Modern Residential Home Design Mistakes To Avoid
by Playoust Churcher
In a previous blog, we said this about modern architecture:
It is disruptive.
It is innovative.
It is functional.
It can be expensive (if done correctly).
Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just starting your first interior space, there are fundamental design processes and principles you should follow when designing modern interior spaces. In this blog, we look at modern residential home design mistakes to avoid.
Interior design is an integral part of the entire building process
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: architecture and interior design are inseparable. As our Playoust Churcher architect Marelise van der Merwe says, “I would say if you separate the two elements, you would have two different authors to this novel and the storyline might be inconsistent.”
You can avoid some interior design mistakes by making these decisions before you start building:
- Window furnishings (curtains or blinds), as bulkheads or pelmets will need to be included as part of the architectural plans.
- Floor finishes require different tolerances depending on the materials used. Modern floor finishes include natural or laminate woods, tiles or natural stone. Today, durable, processed alternatives are also available to natural flooring options, requiring specific level profiles.
- Skirtings, cornices and architraves come in varied designs, so you’ll want to ensure the modern interior look you’re going for aligns to the available skirtings, cornice and architrave options.
The basics of colour
There are some basic rules of colour that are important to consider when designing your interior space.
The colour wheel
Understanding the colour wheel when designing any interior space is important. The primary colours of a colour wheel are blue, yellow and red. Secondary colours are those that mixing primary colours create, so green, purple and orange.
Warm colours are yellows and reds, whilst cool colours are blues and greens.
Apply the 60-30-10 rule
Yup, there’s a rule when choosing interior or exterior colours that many designers use. It’s called the 60-30-10 rule, which defines a home and room’s colour palette. The rule of three is always best when choosing your colours. Once you’ve chosen your colours, you’ll need to choose your shades (see below for more on shades), then break down your colours into 60% dominant colour, 30% secondary colour and 10% accent colour.
“Don’t forget that one of your colour choices may be the colour of the materials used to build your home,” says Marelise, who specialises in architectural design for North Shore and Northern Beaches homes.
It’s vital to test colour shades by painting swatches and letting them dry. Don’t just go with what is on the cardboard colour swatch. The last thing you want is blacks drying purple or greys drying green. The wrong colour shade can throw off the entire colour scheme of a home.
Don’t get pulled down the ‘modern is easy’ rabbit hole
Because it’s not.
Modern ‘clean line’ spaces are not easier or cheaper to build. Modern spaces are less cluttered and ‘minimalist,’ meaning the materials and junctions in modern home design are more pronounced as they take centre stage.
There is often no covering in modern architecture, so the wall, counters or wardrobe and floor junctions need to be perfect too. This mastered skill comes at an extra cost. When you take the modern detailing and apply it across an entire house design project for consistency, it’s easy to see how these projects can become quite costly.
Technology is a great way to integrate innovation into your home and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a robot vacuum. There are many creative ways to use technology in the home, especially with IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
Ambient, sustainable lighting, ultra-high-definition plasmas made to look like fine art pieces and decor items that double up as speakers and security systems are great examples of disruptive innovation in modern home design.
Make sure to discuss any electrical installation requirements at the design phase of the project build.
Functionality is fundamental
It’s easy to believe that the modern design aesthetic is clean, minimalistic and void of personality.
This is not true. It can (and should) be functional, and although clean lines and minimalism are typical of the modern aesthetic, the spaces can be infused with warmth and personality through interior choices.
Functionality is an essential principle of good home design. And you can achieve this in numerous ways.
Not everything needs to be super smooth and monotone. Try mixing natural fibres and chunky fabrics. You’ll be amazed how gorgeous wood and concrete look together and don’t forget to use glass as a design feature in your home.
Remember that functionality must consider all age groups and lifestyle preferences. As the multigenerational trend continues to gain momentum, designing spaces that cater to and work for the nuclear and extended family becomes more of a focus of modern architectural design.
Layout, smart storage ideas and multipurpose spaces and design that integrates indoor and outdoor living are all ways to make a space become functional.
Using ‘warm’ furnishings
Rugs, cosy furniture pieces and indoor potted plants that connect with your colour palette are great ways to add warmth to your modern home. Remember less is more, so be careful not to clutter your space with an overzealous checklist.
Putting ‘you’ in your home
It’s your house, so add your personality with family pictures, artwork or statement decor pieces. Remember to stick to the 60-30-10 rule with colour choices.
Read more articles about what architects do.