How to add fine architectural features to your contemporary home

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I love the architectural features of a period property, but it IS possible to put modern, minimalist features into a new-build home too. Read on to find out how to add character to your contemporary home…

photography by Sara Medina – image source

For most people, a home is not just a place to eat and sleep; it’s a place where they can relax from the stresses of everyday life or entertain friends and have a good time. This means that a home is a very important aspect of a person’s life. For this reason, most people want to create an impressive home around them. They want a space that is comfortable for them and is also a great environment for people to be in when they visit. With this in mind, here are some architectural features that can look impressive in any home, old or new.

CONTEMPORARY FLOOR SURFACES

One of the main features of contemporary design in the home is bare floors that have fabulous finishes. You can choose some high quality wooden flooring for main living areas of your home, and ceramic or porcelain tiles for the kitchen and bathroom. Stone is also an eye-catching feature of many homes, with its natural condition fitting well with the contemporary theme. I love a polished concrete floor, but I can just imagine how much of a disruption (and how expensive) it would be to install this kind of flooring.

photography by Holly Marder – image source

A STAIRCASE THAT STANDS OUT

A staircase can be an outstanding architectural feature of your home. Some older homes already have ornate handrails and sweeping staircases – this is one of the main reasons that I like Georgian properties so much. But you can create a similarly impressive effect with a new, modern staircase too. If you’re renovating your home, you don’t have to opt for traditional painted wooden rails and stairs. Modern staircase designers, like Active Metal, can help you create a unique design, using contemporary materials such as glass and metal. Clean, minimalist lines and a light, bright feel are an excellent addition to any property.

THE CREATION OF OPEN SPACES

Open plan living is an overall architectural ethos rather than a specific feature. There are many benefits of open plan living, including more light throughout the property, and more inclusive family living. Of course if you opt for an open plan design for your home, you also get the benefit of all the extra space that is created by not having a lot of interior walls to get in the way. I wrote about broken plan interiors last year, and that’s my favourite way of incorporating open plan living into a home, without sacrificing all the wall space.

image source

LIGHTING THAT WORKS FOR THE ROOM

You may not realise it, but lighting can be one of the most important architectural features of your home. If you get the lighting design right, it can help to create just the right atmosphere. It’s important to remember that there are three main types of lighting which should be used in a way that works for the room.

  • Ambient lighting – this is the general lighting that you have in the main living areas of your home. Traditionally, people have used downlighting, but uplighting can be used if you want to light a room in a more subtle way.
  • Task lighting – as you might expect, this is the lighting that you need to have in place in areas where tasks are being completed. This can include under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, or desk lamps in the study.
  • Accent lighting – if you have features in your home that you want to draw attention to, such as a picture on a wall, accent lighting helps you to do this. It lights up the area so that the eye is immediately drawn to it.

All of these architectural features can help make your home an impressive place to spend time, for you and for anyone who visits. Let me know if you’ve made any of these changes to your own home – and share your favourite architectural features – by leaving me a comment below.

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Author: Cassiefairy

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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