracotta which could make your house seem outdated.
3. Wider Windows
Wider windows allow easy flow of natural light and ventilation to a place. This according to research can be therapeutic and have positive impacts on your mood.
The common type is horizontal floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an outdoor area of the house.
4. Sleek Furniture
Modern houses are more about clean lines, and smooth texture, and your choice of furniture is a perfect way to nail that.
Sleek furniture made of wood, usually mahogany or walnut, is a perfect feel for a modern house look.
5. Abstract Art Pieces And Decor
Ranging from simple art designs, open bookshelves, frameless mirrors, paintings, sculptures, and potted plants. Using one or all of these helps spruce up your space.
Additional pieces like rugs to provide texture in certain areas are a welcomed choice. Go for balanced and well-thought-out pieces that reflect your style and fit with the general aesthetics of your home.
6. Practice Minimalism and Declutter
Decluttering gives the perception of more space and an added clean look. Less frilly designs and more geometric-shaped styles and designs add a modern feel to your home.
There is nothing more unappealing than a cramped space that doesn’t speak for class. Luxury always has the put-together look that the modern house style exudes.
7. Use of Artificial Lighting
Multilayered lighting is used to draw attention to different parts of the house at all times. Lighting has always been a common way to add the perception of space and volume to a room.
It can turn a dull room into an immediate fantasy land.
Depending on your style, lighting fixtures can come in clean geometric shapes of all sizes. Common examples are ceiling lights best in low-ceiling rooms, wall lights, table lamps, and built-in LED lighting.
What To Define When Choosing A Modern House
Before deciding to either buy, rent or build a modern home one has to define certain factors. Some of the pointers below could come in handy.
Smarter Budget Planning
When choosing to buy or build a modern house, you ought to plan with budget management in mind.
Although the price of building or buying your modern house may vary and is hugely dependent on your location, the price of raw materials, and the cost of labour where you live.
Doing your research about alternative cost-effective materials is key to achieving this. For instance, using stone in place of granite or concrete could save you some cost, yet your building still sustains its quality.
Buying Or Building From Scratch
It’s important to decide which is cheaper, buying an already finished house either an old or a new one, renovating it to taste, or building from scratch.
To correctly decide, you should evaluate the area of choice, know the type of soil and structure to best fit the topography in accordance with zoning laws, run research on raw materials cost, and speak to the various professionals you’ll be needing.
This way you’ll have a clearer view of the cost of both. Whatever final decision you make would be hugely dependent on your findings.
When one has kids or plans to, it influences key decisions like the number of rooms needed and the choice of house location.
Considerations like the quality of schools around the area, availability of children’s play areas, and hospitals become priorities.
For modern homes, materials used in building the house could pose a potential safety risk for your kids, you may have to consider childproofing options.
Another is the size of the house. A cute tiny space could seem crampy real soon if you have kids running about the majority of the time.
Let’s face it, children have their periodic adrenaline moods which as an adult you sometimes have to sit out on.
So choosing a house with an outdoor playground, or with extra rooms for you to enjoy private me-time could go a long way in helping you catch a break from the outside world.
Are you one who enjoys the cozy and homely look of a home? Or one who loves the round aesthetic of the bold and sleek home.
When choosing a house, defining your style is essential in getting the right feel of the place. There’s just something naturally comforting about your space being in line with your personal style preference.
You may relate this to owning an item you don’t like, it’s always going to stick out as odd to you, no matter how you try to ignore the feeling.
You definitely wouldn’t want to make that mistake for your space, especially one you may be spending a lot of time in.
Location is a big factor when deciding to choose a modern house style. For one the neighborhood laws on design might be restricted to certain house features.
Another thing is location can determine how your modern house style is built. The topography of the land such as soil type or mountainous terrain could have an impact on the building materials used.
Does the location also pose questions like should I add an open patio? if it’s a beachfront property or does the area experience harsh winters? You might consider adding a chimney, fireplace, or modern heating system to your house.
Modern houses might be in a rave at the moment and several defining features might be contributing factors to that and should be worth taking a look at.