Forest View: modern Living room by Clear Architects

How to modernise your house in 2018

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Most of us already know that the kitchen and bathroom are the two main spaces to focus on should you want to increase your home’s value or get a buyer’s attention. But what if you’re perfectly happy living in your forever-home, yet feel that it’s not quite modern enough?

Well, then you just sit back and scroll through our ideas and suggestions that are sure to drag your house into the modern era. Although some of these tips are quite popular with modern designers and homeowners, we also have a few lesser-known tricks that are sure to enhance your home to great effect…

1. How to modernise your house: Open-plan living

Before the 1970s open-plan living was a foreign concept, yet modern families definitely prefer this. And the most popular areas to blend are the kitchen, dining room and lounge.

The more open-plan your home is, the more modern and trendy it automatically feels. And let’s not forget “spacious”. Of course, heating and cooling costs can also climb, but this is offset by the family no longer being separated while cooking, dining, watching television, or just relaxing.

If an open-plan area means you need to pull down a wall or two, we firmly recommend checking which walls are structural before you continue (for which you will need a professional). 

And one more thing before you start blending different rooms together – be mindful about defining the various areas (such as cooking, dining, seating… ) so that the spaces don’t merge too much and end up getting lost within one another.

2. How to modernise your house: Glass and natural light

There is something about lots of glass that screams “modern”. Think about a room flaunting lots of clear glass and how it immediately becomes a contemporary space. This also makes the room seem more spacious, for the outdoors become an extension of the room. 

But don’t think that just because there’s no room on the walls for another (or bigger) window that your modern room can’t be privy to more glass. How about a glass door or some skylights?

3. How to modernise your house: Clever furnishings

Pavilion corner sofa bed: modern Living room by Loaf
Loaf

Pavilion corner sofa bed

Loaf

Modern-age definitely goes hand in hand with decreased space, and one of the ways in which we get by with less space is via double-duty furnishings.  

Some prime examples include sofas that flip out into beds, beds that can be hung up against the wall, ottomans that become chairs or coffee tables (plus provide built-in storage compartments), desks that fold up and are neatly stored away, etc.

4. How to modernise your house: Bolds and accents

Queens Park House: eclectic Living room by Honeybee Interiors
Honeybee Interiors

Queens Park House

Honeybee Interiors

We don’t blame anybody who wants a bit of colour in their homes. And although there’s something to be said for monochrome colour palettes (which are especially popular with minimalist designs), bold colours are a great choice for modern living.

This flows so well together with accent pieces to help make a modern room come to life. And if done correctly, the result will be one of harmony instead of an overwhelmingly decorated space. 

For instance, just imagine a bold violet sofa accentuated via purple scatter cushions, plus one bright yellow cushion thrown in for effect. This can also be applied to walls and fixtures, like a floating shelf painted an apple green with various books as accents.

If it attracts attention without overthrowing the entire room, go for it!

5. How to modernise your house: Increased artificial lighting

It’s no coincidence that many people associate old and outdated homes with gloomy spaces. Well-lit rooms only became more prominent with modern designs, which is why a firm commitment to both natural- and artificial lighting is vital.

In terms of artificial lighting, there are numerous options to ensure a well-lit room. But wherever you start, ensure you go with layered lighting for the best effects. That means combining various different fixtures (i.e. table lamp, floor lamp, wall sconces… ) instead of being content with only one overhead ceiling light. 

And by all means, replace those outdated ceiling fixtures with the modern masterpieces available on the market today. Of course this might mean hiring an electrician for the job!

6. How to modernise your house: A new bathroom

It’s no secret that bathrooms get dirty and dingy very quickly. And as we said earlier, a decently designed bathroom is one of the things potential buyers will be looking out for when shopping for a new home. 

To give your bathing space a more modern look, look to the outdated knobs, light fixtures, vanity, faucets, and shower curtains. If your budget doesn’t allow for a complete bathroom overhaul, changing just one or two of these things can still ensure a stunning new look. Even a fresh coat of paint can make your bathroom seem much more modern.

7. How to modernise your house: On the outside

Hadley Wood - North London: modern Houses by New Images Ltd
New Images Ltd

Hadley Wood—North London

New Images Ltd

Don’t think that the modern style is limited only to your home’s indoors. If you have an older-style home, improve your kerb appeal without diluting your house’s architectural style. Basically, you have three key points to consider: 

• Colour. Modern times have seen neutral colour schemes become the trendier options. Thus, if your house’s façade is still covered in an old-fashioned moss green or mission brown, try giving it a new look with stone grey, off-white, charcoal, or one of the other thousands of neutral choices.  

• Focal point. Ensure a 10/10 front yard by making one lovely focal point near your entryway. It could be as simple as placing a few potters near the front door, or a more complex project like adding new wooden deck for your pergola, erecting glass balustrades, etc. Be creative and consider all your options carefully. Remember: great things can still be achieved with smaller, more subtle touches that don’t have to change your entire house.  

• Visual balance. Not everything with the modern style needs to be perfectly symmetrical. So, when we speak of visual balance, it just means to balance everything out in some way or another. For instance, if you have a large object on the right side of your yard (perhaps an old tree or a garage door), try and see if you can balance it with something visually heavy on the left side.

Speaking of modern updates, see these 7 simple upgrades that boost your home's value.

What other ideas can you think of to modernise a house?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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