read the entire article on the James Hardie website (link below)
When you’re looking at contemporary or modern house designs, you may notice these two terms are often used interchangeably. While the words are listed in the thesaurus as synonyms, the associated styles are not the same thing and differ in meaningful ways.
Contemporary and modern house architecture have rich histories and both styles can be used to produce incredible homes. However, if you want a contemporary house, but ask for a modern house (or vice versa), it might not be what you had in mind. Here’s everything you need to know about modern and contemporary design for your new home or renovation.
MODERN VS. CONTEMPORARY HOUSE DESIGN
Modern design refers to an architectural style from the early- to mid-20th century. Designers and architects, like Mies van der Rohe, pioneered it during the pre-World War II years and it exploded in popularity in North America during the 1950s. That’s when modern exteriors were widely adopted in the residential space.
On the other hand, contemporary design is what’s emerging right now. The style is constantly evolving and hasn’t been done before.
Think about it this way: During its beginning, modern design would have been considered contemporary.
MODERN HOUSE DESIGN ELEMENTS
Many people will recognize modern design because of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. The style shows up in television shows, movies, and in real life (many structures built in this era are still in use today).
How do you know if a home design is modern? The style can be characterized by a few common elements, including:
– Utilitarian materials such as glass, steel, reinforced concrete, wood, along with their modern equivalents, like fiber cement materials.
– Flat and expansive, or dramatically angled roofs.
– A minimalist philosophy, famously defined by van der Rohe as “less is more.”
For modern house exteriors that means geometric proportions, large windows, and little to no interior or exterior ornamentation. Today, a home is “modern” if the design closely follows these principles of the original modernist style.
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