We all know a contemporary home when we see it. But describing precisely what makes it contemporary is a little more challenging. It’s not something we intellectualise – it’s something that we just know.
However, sometimes, it’s helpful to put things down into words so that we understand why we view a particular design as contemporary. There are certain elements that set it apart from more traditional homes instantly.
So-called “modern” home design stems from the 1950s immediately after WWII. That historical cataclysm was so great that it changed the way that people saw art and architecture. It spawned a host of new movements, many of which actually had their seed before the outbreak of war.
Modern is not the same as contemporary. Modern refers to a specific period of design in the mid-20th century, while contemporary refers to what’s happening now. With that said, most contemporary design is an evolution of modernist tendencies.
In this post, we take a look at some of the telltale design elements of a contemporary home. Check them out below.
Use Of Utilitarian Materials
After WWII, architects abandoned much of the opulence of the past. Instead, they focused more on creating utilitarian designs – things that would offer their owners practical benefits and long-term use value.
Clad Roofing Supplies provides some examples of utilitarian materials for roofing. Things like sheet metal were sparingly used for this purpose in the past, but are now commonplace.
Contemporary homes also tend to have flatter roofs. They are the polar opposite of the type of rustic abodes that you find scattered throughout French country villages.
The flatness is also supposed to be utilitarian. There isn’t much purpose for taller roofs, according to many contemporary architects. After all, water will still drain from even slightly angled roofs.
Flatness is also more expansive. Occupiers have a greater feeling of space when the roof is flat. Unfortunately, it makes loft conversions a challenge.
Contemporary designers are minimalists at heart. They reject the trappings of the material world and prefer to leave embellishments to the occupier’s imagination.
The minimalist philosophy believes that less is more. Less is actually less, but it is what the mind makes of it that counts. When people have less to worry about in the external world, they may feel more at peace in themselves.
You’ll also notice that contemporary homes aren’t afraid of adopting somewhat unusual shapes. Their design diverges from traditional formats in an attempt to rethink living and improve layout. Many contemporary homes are single-story, with only a small loft room in the centre of the home where the roof pitches high enough
Lastly, you’ll notice that contemporary homes tend to have large windows. They attempt to make a bridge between the indoor and outdoor worlds. Architects want to bring occupants closer to their surroundings.
Large windows usually feature as picture windows in the living room and kitchen-diner. They are also common on the upper floors if the contemporary house has them.