The Fundamental Building Blocks of Modern Home Design

For those slowly treading into the deep waters of home design, distinguishing modern design from its contemporary counterpart is no easy task.

By definition, modern architecture is a type of design that relies heavily on industrial metals like steel, concrete, and glass. It places a concentrated focus on the home structure, favoring minimalist design choices with no extraneous details. 

This type of architecture is a fan-favorite among homeowners from all walks of life, and for a good reason: Modern home design is simple, sleek, and affordable. No matter what kind of design you generally flock towards, at least some aspect of modern architecture is likely to appeal to you. The simple lines and geometric shapes of modern home design are timeless. And with so many unique modern home designs for homeowners to tour, you won’t find any cookie-cutter houses in your home buying journey. If you’re currently knee-deep in the custom home building process and want to infuse modern elements into your floor plan, it’s best to shop for pre-drawn modern house plans before you start construction. Unlike with pre-existing homes, you can ensure the home’s architecture complements your modern home decor.

Core Tenets of Modern Architecture

There are a few primary design components that characterize modern architecture.

No-frills Layout

Homes with modern designs have straightforward floor plans that don’t feature any extraneous elements that add clutter. Modern architecture doesn’t generally incorporate complex curves or any intricately-detailed features. Instead, modern homes depend on clean, straight lines.

The modern home’s sleek lines and minimalist approach are two reasons modern home design is so affordable. A simple floor plan cuts down the time that’s needed for construction and reduces costs all around.

Open floor plans

Most modern homes have an open floor plan. With this type of floor plan, rooms with sharp divisions would be combined into an open floor plan, eliminating unnecessary interior walls. For example, a house plan designer may fuse the living room, kitchen, and dining area into one cohesive unit.

Why is this important? An open floor plan adds to a modern home’s simplicity and affordability, vital for current and future home buyers alike.

Minimalist details

House plans designers have several opportunities to add architectural details in places such as the ceiling, floors, doors frames, and windows. With modern architecture, these details are kept simple.

Villa Z by Ark Architecture in Tunisia

Builders and designers sprinkle few minimalist touches throughout the house. You won’t find any ornate ceiling details or intricate trim work. Instead, every aspect of a home with a modern design takes a minimalist.

Basic Tenets of Modern Interior Design

A home that utilizes modern architecture on the outside should consider tossing in a few modern interior design elements to the mix for optimal harmony between the home’s exterior and interior.

Simple Lines

Simplicity is a defining characteristic of both modern architecture and modern interior design. A modern home will have clean, straight lines on the outside, which is essential for tying the interior and exterior together and achieving a modern look. Remember, smooth, crisp lines are a hallmark of modern design.

The Main Living Area of the Well of Light House in Indonesia by Phideas Indonesia

Neutral Colors

Color has an enormous impact on the overall feel of a home. When it comes to modern interior design, sophisticated colors are favored over bold, eye-catching, or statement-making tones. You’ll often see neutral colors like black/navy, gray, or white used as a base, while bolder colors appear in small touches around the home, contrasting with the more muted colors.

The Neutral Colour Palette of the Umdloti beach house in South Africa by Bloc Architects is complemented by a restrained use of wood accents.

Varied Materials

The materials used in modern interior design tend to be a mix of both “soft” and “hard.” Wood, glass, exposed brick most often make an appearance in the modern home. Industrial textures are also popular in modern design.

Cheetah Plains Lodge in South Africa by ARRCC features a diverse palette of materials including Stone, Steel, Glass and Concrete as well as wood/timber accents.


Modern architecture and interior design are used in homes throughout the world, creating beautiful and unique living spaces that are affordable to build. If you’re growing weary of your outdated living spaces, browse for modern furniture pieces or opt for a modern house plan in the home construction process.

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