Modern House Design and How to Achieve It

A modern-style home is a goal that most of us covet these days, with sleek, functional decor and elegant contemporary touches. Rustic and traditional styles are charming, of course, but in today’s fast-paced society we’re increasingly drawn towards clean design and neutral colours to help us unwind and detach from hectic life.

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Modern house design is a term that’s been growing in popularity for decades among search engines and interior design forums. What exactly categorises modern house design – and if you’re planning a renovation – how can you achieve it in your home?

Side note: what we really mean is contemporary property design, this is often confused as modern; (modern architecture is a response to the modern art movement and has been popular for the last 50 years); but for the purpose of the article we’ll call it modern. The two terms will be used interchangeably.

Modern House Design: The Basics

Are you the type of person that’s okay with leaving the past where it is, in the past? Are you happy to wave goodbye to country kitchens, four-poster beds and dated patterns such as tartan, chintz and damask? And swap it in for something newer, something, chicer? A modern house design, for instance? Sometimes, traditional doesn’t always mean better.

A modern house design is a sum of all its parts,  so if you want to achieve the wow factor of a contemporary home then you must commit in every sense. Otherwise, you could end up with a mix-match of disjointed parts.

The best way to plan your own modern house design is by analysing the main and defining features, and how they could work for your home.

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A large element to consider with any new home is location. Do you want to be in a city, suburbia or rather rural?

Considering a location means more than what you’d like – or whichever photos look best on Google images – it means considering the culture. Do you have children, are there good schools nearby? Do you require public transport, does its infrastructure meet your needs? What about jobs opportunities or commuting distance, and cost? What will your day-to-day life be like?


Then, there’s landscape. Location is often confused with a landscape, but they are drastically different. Landscape refers to the aesthetic of your chosen location. In the city, for instance, will you be left in shadows thanks to towering offices and blocks of flats? If you’re settling in a rural location will you be presiding on top of a hill or tucked away in a valley?

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For a modern house design that has the wow factor, a home that’s out-of-sight from the nearest neighbour and tacked onto a cliff-edge, tucked into a hillside or overlooking a marvellous waterfront is sure to do it. However, these locations can be pricey and difficult to both construct on and acquire.

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A modern house design is, unsurprisingly, about the design. So, if your plot of land is along a row of normal houses on a normal street in a normal town, it’s still totally possible to achieve a modern look. The design of your home simply needs to push boundaries and interact differently with its surroundings. But how can you achieve that?


When you think about a house what do you envision? Bricks, cement and a barn roof covered in slate? To achieve a modern house design (and since modern means new, i.e. not regularly used before) it won’t be bewildering to know that standard materials and processes should be swapped for more engaging alternatives.

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Glass, wood, stone, metal or concrete are all sturdy options that can be used in turn of brick and mortar. Glass is particularly popular on east and west facing walls to utilise natural light, especially if the landscape is worth framing. Concrete is good at creating a sleek finish that contemporary homes are known for, whereas stone and wood add natural colour and character.


A common misconception of modern house design is that the literal size of the property must be huge, a gargantuan sprawl of unused and unnecessary rooms. That is, if you hadn’t guessed already, not the case.

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Creative use of space is far more in line with contemporary design than expansive rooms (which is more luxe). Likewise, minimalist themes and sleek architecture can be executed in and on any size building.

Architectural Style

Architectural style will be the biggest indicator of a modern home. This element will govern how well the overall aesthetic looks, feels and commits to a modern style.

A frequent architectural element in contemporary homes is the connecting of indoors to the outdoors and taking a step towards a greener footprint. This could be by championing energy efficiency, being built with sustainable materials or making the most of natural light. Thus, it’s common to find solar panels on roofs, external folding doors and, (as mentioned earlier), large glass panels.

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On this thread, landscaping is important to contemporary architecture since people are trying to create homes with as minimal a disruption to nature as possible; in terms of construction, footprint and landscape skyline. This leads to modern homes being built into the sides of hills and covered in grass, or completely covered in mirrored and reflective materials or help them melt away into the scenery.

Modern homes are usually asymmetrical in form with straight and sleek lines but are sometimes curved to mimic the surroundings. Spaces are often communicable with large doorways and open plan interiors.

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Modern homes are often devoid of too much ornamentation and opt for a minimal, chic and underlying colour palette. Nothing says dated like clashing or gaudy interior from circa yesteryear, so try to choose complementary neutral tones to form the backdrop for your décor that reflects the sleek exterior.

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Since the contemporary style is known as ever-changing (it can’t be contemporary otherwise), it also accepts exceptions like industrial touches from steel and modern furnishings. But, to stand the test of time, neutrality is key.


The problem with a contemporary design, which is also its appeal, is that modern house design is ever-changing. It wouldn’t be modern otherwise. It’s exciting to wonder where contemporary design could end up!

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