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10 Tips to Modernize Your Home


Welcome to our design blog!

Today, I will share with you 10 ways you can update your home to feel more fresh and modern.


When you hear the word 'modern' or 'contemporary' during discussions of interior decorating and home design, you might imagine a space that is all white, very clean, and cold. This however, doesn't have to be the case. Here are 10 ways you could update your home in order to make it a more contemporary while still having it feel inviting and liveable.

1. Add character and dimension on the exterior of your home with architectural details or variation in material.

A change in material on the exterior of a home shows a flair of personality and provides a sense of invitation. Check out the two images above. The photo on the left shows a change in siding material which creates a contrast in tone and texture. Though the photo on the right keeps the same siding type, there is a contrast with the front door, awnings, window headers, and garage doors. You also get a similar effect by changing the architectural language of the exterior. This can be seen in the left image with the interesting bump-out coming out in between the two roof peaks.

Right image: cjb HOMES

2. Update your curb appeal by planting native grasses or other earthy toned plants.

In some cases, home exteriors with too many flowers, trees, and other plants creates a distracting and overwhelming curbside view. The same can be true, however, when there are not enough plantings also. Grasses or neutral toned plants and flowers can help to soften the exterior of your home. Try going a step further and adding pavers to create boundaries and keep your planting areas well defined.

Left image: Andrew J. Surma

3. Install lights on your home's exterior and landscape to highlight its architectural elements and define pathways.

Lighting the outside of your home is just as important as lighting the inside. Architectural lighting could be a whole blog post on its own, but it is a great tip if you are looking to freshen your home's exterior. By installing wall sconces or recessed cans in areas that you want to highlight, your home will be instantly more warm and inviting at night. It could even be as simple as adding string lights over a backyard patio. Solor-powered yard lights can also be used as a non-permanent way to visually separate the paths from the plantings. Overall, adding light to the outside of your home will make it feel more put together, luxurious, and safe.

Left image: If this is your image or project, please contact us so we can give you credit!

4. For the inside, textures can add subtle dimension and visual interest to the space.

In a bedroom or living room, try combining monochromatic textures in upholstery, artwork, pillows, and blankets to add personality and softness. In the image below, there are only about 3 dominant colors used. The texture from the wood, fabrics, and artwork give dimension and a sensory connection.

Right image: Studio McGee (McGee & Co.)

5. Using natural materials, like wood, can give warmth to any interior space.

Wood floors are a great way to start, but adding wood on a wall or ceiling can act as an excellent accent piece or focal point for the space. Notice in the images above how the wood flooring makes the hallways feel warm while the rest of the decor is more subdued. The wood flooring adds much more warmth literally and visually! You can even go one step further and add an interesting floor runner or colorful artwork.

6. Natural light!

Natural light is a great way to add comfort and make your home feel lived in. As human beings, we are drawn to the objects, feelings, and designs found in the natural world around us. Natural light also has many benefits beyond just providing light for our interior spaces. If you want to more, read our previous blog post about the concept of daylighting. The pictures above are both good examples of how to use natural light in living spaces. If you are trying to go for a minimal design with a limited color pallete, like the image on the left, adding greenery outside adds a pop of color and brings outdoor elements inside.

Left image: If this is your image or project, please contact us so we can give you credit!

Right image: McGee & Co.

7. Accessorize with color and texture, keep everything else neutral.

A simple way to keep your style fresh and updated is to accessorize with pieces that are trendy or seasonal and keep everything else neutral. Try this out by setting up some vignettes in your home on a bookshelf, entry table, or bedside table. Vignettes are a great way to add personal touches and eclectic pieces into your home that can be easily changed out or rearranged.

Right image: McGee & Co.

8. Try adding objects other than books to a bookshelf.

Bookshelves can slowly become a catch-all for your books, papers, or other items. Stuffed bookshelves that are not organized can make the room look heavy and cluttered. Yes, bookshelves are fantastic for storing things, but they can also be a place to add personal touches and unique vases, sculptures, or other small decor items you own. This is also a great way to show off trip memorabilia or family photographs. Simply changing the direction of your books and breaking up the rows with some accessories can make the entire space look updated.

Right image: Amber Interiors

9. Details on casework and millwork can transform the aesthetic look of any space.

Bathroom vanities are often the focal point of any bathroom. Consequently, vanity styles play a major role in the overall look of your bathroom. Details like sink style, faucet, hardware, door style, material, scale, and other aspects are often overlooked. Don't forget to think about function! These details are also something to look for if you are shopping for any storage unit, cabinetry, or shelf.

10. Tidy up your kitchen countertops with more efficient kitchen storage like appliance garages.

Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place! One way to make your kitchen look updated is to declutter your counters. Especially if you have a busier floor or backsplash pattern, having cluttered countertops can be overwhelming. If you do want to keep certain things on the counter, treat them like an accessory item and make small vignettes. Bringing some upper cabinets down to the countertop, is a great way to store larger, heavier appliances on the countertop level while keeping them hidden. Did you know having drawers is way more efficient than having doors on base cabinets? If these pointers aren't helping, it might be time to invest in better kitchen cabinets.

Left image: The Ranch Uncommon

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