by Lauren Busser The House Designers’ Editorial Director
There is no doubt that modern design is slowly creeping into everything we see and touch. Cars, appliances, computers; all are getting sleeker and more stylized, and so is today's home. The world of architecture and home interiors is starting to slant towards transitional and contemporary designs. Here are a few tips to give your home the open and airy vibe that contemporary style is known for.
Let There Be Light!
At the top of the list of modern design is light. We don’t mean lamps or chandeliers—though they can make great accents, we mean daylight. Contemporary homes have airy rooms with lots of light. If this is the kind of feel you want, choosing an open floor plan will go a long way toward that goal. The lack of walls and obstructions means that there will be fewer light blocking barriers resulting in a well-lit space.
Keep it Subtle with Bright Accents
Keeping a neutral color palette is essential when it comes to creating a contemporary feel for your home. That doesn’t mean that you have to forego color entirely though. Add a dash of color with area rugs, lighting, textiles and upholstery. Combining these elements with polished metal fixtures gives you an eye-catching design that you can easily change at a later date.
Use Natural Materials
Don’t reserve your use of natural materials to just wood furniture. A contemporary home can use organic and natural materials in outside decking, leather furniture for interiors, and simple decorative elements that you display throughout your home. Look for design elements made from materials like rock, slate, teak and other raw woods. Cotton, wool, linen and other gorgeous textiles work well in modern furnishings.
Less is More
One key design element that should always be on your mind when you are creating a contemporary space is that less is more. Much of what you'll find today in furniture stores reflects this. Heavily ornamented design elements are being replaced by clean and simple lines that make contemporary homes feel lighter and more casual, while maintaining an elegant motif.
Bare floors are also a fixture here. To help create the lighter, airy appeal, select a simple flooring with a gorgeous finish. You can look to flooring materials like hardwoods, ceramic and porcelain tiles or even concrete. Keeping your flooring simple gives you opportunities to use area rugs to warm up a space and add a splash of color and texture.
Streamlined Exterior Details
The exteriors of contemporary house plans are free of heavy ornamentation or historical influences. However, they often have distinct rooflines and expansive windows. The materials of the exterior will often borrow harmoniously from the natural surroundings of the home.
Remember the days of the wall safe hidden behind the painting? Lots of smart technology is available now that exists as hidden details in your home’s design. Wireless and remote access controls for electronics, heating and cooling systems, lighting and security can all operate in the background behind a beautifully designed home.
These contemporary design ideas can really enhance your home and create a relaxed and cozy feeling. While it might be a minimal take on design you can still inject your personal style into every aspect of your home. Take a look at our collection of contemporary house plans to begin the search for your new dream home.