“Contemporary / Modern”

When in the market for an abode that’s fresh, up to date, and offers all that modern day building and architecture has to offer, look no further than a contemporary or modern home. You may have noticed that the terms “contemporary” and “modern” are often used interchangeably. These two terms do describe very distinct and separate things, yet these home building styles share some key similarities, too.

Contemporary architectural home exteriors

Both modern and contemporary homes use some of the most sophisticated design techniques available to allow for much greater freedom in envisioning your home. Along with equally innovative construction techniques and modern materials, these are some of the most energy efficient and eco-conscious homes you can buy. Thanks to the latest window and glass technologies, modern and contemporary homes can feature gorgeous wall-to-wall windows and grand skylights. This offers an abundance of natural daylight and near unlimited viewing of beautiful vistas. In the colder months when the sun is low, sunlight pours in and helps to warm up the living spaces, yet today’s windows repel excessive heat in the hot seasons. The modern and contemporary design also pioneered the open floor plan. The unrestricted and boundless feel provides an airy effect that makes the interior spaces feel much larger, while providing multi-purpose rooms for a variety of needs.

Modern and contemporary homes also sport signature qualities that make them distinct. Modern architecture was first seen in the late 19th century, born from the roaring factories of the industrial revolution. Previously unfeasible ideas were made reality by the innovation of industry. New possibilities led to architects and builders alike breaking away to create architecture entirely it’s own – function-first and truly unique. Guided by global influences such as Scandinavian minimalism and the German “Bauhaus Movement”, frivolous ornamentation was traded for practicality and the structure’s design was left to speak for itself.

Modern minimalistic home style

Modern homes feature elegantly simple exteriors: the low sloping roof-line and clean square angles frame the smooth surfaces like the borders of a canvas; upon which the expansive windows, sleek doors, and other features are arranged in beautiful symmetry. Modern exteriors often have minimalist finishes and place their usage of glass, steel, and concrete on display, evoking imagery of the towering industrial marvels created in the early days of modern architecture. Modern interiors are just as practical: they’re filled to the brim with multi-functional and built-in furniture so no square foot is wasted. Minimalist lines are maintained throughout with the clever use of facades to reduce visual clutter, and sleek modern materials are contrasted by natural accents to ensure the space feels as cozy as it does open.

Although modern homes offer considerable practical appeal and a distinct utilitarian charm, some homeowners may find them to be lacking artistically or even fairly outdated. This is where the contemporary home steps in. A 21st century style built on the groundwork laid by modern architecture, contemporary architecture draws from the artistic side of architecture that was pushed aside during the modern movement. Contemporary architecture is a style defined by the ways architects use it to express ideas and imagery; it’s a style with no dominant aesthetic or rigid rules.

Westcoast contemporary interior and exterior

Contemporary homes often use the modern format as a base and add embellishment to highlight certain properties. A contemporary home might have a swooping organic roof or a curved glass wall to highlight the square angles already present. Another home may use gorgeous wood cladding alongside smooth concrete or stone, making both of their textures ‘pop’ in contrast to each other. That’s not to say contemporary homes are all about looks either, as they often incorporate techniques on the bleeding edge of architecture and construction. One such example is the “100 Year Home” concept. This house has it’s insulation outside of the framing, to improve insulation efficiency and to eliminate the moisture rot of the framework that plagues many older homes.

Ultimately, modern and contemporary architecture are distinctly different despite being so often confused. Though they share common roots in innovation spurred on by technological revolution, modern is devoted firstly to function while contemporary is devoted firstly to form. This isn’t to say aspects of these styles can’t be combined, however. An experienced custom home builder or architect is capable of blending elements from either style into your next building project.

You can have a modern or contemporary home that is uniquely yours. Check out our portfolio of fine custom homes for more ideas!

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