Modern Curved White House - Photograph by Vj Von Art
Residential Design | © Vj Von Art via Unsplash

A home is more than a place where you sleep at night or spend time over the weekend. Your house says much about your personality and taste, especially if you invite family and friends to events. Everyone has different preferences for how their home should appear from the inside and outside. Some families may love homes that have a classic and vintage vibe, while others want a sleek appearance on the outside and a minimalist feel indoors. Regardless of your preferences, understanding the differences between traditional and modern design principles is very important when buying or building a house. Below is our guide that outlines the differences between classic and contemporary design in residential property development.

Traditional Designs

When people think about a traditional design for a home or room for rent in Chicago, they imagine houses around 50 to 100 years ago. The styles you want to remember include Victorian, Colonial, Craftsman, and Neo-Classical.

A traditional home will likely have a bold color palette, whether darker or richer in its appearance. You may see plywood panels or wood incorporated into the design in some capacity. Such additions were common when these houses were initially built, which is why they feature prominently when someone redevelops or renovates a home with the desire to maintain that traditional aesthetic.

Symmetry is also significant to traditional homes. You would often notice this symmetry in the way the windows of the houses are designed. Most traditional properties will look very similar from the right to the left, while such balance is less of a concern within modern design.

Modern Designs Emerge

Modern Glass House with Swimming Pool - Photograph by Florian Schmidinger
© Florian Schmidinger via Unsplash

Homes with a modern design will have a much fresher, sleeker appearance from top to bottom. People who love minimalist and elegant spaces will be delighted with a modern home. These homes are often built with natural materials such as steel, concrete, or architectural glass.

One of the telltale signs of a modern home is the simplicity of how it appears on the outside. While you will see a lot of shapes and designs throughout the exterior walls and roofs of vintage or traditionally redeveloped homes, places designed with a modern aesthetic are intentionally plain.

The idea is to create beauty and sophistication through simplicity, which appeals to a lot of home buyers today. Even though such homes may seem simplistic at first glance, there is a lot of precise architectural and design work that goes into creating character and uniqueness within a minimalist aesthetic.

Mixing Elements of Both Traditional and Modern Designs

When mixing traditional and modern designs for a home, the process is a lot easier internally than externally. Homes that attempt to look modern and classic on the outside can appear like a mish-mash of aesthetics.

That is why many home buyers choose to remodel traditional homes with vintage design in mind. Rather than creating a modern appearance, they allow that to remain traditional while focusing on quality-of-life upgrades such as better insulation.

Blending the two styles is very possible to achieve inside your home. One example is a living room or entertaining room. You may combine sofas and chairs that appear more traditional with a sleek, modern-style table for coffee or cocktails. The opposite, however, works less effectively. Combining a sleek, sectional couch with an antique coffee table would be less aesthetically pleasing.

Suppose you do want to modernize an older home. In that case, you can upgrade appliances, kitchen, and bathroom fixtures, install energy-efficient windows and doors, and ensure the roofing and siding are in perfect condition.

Finding Your Dream Home

Classic Wood House - Photograph by Florian Van Duyn
© Florian Van Duyn via Unsplash

Keep in mind that there is no objectively correct or incorrect way to do things when it comes to home design. Every designer or architect has their opinion, but only you can judge what would look incredible in your home.

When trying to find your dream home or build/renovate a property to your tastes, you should consider the overall aesthetic you are attempting to achieve. Are you hoping people look at your home and see a vintage family house from the 1960s? Or would you prefer that guests marvel at how sleek and modern your home appears?

Your home is a reflection of your tastes, preferences, and lifestyle. Allow as much of your personality to come through in the house’s interior and exterior design, and you will love your home for decades.

There is no objective winner when comparing classic and contemporary houses. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and your choice depends entirely on what you seek from your next home. By learning about the significant differences in design principles, you can better understand the house style you want to own. That will make it easier for you to choose a house to buy or help you narrow down your choices when developing and building a property from the ground up.