Modern house design ideas & pictures

When we set out to build or decorate a new home, we usually want to ensure that we have all the latest trimmings in terms of modern design and style. Modern homes, however, are not only defined by an on-trend look, but by a dedication to a sense of timelessness and a touch of practicality. Not only depending on traditional materials, colours and furnishings, modern houses serve as blank canvas’, in which the inhabitants are able to express their individuality via furniture and decoration elements.

The very concept of the modern house was conceived in the early 20th century and generally composed a lot of glass and a radical sense of simplicity. Today, modern house design walks the line and attempts to find the balance between creativity, practicality and beauty - which is rarely an easy feat. With homify however, you will find the most recent and reputable examples along with valuable and useful ideas for you to implement within your own home.

Which modern decor items should I choose?

This depends on whether you want to go for a “full modern” look or if you want to simply include modern decorations and accents. There are many ways to infuse your home with this look without making significant moderations. 

Curtains and blinds: By replacing your dated curtains with a chic, modern look and fabric, you’ll add an instant sense of “newness” to the room. 

Plants: Plants are very on trend at the moment, meaning they can lift the decor of your home and help you achieve that modern look. They also come with the added benefit of improving your health and bringing nature into your space. 

Art: If the artwork you’re currently displaying is a bit dated, fresh new pieces could be a good idea. Creating something yourself is a fast way to ensuring that the result is totally unique. 

Wall decoration: Hand-in-hand with art, choosing modern wall decor items is essential in achieving the look that you want. One good example is a geometric shelving set. 

DIY: The good news about any kind of home upgrade is that doing so DIY is usually an option. While some projects will call for the assistance of professionals, the addition of decor or the sprucing up of different areas it totally within your own hands.

How do I make my home look modern when on a budget?

Budget decorating is challenging, but who doesn’t like a good challenge? As long as you’ve got good ideas and are ready to put a plan into action, achieving the modern look with limited Rand is actually quite easy. As you likely won’t be able to afford a whole plethora of new furniture items, you’ll need to opt for lower scale improvements like changing the wall colours, maximising the space you have and resorting to DIY. A fresh coat of paint, with a modern colour such as grey or white, will bring a fresh feeling to the space. This is also an option for all furniture items - you can easily refresh them with a lick of paint or some basic modifications. One simple DIY idea that will bring undeniable modern char to your home is by decorating some old jars with a Scandinavian-inspired pattern or some pastel stickers.

From which materials are modern houses made?

As the modern style is ever changing and evolving, the materials used in the construction of the homes is diverse and flexible. There is no one rule, but the most modern looking homes will likely incorporate the types of materials that other modern designers and architects are using at the time. At the moment, eco-friendly materials are extremely popular. In South Africa, the most green-thumb choices you can make range from bamboo to cork to thatch, and the homes are of course powered by solar panels and complete with water tanks. Other materials common for the modern look include metal, bricks, log, breeze blocks, stone and wood. Some architects opt for building completely from one material, resulting in a stark and striking look, while others go for a mix. For example,a modern home might be constructed primarily from wood but could feature a large, dominant stonewall.

How much do modern homes cost?

We tend to think that a modern home with the perfect layout, complete with all necessary functions, bells and whistles will send us plummeting into debt. However, this is not always the case. While the initial output can be extensive, the inclusion of eco-friendly items means that we save a lot of money (and time) in the long-run and as long as you shop around, you’ll be able to get fairly reasonable deals on material costs. Something worth considering is that in modern homes, the space available can usually be used efficiently and sensible, as opposed to traditional homes where rooms and spaces exist for the sole purpose of existing, and offer nothing in terms of livability. So instead of spending money on unnecessary functions, modern homes, while often flashy, ultimately offer functionality and practicality. Whether building or buying, the average, relatively simple modern house (without going too overboard) will cost you about R1.1 million.

What is a smart home and what is smart home technology?

Smart homes, also known as “smart houses,” are those that incorporate an automation system for the purpose of making life easier and more streamlines for the occupants. These homes, in a sense, have control over the functions of the building and are able to take care of lighting, temperature, security, the opening and closing of windows and doors, security, the temperature of your shower, alarm clocks and just about anything you can imagine. Smart homes are also able to monitor what is happening within them and notify the owners of information that might be useful to them. A smart fridge, for example, can monitor what is in it and inform you of when you might want to replace certain items and ingredients. A smart home will likely also be able to feed your pets and ensure that your plants never go without water.

Increasing the intelligence of our homes is hot on the development list at the moment, with many devices and technologies set for availability in the coming years. Imagine a home that knows what you want for breakfast and can have it ready for you, that can keep you updated on the news, tell you when your appointments are and make sure you haven’t gained or lost too much weight… it’s all coming.

Which modern home styles exist?

There is no one rule in modern home design, in fact, the most “modern” examples won’t quite fit into any category, rather embodying their own style and architectural marvel. However, there are three broad categories.

Scandinavian: Scandinavian and modern can fuse together with ease, hence the common overlap between the two. What the popular nordic style offers is a touch of softness. The modern style, while beautiful, is often bold and overbearing, while the pastels and soft accents of the Scandinavian look can add the perfect touch of cosiness and warmth. 

Fancy/Unusual: Some modern houses stick to a pretty simple look, while these guys aim to be bold and different, experimenting with colours, shapes and materials without ever quite crossing into the eclectic ballpark. Feel free to play with ideas, shapes, materials and patterns but understand that the final design should always be somehow harmonious. 

Industrial: Characterised by brick, concrete, exposed copper pipes and converted factories, the industrial style is a playground for architects and designers. The challenge lies in bringing a sense of comfort to these otherwise rather harsh surroundings, and this is usually achieved through softer furnishings.