It’s true that most heritage homes are quaint but there’s no denying the appeal of modern homes, which offer more space, light, energy efficiency and comfort.
Designing a modern home in Vancouver or across the Lower Mainland is a popular home building choice. The west coast climate and stunning views offer a wonderful environment for modern home designs. Take a walk through the streets of almost any city – Vancouver, Coquitlam, Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey/White Rock – and you’ll see many stunning modern and contemporary building designs throughout the areas.
Modern or Contemporary?
For most of us, modern and contemporary mean the same thing. But in the world of home design, there are a few fundamental differences.
- Contemporary home designs draw on the aesthetic styles of the late 1960s onwards.
- Modern home designs date back to the 1920s and are influenced by Art Deco and the Bauhaus movement.
The designs we choose often reflect what we need in life. Today, in a world that seems focused on mass production and overconsumption, there is a rising movement towards minimalism. This is reflected in our homes: our belongings are packed neatly behind walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling cupboards hide clutter, and the open-plan designs and clean lines remain free of knick-knacks.
Today’s modern home designs combine both traditional modern concepts and contemporary. It’s a post post-modern world where anything goes.
While there are many west coast modern home designs throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, each original design is a custom home build. These are not cookie-cutter neighbourhoods as each home displays unique design elements in addition to the sleek, symmetrical lines and muted colour tones that are often key features of a modern home build.
A Popular Modern Design Feature
Without doubt, most custom builds include an open floor plan design. The open plan concept is ideal for small spaces, and with today’s rising cost of square footage, the open plan concept provides for comfortable living while making the most of the space available.
In addition to open plan apartments, more family homes are opting for the open floor plan design. No longer is the chef designated to the kitchen where they miss out on all the holiday activity. With an open plan design, the chef is part of the conversation, the kids are within sight, and each room seems more spacious. An open plan design allows light to flood through the entire area. No walls, doors, or hallways obstruct light or take up precious space.
Three Key Modern Design Tips
With a modern, open plan design, there are a few key points to keep in mind:
- With an open floor plan, it is best to keep clutter to a minimum. When designing the space, think about incorporating floor-to-ceiling cupboards or shelving in an area that is less conspicuous.
- Coordinate colours: nothing gives the impression of clutter more than a cacophony of colour. Keep your colour design to two or three choices, and neutral colours are better than bold ones.
- Keep the line of sight free. With an open plan concept, you don’t want the view from one end of the room to the other to be filled with objects, standing lights, footstools, bookcases or any large items that break the clean lines or – more importantly – obstruct the walkways. You need to make sure you have enough space to walk easily around furniture and through each space.
The key to a comfortable modern design is minimalism: the benefits are a comfortable, clean, clear living space that is relaxing, welcoming and attractive.