The Characteristics That Define a Contemporary House

Contemporary Facade

The architecture of the 21st century, contemporary homes are created by an architecture where traditional forms of architecture has faded away, making way for more creative influences, and makes use of extremely unusual materials in order to build them. They look simple, but in truth, the contemporary home is constructed from the latest in technology and material.

What are the Characteristics that Define a Contemporary House?

First, according to Pocket Sense’s article on Contemporary House Characteristics, a contemporary house is full of clean lines set in a minimalist style. Many of the physical hallmarks of the contemporary house are typically asymmetrical and geometrical in shape and appearance. They also use natural materials to make them work, but also to make them both flexible and functional. The inside of the house is composed of wide open spaces allowing plenty of ventilation and light from the outside.

Extremely dynamic in nature, and breaking away from the modern and more traditional image of a house, these homes are extremely unique, and according to Sandy Spring Builder’s article on 4 Distinguishing Features of a Modern-Contemporary Home, these homes are all unique, with each one having a completely different design to others, though they are similar. This is because the houses all reflect the different times we live in.

The contemporary house is, according to this article, from the 20th century and many people over the years have come to enjoy it. The unique physical designs which go into the houses is one reason, another is how well they blend in and merge into the background.

The article also states that the design is purely economical, which is also meant to be streamlined, modern, and enchanting for all who look at it, and since the designs of the houses are unique, we can see why. The houses are very well lit, and they tend to be colored white, black, and grey, but some houses – particularly those with wooden slats attached to them, can be brown. The color palette is extremely limited, but most natural colors such as blue or a brown like color may be used.

Modern Interior

In the same article are a number of designs relating to the contemporary house, for your perusal. One of the houses – Number 2 down on the list shows a contemporary house with an outer skin of black wood which contrasts with the green surroundings. Number 4 on the list has a large contemporary house whose simple lines are said to have won over people who look at it. Made from a combination of wood and glass with white walls on the top. Designed by several architects who added their own tastes to the building, the house can touch many people’s tastes.

Lower down the list is a house set in a winter environment. Like the other contemporary houses on this list, this particular house seems to fit in with nature, with the color of the snow emphasizes the natural feel of the house, and the grey coloring alone makes it stand out, making it resemble an ice cube. One of the things to take into account, according to hunker’s article on Contemporary Architecture Characteristics is that many people tend to view this particular type of philosophy to architecture as meaning a more modern style, or anything of the present time. It’s more distinct than that.

Unlike all the other styles, contemporary architecture has not got just one style. But there are design values and principles as well as materials which must be used in a contemporary house. Each house must have a certain style, a sense of creativity thanks to the architects who drew up the plans based on the clients’ wishes. There has to be a willingness to explore, to do something different, something new while pushing the design to the limits. They do this by experimenting with building materials which are not commonly used in the building of houses. Contemporary architecture is extremely distinct, thanks in part to the rounded spaces and clean lines.

Contemporary Architecture

Most modern houses are mass produced in one neighborhood, according to the Pocket Sense article – each one shares the same height, the same essential exterior features, and the same interior space. These are called ‘cookie-cutter’ homes, but there is nothing of that for a contemporary house. Their design always seeks to grab the attention of everyone who comes close to them with the designs of their flat rooftops and interior spacing which allow in a lot of light. The interior of a contemporary house is meant to be a wide open space, perfect for entertaining guests or looking after children at parties. Unlike conventionally built homes which possess small to mid-length high windows, a contemporary house has windows which reach up from the floor and touch the ceiling which brings in plenty of light.

This design philosophy has become fairly popular over the last few years according to this Modern Design House’s article, stating the whole point of the philosophy behind the architecture of a contemporary house is essentially achieving a better design by making it so simple. The form, the interior space – the flexibility and the openness of the space which makes everything so wide and offers so many possibilities for the future whereas a more conventional house has a more finite interior space where you only have to work with what’s available, the details of both the exterior and the interior, and the materials which the house is constructed with.

The natural materials which are often used by contemporary houses can be as simple as plain wood. According to this Futurist Architecture article about an Oak Residence, a contemporary house was constructed by a family, and architects were asked to design a truly modern and simple design which would go in with the local environment which was very green. To go with their clients’ criteria for what they wanted, the architects chose to select natural materials. They chose dark bricks, steels, and stained natural wood which showcased the natural side of the area and the courtyard of the home.

Through the bay windows of the house which were quite wide which is a staple of the contemporary modern house natural light would be able to enter while the front is discreet. Inside the house, the lines are stark and simple, and the walls are a white which highlights the natural light streaming inside. Many Contemporary Houses choose to have modern and minimal staircases with wooden handrails and steps with glass panels.

Oak Residence

So what are the most common characteristics?

According to YR Architecture Design, the house should be simple in both form and function. They tend to follow simple and straightforward designs which offer a maximum amount of space with open floor plans, modest areas for storage, and few interior walls.

  • Asymmetrical faces, according to Possible Decor’s article on the Key Characteristics of Contemporary Small House, are extremely tricky to pull off but it is worthwhile; it attracts the attention of people to the design of the house which requires the right kind of color which you can find from a palette.
  • Open and light spaces are great for the house since it allows the natural light into the luxurious rooms, and the uncluttered appearance is certainly a trademark of this type of house. Even with the furniture, it is still wide and open enough to give you the impression the house is much larger on the inside than outside. When architects design these houses, they don’t separate one room off from all the others with a divider or a wall – they deliberately create an open space.
  • A modern contemporary house tends to be eco-friendly. The people who design & build and live in them are modern people, and modern people tend to be more aware of the need to be eco-friendly. Therefore a large chunk of the house is geared to be friendly with the environment – this could be the natural materials that go into the building of the house, or it could be the large windows which go from the floor to the ceiling and letting in natural light which is a natural alternative to simply turning on a heater. The outside warmth coming in from the windows helps keep the place feeling warm and snug, rather than cold, sterile, and soulless.
  • Having more than one story in the house allows for much greater architectural creativity in the design, experimenting with everything available, from the shapes, the styles and the colours.
  • The Simple Details, according to YR Architecture Design are nearly always clear of decoration. Many, if not all, contemporary houses only has what is necessary for decoration. Cabinets are, for example, detailed with flat panels instead of anything complex, and in cabinets, a simple slit was used to open the panels instead of using knobs or pulls. These simple details are minimalistic, but they are also inexpensive and saves money, but it has the added benefit of being attractive to look at.
  • Use of subtle tones and colors, according to Freshome’s 10 Contemporary Elements That Every Home Needs, is a must. These colors are mostly neutral in tone – grey, browns, blacks and whites – which are used for floors, furnishings, and lighting fixtures. The contemporary colors allow the features and the details to be emphasized.
  • A lack of decoration is a must, according to Beauty Harmony Life’s article on 5 Characteristics of Modern Minimalist House Designs, where the contemporary house will have little in the way of decoration – no rows of pictures, ornaments, though a few things are let in to give the place some personality, whereas having too many things in the house will take away the airy space and make it feel too much.
  • It isn’t unknown for modern contemporary homes to feature unconventional Rooftops, according to Sandy Spring Builders article on 4 Distinguishing Features of a Modern-Contemporary Home. Modern architecture is a lot more flexible and architects usually opt for something that breaks with traditional triangular shaped rooftops. Now the rooftops are either flat, or they have completely different angles, and it isn’t uncommon nowadays for a contemporary house to possess multiple roof lines to show off the design and how creative the home is.
  • Materials – Steel, concrete, glass – according to Preferred Homes’ article on What are the Characteristics of Modern House Design? are the most striking materials you are likely to find in the contemporary home design. Although the outside and the inside may have wood, the new materials are preferred over bricks and wood, giving houses a more industrial appearance.

Contemporary homes are much more advanced and always try to go against what is usually considered normal, according to the Preferred Homes article, but this progressive attitude makes them more forward thinking. Outdoor spaces are more readily accessed from contemporary houses than they are with ordinary houses which only possess a single door. But now there are contemporary modern homes allow multiple entrances that connect the outdoor space with the indoors of your home. This promotes the already existing spacious and airy feeling in your home while allowing nature inside.

Sustainability, according to hunker’s article, is important. Modern houses which use traditional building practices tend to use expensive resources which can damage the environment, they use different building materials such as glass, concrete, and steel and treated wood. Glass and metal are usually favored by architects.


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