Advertiser Disclosure

What Classifies A House Style: What Makes A Contemporary Home?

Contemporary architecture featured on the exterior of a house
@Suze / Twenty20

For many people, the meaning of the word “contemporary” is hard to pin down because it’s always evolving to fit a modern context. The same can be said for contemporary architecture. However, we’re here to put a face and a definition to the contemporary home once and for all. Keep reading to learn how to identify this style of architecture, as well as what sets it apart from the crowd.

What is a contemporary home?

Put simply, contemporary homes reflect the architecture of today. While you may think that definition makes it synonymous with modern architecture, that’s actually a common misconception. Modern architecture refers to a style that was popularized from the 1920s to 1950s, one that embraced clean lines and stark minimalism. Contemporary architecture goes beyond that to define the ever-evolving architectural styles of the 21st century.

Most contemporary homes do have a modern flair to them, with design tweaks from postmodernism and deconstructivism, as well. For the first time, we also see homes where the building materials are just as important as the final product. With contemporary homes, we see a huge emphasis on natural and sustainable building materials.

Shop Contemporary Design

Contemporary house with two car garage at sundown

Artazum / Shutterstock

What makes these homes so popular?

Contemporary homes are popular because they’ve broken the mold when it comes to changing architectural styles. Traditionally, the dominant architectural style of the time will be the complete opposite of the one that came before it. For example, the simplicity of Craftsman homes is in direct opposition to the over-opulence of the Victorian era that came before it.

However, the same cannot be said for contemporary architecture. In fact, this style borrows a lot from modern design, its predecessor. It borrowed what worked, as you can see from the emphasis on clean, simple lines and a connection to the outdoors, and fixed what didn’t. Contemporary homes are often much warmer in design than modern versions.

This ability to pick and choose characteristics led to a never-before-seen emphasis on individuality. Homeowners were free to design their homes in a way that truly worked for them, architectural conventions aside. It also may be why contemporary design seems to be sticking around for the long haul. In general, contemporary homes try to bring the interior and exterior together.

Defining features of a contemporary home

Though contemporary design does hold a strong emphasis on individuality, there are a few defining characteristics that tie this style of home together.

Interior of contemporary open floor plan with lots of natural light

@Barefoot_Traveller / Twenty20

Exterior:

  • An irregular, asymmetrical façade
  • Strong emphasis on geometric shapes
  • Large windows
  • Clerestory windows
  • Use of recycled building materials
  • Mixed materials on the exterior (e.g. wood and stone)

Interior:


Related Articles

How to Set Up and Care For a Live Christmas Tree

The products featured here are independently selected based on thorough research from our editorial team. If you buy something through links on our site, we may receive a commission. A Christmas tree is the perfect centerpiece in any home’s Christmas decor. And there’s no denying the pleasant feeling (and smell) that a live Christmas tree […]

Read More
New Home Checklist: Hosting Your First Thanksgiving

If you moved into a new home over the past year, you might be finding yourself on hosting duty for the first time this Thanksgiving, and that can be a lot of pressure. But don’t worry — a little bit of planning will go a long way towards a stress-free afternoon. Jump to: Two to […]

Read More
Wayfair’s Black Friday 2022! We Pick the Best Deals and Gifts

This is paid content. It was written and produced by MYMOVE in partnership with Wayfair. Looking to save big this Black Friday? Shop doorbuster deals and snag everything you need to prep your home for the holiday season during Wayfair’s Black Friday Sale. Shop now and save up to 80% off on all your holiday […]

Read More