How Professionals Use Modern Building Materials to Create Stunning Homes

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House Irene Estate, Pretoria, Nuclei Lifestyle Design Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses
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Modern architecture is all about the innovative use of standard building material such as concrete, glass, brick, stone, steel and wood to create homes that are as functional as they are attractive. These materials have been around for ages, but now, designers focus on form over function when using them to create minimalist masterpieces. Featured here are some projects by the professionals at Nuclei Lifestyle Design that reflect the modern aesthetic.

A minimalist combination of brick, wood and stone

Traditional houses usually combine just two elements, whether brick and wood or concrete and stone. Here, by avoiding ornamental features and sticking with clean lines, three different materials create a striking effect besides adding a textural element to the façade. The steel railing on the balcony adds another sleek feature.

Concrete and stone

House Irene Estate, Pretoria, Nuclei Lifestyle Design Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

House Irene Estate, Pretoria

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

The use of concrete and stone for exterior facades is not new. However, an appropriate colour palette can make a world of difference in transforming the design from conventional to modern. Grey, beige and white are the most used colours in the minimalist aesthetic. The builders have given a modern boost to an otherwise conventional design complete with sloping roofs and columns using grey, white and beige. The dark grey roof is the most eye-catching feature, lending unmatched sophistication to the country-style house.

Brown, beige and greige

render of swimming pool area Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses swimming pool
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

render of swimming pool area

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Equal amounts of brick, concrete and glass come together in this modern house to create an attractive façade. The generous use of floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows breaks the flow of the solid materials, while the reflection from the swimming pool creates fluidity in the design, blending beautifully with the glass element.

Modern updates through renovation

Exterior view – perspective view across pool (before) Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Exterior view – perspective view across pool (before)

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

One needn’t build a new house to experience the functionality of the modern design. Here, we can see how a traditional concrete and brick house transforms into a modern beauty through renovation. You can see ornamental details in the above image of the old house, such as the latticed panel on the façade and the curved balcony railing.

A modern transformation

Exterior view – entertainment area (after) Nuclei Lifestyle Design Patios
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Exterior view – entertainment area (after)

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Here, you can see the design of the renovation with clean lines replacing the ornamental flourishes. Simple steel structures for the railings replace the curved design that existed earlier. Instead of an open pool, the renovation has made way for an elevated structure that adds more greenery around the house. Moreover, the new design provides shade over the pool and the poolside area, adding functionality. The red clay tiles on the roof add a burst of colour that lends the perfect contrast to the all-white exterior.

Another classy upgrade

Before photo of house from backyard. Nuclei Lifestyle Design
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Before photo of house from backyard.

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Here’s another example of how traditional materials such as stone, brick and concrete can be used to give a house a modern upgrade.  The ‘before’ image shows a rustic house in shades of brown with a classic balustrade for the balcony railing on the upper level. The lower balcony and staircase have a wood and metal railing in a geometric pattern.

Unmistakably modern

It’s hard to believe this is the same house after renovation. The façade is completely altered, with the balcony on the upper level merged with the room. A skylight ensures there is no compromise in the availability of natural light. Glass windows on the upper level protect the area from the elements. The box-like design replicates in the lower level, bringing a cohesive look. A stone wall replaces the wood and metal staircase railing. Once again, neutral tones, including beige and grey, help in achieving the modern aesthetic.

Modern kitchens with wood and steel

Brandwag Kitchen Renovation & Makeover, Nuclei Lifestyle Design Nuclei Lifestyle Design Kitchen
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Brandwag Kitchen Renovation & Makeover

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Even home interiors benefit from modern building materials, such as wood, steel and glass. Nowhere is it more apparent than in kitchens, where wood, glass and steel blend in harmony to create functional workspaces that are stunning.

The sleekness of steel and glass

The combination of steel and glass has fast become the norm for staircases inside homes. Traditional stairwells with solid structures made of brick and wood suffer from the lack of natural light in the area. The use of steel and glass for the handrail brings a sense of airiness to the interiors as it does not block light. These materials also blend with the modern design aesthetic of open spaces that connect fluidly. In this project, the stone wall in the backdrop adds the perfect textural element, while the floating design of the wooden tread on the stairs infuses warmth into the ambience.

The seamless indoor-outdoor effect

North elevation (stairwell) Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses Stone Grey
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

North elevation (stairwell)

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Modern home design focuses on optimising the natural light in the interiors and connecting the indoors to the outdoors to create the effect of being one with nature. There is no better combination than glass and steel to achieve it. Take this example of the panelled steel and glass structure that extends to two levels of the home near the stairwell, flooding the interiors with ample natural light besides beautifully framing the greenery view in the garden just outside the area.

A modern update for the kitchen

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen often needs frequent refurbishment to replace old appliances with state-of-the-art ones. It might pose a challenge, especially in a Victorian-themed house. Still, here, the builders have used a  space-saving, open-plan design to include the modern essentials, including a built-in hob and hood, besides remodelling the kitchen to fit a sleek stainless-steel double-door refrigerator.

The timeless charm of wood

Wood is a building material that never goes out of style. It’s also versatile as it can be adapted to suit every design style, whether classic or minimalist. Sometimes all it takes is a simple element to transform the look of a house. The cottage featured in the above image demonstrates how the simple addition of decorative wooden shutters lends unmatched modernity and elegance to the façade.

Making the most of a panoramic view

patio next to living room Nuclei Lifestyle Design Patios
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

patio next to living room

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

As mentioned earlier, modern homes embrace nature around them. Therefore, the materials used in every part of the house must ensure optimisation of the connection with nature. Take the case of a balcony or terrace, where glass and steel replace the solid structures of brick or stone parapets and boundary walls to provide an unobstructed view of nature in the surroundings.

Using suitable materials plays a significant role in designing a house, whether it’s a new build, an extension or a renovation. It’s always best to work with a professional architect or builder to create the house of your dreams.

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