Contemporary Washington DC and Maryland Home Remodel Checklist

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Contemporary home designs have been growing in popularity. We have done many modern home remodels over the years here at Winthorpe Design and Build. We’ve fine-tuned the process many times, and there is a lot to consider when doing a contemporary home remodel. We’ve compiled the ultimate checklist of things involved in a contemporary home remodel for our clients interested in this style.

What Makes a Home Contemporary?

To put it simply, the term “contemporary” in the world of architecture means a building design that reflects the current styling trends. The picture of contemporary changes alongside the consumer’s desire for different trends and styles in homes. Many people get contemporary architecture and modern architecture confused. While the two do overlap occasionally (as contemporary can overlap with many design categories, depending on what’s in style), the meanings of the terms are quite different. 

“Modern” architectural designs aren’t really that modern anymore. The design scene in the modern style category emerged in the 1920s and 1930s and was the most popular around the 1980s. These styles used lots of lines, few color palettes, and were mainly composed of metal and glass. They were also hugely simplistic, making them similar to the minimalist design style. The overall effect was an almost industrial level of simplicity. 

However, a house doesn’t have to be constantly updated to fit the newest trends to be considered contemporary. More important is that it managed to push the boundaries of new, emerging styles when it was built while simultaneously fitting what was already popular. 

The Steps to Designing a Contemporary Home

The steps to designing a contemporary home are bound to change over time, as the things that define modern aesthetics are constantly shifting and evolving. If you ever struggle to understand the current ideal of contemporary design, you can get a general idea from scrolling sites like Pinterest and seeing what kinds of homes are trending. Still, here are some general features that are trending now (and likely will be for a while) that you can adjust and tweak to fit your dream of a contemporary home. 

Excess Lighting

Most homes that are currently considered contemporary nowadays share an enthusiasm for lighting. Whether natural or artificial, the mindset behind it seems to be the more light you have, the better. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, and similar items are some of the most popular ways of achieving this. If you weren’t planning to add windows for your remodel and simply want to work with what you have, there are ways to accentuate the light you already have. For example, sheer curtains accentuate window lighting very well. 

Be Clever with your Colors

While there’s nothing wrong with colorful designs, blacks, whites, grays, and neutral tones are most popular with contemporary houses. If you want a contemporary home but rejoice in color, there’s still a place for it. However, we do recommend that you use it sparingly. Less is more in this situation. 

Fix your Floors

Flooring plays a significant role in current contemporary designs, and the best way to reflect a modern style is to update them to fit current trends. It’s all about sleek designs, clean lines, and smooth textures. Wood-vinyl, Vinyl, Laminate, and HardWood flooring is almost always the way to go for a contemporary floor. Rugs are recommended in place of carpets. And keep the rug patterns to a minimum. That way, you can accent certain areas without going overboard with texture. Tiles like ceramic and terracotta are also a no-go, as they make your home seem dated. 

Nail your Decor

We’ve covered all the bare essentials of room design, but what about the details? How can you decorate your home in a clean, contemporary style without leaving everything completely bare?

Remember, simplicity is key in the current trends. Simple materials like glass, metallics, and the occasional accent of natural stone are all the rave. Giant decorations with non-ornate containers are a must (Large plants with very basic holders, large pictures with thin, unimpressive frames, etc.). Avoid complex, brightly-colored prints at all costs. No plaids, no paisley, and no floral. Don’t use heavy or intricately patterned drapes if you can manage it. Nothing rustic like lace or distressed materials fits this decor style. 

In the end, though, what you like is more important than a fleeting fad. Trends come and go, but you’ll be living in this space daily, so it’s vital that you like it. Your home and your space are reflections of your personality. If simplistic, brightly-lit styles with neutral colors and basic patterns aren’t your thing, don’t use them. Your opinion is more important here than that of some strangers’ on the internet. 

No matter what style you choose, Winthorpe Design and Build can help. Contact us today to learn about our new process for helping you achieve the home of your dreams!

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