Modern homes break away from the mold of more traditional styles, offering a very striking, distinctive appearance. With their open floor plans, simple, clean lines, oversized windows and unique rooflines, modern houses have a dramatic look both inside and out, but are also inviting and ideally suited for modern life. This style of home was originally designed more with function in mind, without all the frills and decorative elements of traditional styles, but modern architecture has a certain beauty all its own.
Modern-style houses have been around for decades, but the design details are constantly evolving to keep up with changes in the ways families use their homes, technological advances as well as style preferences. Even with the changing styles, there are certain features of modern homes that have remained constant and can be found in most modern home plans. The distinctive style builds on features of the past, infusing concepts from modern life, resulting in homes that are both practical and full of character.
Key Features of Modern House Plans
Modern home designs often push the envelope on form and style, and the forward-thinking homeowners who choose this style are often people who enjoy being a little different from their neighbors. Because these homes tend to bend the rules, while offering spacious yet efficient interiors, the possibilities for customization are endless. These homes come in all shapes and sizes and can be made to suit any lifestyle, but several key factors define the modern house style:
1. Clean, Straight Lines
Eschewing the ornate details of traditional home styles, modern houses define both exterior and interior spaces with simple, straight lines that give an open, airy feel to the home and subtle sophistication. The crisp, sharp lines of modern design can be seen in everything from straight rooflines to window shapes, interior rooms and often even the furnishings.
2. Simple Forms
Modern house design truly embraces the idea of minimalism in its style, with uncomplicated forms and an overall lack of purely decorative elements. Details like columns, carved trim work, moldings and other superfluous decorations of more traditional house styles are left behind, for much simpler forms. And while it may seem at first that this might give modern homes a coldness, actually the opposite is true, and the simplicity in design provides an inviting atmosphere and clean, expansive spaces with room to breathe.
3. Functional Spaces
Rather than traditional rooms based on outdated conventions and ways of life, the modern house is full of functional space, ideal for modern life. Modern bathrooms are serene and spa-like, and modern kitchens are open and airy with appliances arranged to maximize functional use. Most modern house plans have ample storage space, allowing the living spaces to remain uncluttered and organized. Functional spaces with minimalist design are also easier to clean.
4. Interesting Rooflines
The idea of simple, clean lines extends to the rooflines of modern homes too, providing a sleek appearance to the home. Flat rooflines are quite popular in modern design, but sloped and angular roofs are sometimes used too, in more interesting usages than in traditional styles. Expect to see asymmetrical designs, daring cantilevers and other interesting features, and a lack of dormers, decorative trim and other traditional elements. Even the rooflines of modern home designs put functionality first, strategically providing shade, protection for carports or outdoor living areas and rooftop gardens with sweeping views.
5. Open Floor Plans
Many contemporary house plans use open floor plans, most notably in wide-open great rooms that combine the kitchen, dining and living rooms. This lack of hallways and extra walls makes for easier transitions between rooms, and spacious rooms that are more intuitive to modern ways of life. Open floor plans make a home look and feel bigger and allow for more flexibility in furniture placement and how the spaces are used.
6. Creative Use of Space
Modern homes already bend the rules in their design, so there’s plenty of room for creativity and customization. Without the constraints of traditional room design, spaces can be arranged in a way that works best for the homeowners. Built-in storage units, shelving and other creative elements help the home stay organized and clean. Walls, windows and rooms are placed for maximum efficiency both for their use and eco-friendliness. Modern homes also blend indoor and outdoor spaces with interesting patios, rooftop gardens and large windows that offer gorgeous views of natural surroundings.
7. Industrial Materials
Contemporary designs use unique and interesting building materials both inside and out, such as metal, chrome, concrete and other industrial-looking materials. The effect when using these materials is a fresh-looking house with a laid back vibe. The industrial materials themselves suggest a raw simplicity that matches the overall goals of modern architecture.
8. Geometric Forms
Many modern homes use simple geometric shapes in both the interior and exterior design. Rectangular and linear shapes are especially popular, but you can also find triangles, circles, hexagons and others, too. These simplified forms give a sense of balance and order to a home, harmonizing the overall design.
9. Oversized Windows
Modern architecture makes use of expansive views and loads of natural light with large windows strategically placed throughout the home. These expanses of glass contribute to the modern appearance of the home and provide dramatic views of the outdoors. You can often find huge, floor-to-ceiling windows in modern homes, as well as lots of sliding glass doors and windows that are set higher in the walls.
Modern Exterior Design Features
From the outside, most modern homes make a striking, conversation-worthy appearance in a neighborhood. A stark departure from more traditional styles of architecture, these homes are unique and interesting to see. Although modern style homes can come in all shapes and sizes, they have been very popular in urban settings where tall, modern homes can make the best use of a small city lot. These modern small houses often have a garage or carport on the main level, with several levels of living space above and large windows that let in natural light and give sweeping city line views.
But modern home designs don’t need to be tall — or in the city. Modern floor plans can also be single-story and can fit in with just about any landscape. Those large windows that are a defining characteristic of the style are ideal for gorgeous natural surroundings too — whether at the coast, the mountains, forest or prairie. Modern homes are all about using the space they occupy and maximizing the views, wherever they are located.
Many modern floor plans try to blend indoor and outdoor living spaces, offering up patios, cantilevered decks and rooftop gardens, combining them with indoor living rooms with huge windows and sliding glass doors that make transitions seamless. Flat rooflines are very common among modern house designs, allowing for these patios and rooftop living spaces, but other sloped rooflines are also used. In general, rooflines are kept simple, with gentle slopes and uncomplicated designs. Generally, there is an absence of trim work and other purely decorative elements found in other more traditional architectural styles.
With modern homes, you’ll often find industrial materials instead of more traditional wood and brick. Concrete, metal and glass are more commonly used as building materials for modern houses and give a clean, sleek appearance. Modern homes can also use alternative building materials like repurposed metal elements, reclaimed woods or used shipping containers to create a truly unique and eco-friendly home.
Modern Interior Design Features
Many of the aesthetic features of modern homes’ exteriors are carried through into the interior, and sometimes even with the furniture design as well. The same geometric forms and emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines can be found inside modern homes too. Large windows let the natural light filter in, while passively heating the home, and high-set windows offer more privacy.
The idea of minimalism is generally closely tied to modern interior home design, but this doesn’t have to mean that all modern homes are stark or bare. Simplicity is key and there is usually an absence of excess decoration and clutter. Many modern homes have plenty of storage space and built-in closets, shelves and cabinets to help the home stay organized and clutter-free. Details and furnishings can be simple and minimalist or bold, polished and luxurious.
Color schemes inside a modern home often include lots of white, with accents of black, gray and light wood tones, but pops of bold color can also be used to infuse the space with personality and style. Many of the same industrial-style building materials found on home exteriors are also used on the interior as well. Concrete walls, metal accents, re-purposed materials and lots of glass are used to define the interior spaces of these homes.
Contemporary house plans are designed with human comfort and efficiency in mind and today’s homeowner prefers open-concept living. Most modern homes are spacious and open, allowing for easy transitions from room to room. You’ll often find a large great room instead of separate kitchen, dining and living areas. Modern homes also tend to avoid hallways, clustering rooms in other arrangements that make the home cozier and more efficient.
Many living spaces in modern house floor plans have much taller ceilings, allowing for expansive windows and dramatic views. The taller ceilings can also accommodate unique architectural features like clerestory windows or lofted areas that look down into the living room. The effect of these double-height living rooms is an airy, dramatic space full of natural light.
Overall, the interior design of modern homes emphasizes spaciousness with lots of light. Minimalist design and aesthetically pleasing elements create a sense of calm, ideal for today’s hectic lives. Modern homes are also generally designed with eco-friendliness and sustainability in mind, using everything from re-purposed materials to energy efficiency. As these homes don’t usually use symmetry or traditional design elements, the possibilities for customization are endless. Homeowners can easily customize rooms and features to best fit in with their lifestyle, and choose to add on later if needed.
Examples of Modern House Plans
To see some of these amazing features at work, check out some of our favorite modern house plans:
- Modern Urban Stunner: This tall, slender home is ideal for small city lots and is compact with lots of modern style. A ground-floor garage ensures your car is covered, while your living space is elevated so you can enjoy the views around the home and retain privacy. Modern windows, rectangular shapes and interesting details ensure this home will be the talk of the neighborhood.
- Contemporary Retreat: This luxurious example of modern home design looks and feels like a spa retreat. The home features open concept living with tons of amazing features and huge, expansive windows so you can enjoy the view, wherever you build. With plenty of space, unique features throughout and gorgeous modern style, this home is luxury modern at its finest.
- Prairie-Style Modern: A single story modern house plan with tons of prairie style, this home is spacious and full of modern features. This house plan is ideally suited for larger lots with lots of land, and it’s striking design hugs the landscape for a truly beautiful home. Incorporate the best of modern architecture with natural elements in this gorgeous house plan.
- Two-Story Contemporary: The huge windows in this modern home plan offer sweeping views and lots of natural light, along with plenty of modern style. A large screen porch and sun deck above the carport allow for elevated outdoor living. This plan has two stories of gorgeous modern living space with lots of unique stylish touches.
- Modern Pavilion Home: With four bedrooms all on one level, this example of a modern house design seamlessly blends classic pavilion architecture into the fresh, modern styling. Boxy, rectangular forms and gorgeous clerestory windows define the living spaces of this home, along with a blending of the outdoor and indoor spaces. Large windows allow for lots of natural light in every room and endless style throughout this beautiful modern home.
Check Out All of Our Modern House Plans
If you’re considering a new build in a modern style, come to Family Home Plans, where you’ll find hundreds of options to fit any budget and personal preferences. At Family Home Plans, we help make the home building process easier, offering affordable plans to get your project started quickly and easily. So, whether you’re looking for simple house plans or something larger or more complex, we’ve got a house plan for you. We have modern house plans in every shape and size, and with all sorts of unique style influences. And with our price match guarantee, you know you’re getting the best price for your plans, so you can start building a house suited to your specifications and budget. Get started on your modern dream home today!