Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on May 15, 2019, 10:35:35 AM
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Portland home designers have firmly staked a claim on the modern aesthetic, both inside and out. For homeowners looking to refresh a few rooms, interior decor options abound in the Pearl District’s Room & Board shop. Here, you can find anything from sleep sofas to playful place settings. However, if you’re starting from scratch and building a new home in the Portland area, it’s an opportunity to make a statement with a modern design of your own.

When planning to build a custom home, you have a lot of decisions to make. The layout, exterior style, materials, finishes, and furnishings must all work together to create the cohesive look you are envisioning. Consider these modern possibilities when discussing your options with Portland home designers.

1. Clean Lines with High Style

The modern vibe is all about a clean, streamlined look for both the exterior and interior of the home. The challenge is to achieve simplicity while also delivering high style. This is not always as easy as it sounds, but Portland home designers have mastered it in multiple ways, from the shape of the exterior to the smallest details.

Modern homes can be characterized by low-pitched rooflines, bold forms, and unique combinations of materials. The key is to include just enough detail to make the design interesting without losing the elegant simplicity of the modern aesthetic. This might mean adding a touch of asymmetry in the garage windows, using multiple complementary materials for the exterior cladding, or incorporating textures to add subtle dynamics without making the design feel too fussy.   

When you’re designing interiors, the same concepts hold true. Simplicity is essential, but it must not feel boring. High style is the name of the game, and it can be achieved through a careful selection of fixtures and furnishings.

2. Minimalist Materials

When it comes to modern design, minimalism is key. Materials that incorporate block colors, simple patterns, and natural textures can be used in combination with sleek, elegant finishes to bring an interior design together. For exteriors, this might mean smooth siding that can be applied in large panels to create a uniform look, or stone accents that add a touch of nature without getting too earthy.

For interiors, minimalist materials can take many forms. For example, countertops might have a flat, matte look that uses only one or two colors, in contrast to a shiny granite or speckled quartz. Trim, if it exists at all, should be simple with only one angled edge. When choosing interior materials, consider how each of them will interact with your other choices. Keep the color palette simple and select only one or two materials that will stand out, letting the others be a muted backdrop.

Many Portland home designers choose a palette of uniform materials and colors to achieve a minimalist look. This might mean using a single color throughout the room on the floors, ceiling, walls, and cabinetry. In this case, you can add depth by using textures. For example, a minimalist bathroom might have a white and light-gray color palette that incorporates textured tile to add richness while maintaining an elegant look and feel.

3. Funky Shapes for Flair

Simplicity and minimalism need not be bland. In fact, one of the hallmarks of modern design is to include a select number of eye-catching elements. These might be a couple of statement chairs with a bold shape and color, an artsy coat rack on the wall in the mudroom, or design elements that are carefully integrated into the home itself. For example, funky-shaped tile on a kitchen backsplash or in the shower adds a bit of fun and brings contrast to the otherwise simple surroundings.

Repeating shapes is another way to bring out the modern vibe. This might be multiple instances of the low-pitched roof gable or matching rectangular windows on the garage and entry doors. You can also use repeating elements inside a home to tie the look together.

4. Modern Warmth and Durability

Portland home designers are adept at striking a balance between modern aesthetics and a warm, comfortable environment. One of the advantages of building a new home in Portland is that you get to make all of the design decisions, including what types of materials you use. Many brands now offer products that conform to the modern design aesthetic but are made using contemporary technology. This means that you benefit from materials that have the look you want and are also low-maintenance, durable, and affordable.

For example, concrete countertops are a popular choice in many modern homes, but they can be difficult to maintain. Now you can get quartz countertops that look and feel like concrete but are easy to clean and maintain. The same is true of flooring. Wide-plank wood floors provide a certain modern aesthetic, but they are expensive and susceptible to wear and tear. Wood-look luxury vinyl floors deliver the same elegant look of wide planks, but with scratch resistance, easy maintenance, and a price tag that is easier on the wallet.

These types of materials provide the clean-cut look that people want in a modern home, but with the convenience of easier maintenance and the benefit of durability.

5. Thoughtful Lighting

Nothing ruins the vibe of a room in a modern home faster than an overhead light that is too bright. Artful pendants, carefully placed floor lamps, and recessed lighting all help create a warm, inviting environment. This is an important consideration when you’re using a stark color palette with minimalist materials. When paired with the wrong lighting, these elements can create a cold and cheerless atmosphere.

When building a new modern home, discuss lighting options with your designer and think about how you can achieve the look and feel you want. Look at wall sconces that gently wash light over a wall, hanging pendants that illuminate a space without making it too bright, and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen to provide the functional light you need while still creating a modern mood in the room.

6. Streamlined Exteriors

For many people, when they think of modern homes, the first word that comes to mind is “linear.” For single-level homes, this often means a sprawling ranch with a low-sloped hip roof that disappears into the horizon. Horizontal trim and deep eaves are used to create this effect and elongate the home. With two-story homes, the modern look is often characterized by a single bold form that stands out while the rest of the house disappears. This effect can be achieved through the use of right angles with the main form and slopes that minimize the size of the other areas. Contrasting colors also help accentuate the bold forms while allowing the other areas to blend into the surrounding landscape.

7. Earthy Neutrals

For both interior and exterior materials, color palettes in modern homes tend to skew toward earthy neutrals with the occasional pop of playful color. For exteriors, the colors often blend into the landscape with earthy tones such as deep browns, rich sandstone, and steely slate. Interiors can be monotone or use a complementary color palette that creates a subtle backdrop for your furnishings and artwork. Light colors keep the floor plan feeling open and airy while also creating the desired clean aesthetic of a modern home.

Build Your Modern Home with Adair

If you are considering Portland home designers for your new custom home, check out the Riada Collection from Adair Homes. We offer carefully considered floor plans with modern exteriors and a selection of minimalist finishes that allow you to get the look and feel you envision. Customize the layout to meet your family’s needs and choose the materials and fixtures that best match your budget. If you don’t see a floor plan that matches your vision, talk to us about a full custom design. To learn more, call or visit the North Willamette Valley branch in Aurora today.

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