The ‘modern home’ is not a straightforward, pre-packaged concept.
But there are some common threads and considerations we see across many of the luxury homes we are commissioned to bring to life.
In this blog, we’re going to explore the things that make up a modern home – and, more specifically, a luxury home. First, let’s look at why you might start on this journey in the first place.
Designing your home, and designing it well, is considered by many to be an ultimate luxury. Think of every home you’ve owned or lived in and consider every element that really got on your nerves. The sink’s too high, the toilet’s in an awkward place, the light switch placements don’t make sense, why is the window a foot to the left of where it should be for the view?
It’s because houses have either been designed for somebody else or copied and pasted by a developer to cut down on architect and interior design costs.
If the fabric of the house just isn’t right, just isn’t you, then decoration can only get so far. And this isn’t to say that you should do the whole design yourself – that’s a complex and stressful task – but working with a good luxury property developer to build in the things that matter to you is going to leave you with a forever home that isn’t a forever-pain-in-the-backside home.
What’s more, a well designed home isn’t just an internal joy or personal convenience, but expresses to guests who you are as a person.
So what are some things you could consider?
A key consideration is the style of the home. Key architectural features make a huge difference to what’s possible within the home. Certain styles became ubiquitous era-styles because they embodied the ways people liked to live at the time.
Unfortunately, the outward style is often largely dictated by local planning authorities. So if you dream of an Edwardian masterpiece then you may be sorely disappointed by the local style – though classic styles do tend to be more easily approved.
But don’t let that stop you from dreaming of a hyper-modernist, minimalist beauty, or of grand neoclassical heights. Just because you can get pushback on certain elements, doesn’t make it impossible to materialise your dream home style.
Here’s an overview of some popular styles:
It’s important to note that minimalism isn’t anti-luxury. Minimalism is less about a lack of features and points of interest, and more about simplicity and flow.
Think squares, clean lines, big windows, natural materials, and the experience of limitless space. The idea here is that it’s not the ornate fascia that gives joy, but the ability to feel undistracted. Minimalism is about personal, inward joy – though a reasonably-sized pool never goes amiss!
The charm of the Georgian manor echoes classical Greek and Roman architecture with adherence to perceived universal truths of beauty: symmetry, ratio, and sophistication in subtlety.
Georgian homes are as much about light as they are about space – wide rooms, tall ceilings, subtle covings, and generous hallways all help shape and channel the energy throughout the home.
Aspire commission, Kings Oak
Scandinavian design has seen a real surge in popularity in recent years. Its celebration of natural materials and championing of pure, snug utility make it perfect for modern designs that aim to sit in harmony with natural surroundings.
Scandinavian design reminds us that luxury doesn’t have to equal extravagance.
Aspire commission, Coach House Lane
Decorative gables, steep pitched roofs, and Gothic-influenced spires are just some of the features you might expect of a modern Victorian home. Victorian architecture was the start of the Victorian-to-Edwardian celebration of complexity – of giving surroundings stories and life. Opting for a Victorian-inspired home is opting into a tradition of passion for design – of flourishes in the smallest of details.
Aspire Commission, Ridgway Gardens
Crucially, a modern home doesn’t have to look one way; it can even be influenced by classic architectural styles – whatever suits you.
The difference between a genuine Victorian house, for example, and a new Victorian-inspired luxury build is that precious word: luxury. No draughts, no single-glazing, no sooty chimneys (unless you want that, of course!).
So what are the features of a luxury modern home?
While luxury items and systems make life more enjoyable – you’ll often find that what makes those luxury items possible, sensible, and truly joyous is reasonably dictated by the surrounding environment. It’s easy to buy a luxury sofa, but it’s much more difficult to make it fit in a poorly designed space.
The fundamentals of luxury, then, rest in the overall layout and design of a home.
A perfect layout facilitates flow throughout the home – flow of light, of energy, and of occupants. A great kitchen, for example, makes it easy to move from cooking, to serving, to eating with the whole family. Every room should have a coherent focusing of flow while leaving enough flexibility for interior changes.
With the fundamentals sorted, your modern home offers a chance to express your taste, choosing bespoke joinery and statement pieces.
And the state-of-the-art these days isn’t just a case of beautiful items, but of gadgets that make your life easier. Things like TVs and sound systems can be built into walls, can be hidden away to reveal out of podiums, or can be dispensed with and replaced with projectors and hi-fi surrounds!
The key thing about creating your own luxury interior is that it doesn’t have to match a catalogue; you can pick and choose whatever suits you, and have bespoke things made to perfectly fit your ideal plan.
No more rusting handles or creaking cupboard doors – only soft-close drawers and heated floors.
Smart home technology is everywhere, but not everyone gets it spot on. It’s fairly normal now to have an Alexa in each room, but what about a shower that remembers the temperature you like?
Other smart features include high-tech fridges, ovens you can save recipes to, and smart bulbs that you can adjust to your mood from your phone.
Home automation can be integrated into your home design with smart systems like Control 4. From the Control 4 app, you can control the lighting, climate, music, TV, and even shades in each room – so everything is just the way you like it.
Arguably one of the best solutions to have come out of the smart home evolution is home security technology.
Integrated systems from providers like Crestron give you full peace of mind. You can view your house remotely and even move the cameras around for a better view, and you can control your home access at the click of a button. Got a cleaner visiting? Unlock the door from the app when you see that it’s them through the cameras.
Undoubtedly, smart home technology and modern utilities should feature in your vision and design for your modern home.
Some folks love to have the utilities on display – gigantic butler sinks and 7+ burner hobs are great for entertaining – but those who employ help often prefer to have the utilities out of the way. Hidden laundry rooms, clothes chutes, full-wall cupboards, and tucked-away prep kitchens all get the mundane aspects of life out of the way so that you can entertain in, for example, a dedicated dining room.
Another key consideration for modern home design is, of course, space and purpose.
Following the status quo is unnecessary here. If you find, for example, that you’d prefer an upside-down house – well, why not? If we all stuck to the norms, home design would never go anywhere of note.
The same goes for luxury rooms. When designing your home, there’s no need to shy away from non-typical rooms like wine cellars and cinemas – the world is your oyster.
The focus, again, should be on creating a space that works for you.
If you work at home, be sure to factor that in from the outset and not as an afterthought. Ensure you design your leisure and work spaces to be separate, and put just as much emphasis on the complex design of your office as you do on, say, the family rooms.
When it comes to leisure spaces, be sure to consider these:
Take a look at some of our properties for some room inspiration!
Aspire Commission, Kings Chase
Looking to bring your vision of an extraordinary home to life?
Here at Aspire, we don’t just create standard properties. We infuse vision, creativity, and skilled craftsmanship into every home. Quality comes first, which is why we only work with the best craftsmen and products for the best results.