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Contemporary house style

Have you ever wondered what makes a home “modern” versus “contemporary”?

Many people use these terms interchangeably, but that can lead to confusion when a home is listed for sale. About Modern House Styles The label “modern” in architecture and design indicates an exact time period in our design history during the 20th century. Modern design came into its own in the 1920′s and 30′s and strongly reflects the emergence of new technology and advances in engineering. This means it relies heavily on mechanized design.

Let’s look at some “modern” design elements that will make this style more easily identified. First, “form follows function” in modern architecture.



This means that what an object’s purpose is determines what form it will take. Modern design plays heavily on vertical and horizontal lines. The frilly and ornamental nature of previous styles was pushed aside for the clean lines and new utilitarian aesthetic. Frank Lloyd Wright, known for his brilliant cantilever designs, was one of the most well-known modern architects.
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His famous “Fallingwater” house in rural Pennsylvania is a great example of modern work. What’s important to remember is that modern style doesn’t change. What was once modern, is always “modern.” About Contemporary House Styles Contemporary, on the other hand, is an ever-changing term. It is used to define what is trendy and in style now.


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The term describes a catch-all style that can take on many different shapes. A Contemporary home can have the quirkiness of Postmodernism, but it will not express the same kind of irony or humor you find in a Postmodern house. Some Neoeclectic homes are called “Contemporaries,” but a true Contemporary does not use odd mixtures of historic deals the way a Neoeclectic house does. Your most important clue is the windows: A Contemporary home will always have expansive, very tall panes of glass. Of course, 20 years from now, something different will be contemporary.

Contemporary House Characteristics

Offering clean lines and a minimalistic style, contemporary houses make a strong statement while offering a very distinctive curb appeal. The hallmarks of a contemporary home include asymmetric features, geometric shapes and the use of natural materials. Driven by simplicity and function, the interiors of contemporary houses feature flexible, open spaces and plenty of light. From classic mid-century design to today’s modern homes, contemporary houses combine beauty and practicality.

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Contemporary architecture is a broad and constantly changing category, since it reflects what a variety of architects are creating today.However, Contemporary style homes have a distinctive feel because of the way those architects have built on the Modern style that broke from traditional architectural models.

Contemporary house design integrates a wide number of style features. It melds historic elements with current lifestyle concepts—resulting in homes that are warm, inviting and connected with the outdoors.


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Key Features of Contemporary House Design

  • Irregular, asymmetrical façade
  • Strong, geometric shapes
  • Extensive use of natural light
  • Open floor plan in L, T, H or U shape to embrace outdoor space
  • Flexible layout to adapt to changes in family needs
  • Large windows, often placed non-symmetrically
  • Clerestory windows
  • One or two stories
  • Local or recycled building materials
  • Sustainable, eco-friendly materials such as bamboo flooring and granite countertops
  • Green heating, air-conditioning and plumbing systems to conserve energy