Hammersmith on Modern Homes: Part 1

We get asked frequently: “Can you build a custom modern home for me?” Sure we can. But everyone’s view of a modern home is somewhat different. For some, modern relates to a specific period in design from the 1920s to about the 1950s. (More on Mid-Century Modern homes in a later post.) For others, modern means contemporary and takes advantage of styling and technology found in this month’s Architectural Digest and other fine publications.

We also have our own take on modern homes and the styling and features that might be included. In this post we’ll talk about the styling; in another, we’ll go into the modern features that many of our clients love and you may, too.

Natural Light

To start, modern home designs typically allow for lots of natural light to eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day. They have bright and airy rooms with ample ways to let in ambient light, including floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, solar tubes, and clerestory windows. Translucent glass and strategically placed smaller windows work well for areas needing privacy while still keeping the room bright.

When you have lots of natural light, you want to limit the number of walls that could potentially block it. Open floor plans in modern homes unite living spaces of kitchen, living, dining, and family rooms to help the inhabitants live the way it’s most comfortable.

Natural and Organic Materials

Modern homes often feature natural and organic materials for walls, flooring, and other surfaces. Think wood, granite, native stone, and concrete for floors, countertops, fireplaces, and accents. (Polished wood creates a beautiful surface almost anywhere.) The color palette typically includes neutral or subdued tones, which make it easy to add bright pops of color in throw pillows, accent lighting, and artwork.

In our modern home designs, we choose to pay attention to the details. We select lighting fixtures that are simple and distinct, like fine works of glass and metal art. Or we hide them completely to allow a room to simply glow.

Previously heavy wooden staircases are often replaced with simple structures of cable, steel, glass, and other industrial materials. This helps contribute to the overall airiness of the home. And clean lines with furnishings raised off the floor when possible keep modern home interiors feeling light and airy, and casual and livable.

We’re also not afraid to mix and match in our modern homes. Rustic, reclaimed wood beams can co-exist beautifully in a modern room with glass and metal accents.

Clean Lines

Modern home exteriors feature clean rectangular or curvilinear lines without extensive ornamentation and often blend into the surrounding landscape. Natural and organic materials of stone, wood, concrete, metal, and stucco all play a role in the modern house exterior – sometimes all at once.

If you’re interested in building a modern home, no matter what your view of “modern home” may be, we’d love to talk with you about it to see if we’re the right ones to come up with the modern home that’s just right for you.