Modern house design ideas often concentrate on the maxim that the best form of architecture is the one that uses as few features as possible to maximise space and internal functions. Although this may be desirable from an ecological perspective, it has often led to a trend towards overly small, tightly boxed homes. While some may argue that the need for large homes is simply a function of survival, most people will agree that modern living is more comfortable and enjoyable than previous forms of housing. Whilst some may relish the spaciousness of a home which allows for numerous seasons of activity and the relaxation of a great garden, others may prefer the security and coziness of a modern house.
Contemporary modern homes are also renowned for their wide use of surfaces – many walled or ‘boxed’ rooms, as they are sometimes called. Open floor plans are also prominent in modern houses, especially those that focus on outdoor spaces. This does not mean that everything is connected visually, however; rather, like the living room, kitchen and lounge area can be separate or feature small transitions (like different floor levels or different lighting) which mark each space without actually closing them off completely. As a result, modern homes often feature an irregular set of structural walls, rather than straight, uninterrupted walls. In some respects, this is a more desirable outcome than a ‘one size fits all’ building, as it encourages a greater sense of irregularity and variation within a property.
In addition to the use of different floor plans and surfaces, modern homes are often designed to benefit from the use of space. In particular, flexible living and work space are a feature that is found in many modern homes. Many modern homes and apartments have their entire floor made up of a single wall, with the remaining floor space often utilised as additional storage, living or dining areas. While the majority of modern homes will be relatively open in terms of floor plan, the fact that modern homes often have a number of internal staircases or external staircases means that internal spaces may often be less spacious than the external environment. In these circumstances, a clever use of space can make a real difference – one of the most common features of contemporary, modern house designs is the’lobbies’ built into the home’s roof.
As well as providing a number of extra spaces for living and working, modern homes often have a number of aesthetic spaces built into their design. One of the most common aesthetic spaces incorporated in modern house design is the bedroom. A modern bedroom may feature a large sitting area, with a sofa or section set against the back of the room. Alternatively, a modern bedroom may feature open plans internal ‘rooms’, perhaps connected by a staircase and / or door.
Modern architecture has always had a strong emphasis on functionality and practicality, and the bedroom is no exception. Despite this, there are some modern house design elements which suggest more aesthetic concerns – for example, in terms of colour schemes. Colour can be considered an aesthetic factor because it can ‘guide’ our attention to specific parts of a space either by producing a certain type of harmony or defining a particular colour theme.
One of the most common features of modern house design is clear glass. Clear glass can be considered both a characteristic and an aesthetic aspect of modern architecture. Unlike many forms of ‘clear’ architecture, however, glass in modern house design tends to be used as part of a functional approach. Aesthetically, modern glass is often chosen to define lines and boundaries, rather than create a sense of clean lines. Glass can also help us see the details of a construction, by making small openings or shapes stand out, and it can even act as a divider between rooms or even between different floors (a glass dividing the bedroom from the sitting room, for instance).