A Comparison of Contemporary and Modern Home Architectural Styles

There are distinct differences that can help one tell contemporary and modern architectural styles apart. Learn more about these two design styles today.

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A Comparison of Contemporary and Modern Home Architectural Styles

Posted by Gary Ashton on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 at 12:53pm.

How to Tell the Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Architectural StylesContemporary and modern home styles can be confusing to the average person. Contemporary homes may have been built at the same period as that of a modern home and may draw upon the same elements seen in modern homes. Modern homes often include specific materials that only became available for home construction after WWII, while contemporary homes, including new construction homes, can mix and match elements from different architectural styles and are more likely to include natural materials, like stone or wood.

If we compare contemporary home design with those of a more modern style, we see both how they are alike and how they may be different. Popular features that may be seen in both modern and contemporary homes are an emphasis on natural light and an open floor plan. However, there are distinct differences that can help one tell the two styles apart.

What Is Contemporary Style?

Contemporary architecture can include a variety of building styles, therefore design and appearance can range greatly. There are a significant number of contemporary homes that feature elements such as sustainable materials and energy-efficient home improvements, which can be a draw for potential homebuyers. Passive design elements may be seen in new contemporary style homes, wherein the nature of the property and positioning of the home, natural windbreaks and trees can be used to reduce energy consumption. Walls may be covered in unusual materials such as zinc, as seen in the MuSh Residence, rather than the standard white used in many modern homes. Many of today's current trends may be included within a home with contemporary architecture.

Contemporary homes can take elements from modern homes and other architectural styles and combine them in different ways. Steel and glass may be used, but so may materials such as brick, wood and natural stone. Homeowners may come home to a property with steps leading to a veranda or have a home with sloping roof line innovations. Organic elements may be integrated within the design of a home, such as rock formations, in contemporary mid-century architecture. Potential buyers have a great deal of variety to choose from when looking for new construction contemporary homes or older contemporary homes on the market.

What Is Modern Style?

A modern style home is not just homes being built today, as many were built as early as the mid 1940's. This type of style is referred to as mid-century modern architecture, which broke away from from previous periods of architectural design. Open space, flat planes and large glass windows are often features of a modern style of home that can provide opportunities for a lot of natural light.

Plywood and steel may be seen as some of the materials used in the design of a modern home. Concrete and minimal exterior expressions, along with an open floor plan, can also be seen. Modern style homes are still popular today, even though the trend of building mid-century modern homes waned by the end of the 1980's.

A-frame houses and homes similar to those seen in The Brady Bunch are also examples of mid-century modern style homes. Glass and acute angles can help bring more light in and create a more open feel inside a home but the aesthetic can be at complete odds with the natural environment, due to the materials and features of the style. There are few angles in nature but many of them to be found in most modern homes.

Is There a Best of Both Worlds?

If you have eclectic taste and you want a home that brings in both the modern style and contemporary style, this can be done with some creativity. Contemporary style homes use a variety of design elements anyway, so it's possible to find a contemporary home that integrates elements of the modern style into the design. When it comes to the look and feel of your own home, you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to combining contemporary and modern style together. You can have an energy efficient home that has plenty of open spaces and flat planes that give the home an expansive look. No matter what your style is, your home can be designed to match your particular tastes.

Work with a Home Real Estate Agent Specialist

Some architectural styles are particularly popular with potential buyers in certain areas. An East Nashville home home real estate specialist can help interested parties learn more about the different architectural styles available and where a potential home buyer might search for available contemporary or modern homes.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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