There are a few different meanings when we talk about ‘modern’ homes. The word modern in architecture has a number of fascinating applications and contexts. Most influentially, the architectural movement of modernism holds the most weight in a discussion of modern houses.

Modernism emerged in the 20th century and has become incredibly popular since, though it was replaced as the dominant style with postmodernism during the 1980s. However, people often use the phrase ‘modern homes’ to mean contemporary homes or technologically advanced homes; each of which have different styles and key features. Read on for an overview of the different meanings that a ‘modern home’ can have.


The modern home: Modernism

Modernism is an art and design movement which encompasses a vast catalogue of experimental design styles such as functionalism, minimalism and brutalism. To this day, mid-century modernism is one of the leading architectural styles in Australia. Characteristics of modern design include the use of unrefined industrial materials such as concrete or steel.

Modernism is also defined by its approach to form as a method of achieving function; this gave rise to the popular modernist design phrase ‘form follows function.’ You can tell a modernist home by its emphasis on large and light windows, neat vector lines, innovation, and of course the prioritization of practical elements over empty aesthetic.

Modernist style homes are seeing a resurgence particularly for buildings with small floor plans, because the visual intrigue and whimsy of a modernist home often helps to distract from its small size. You can read more about small modernist homes and five examples of genius modern house layouts here.


Modern vs Contemporary

Often when people talk about a modern house, the design movement that they are actually referring to is contemporary. Modern houses, as established above, are houses designed in accordance with the 20th century modernist movement. By contrast, a contemporary house is one that is designed in accordance with current design trends and state of the art materials.

A contemporary house is more likely to feature glass, tile, stone and metals rather than the industrialized brick or concrete popular in modernism. Contemporary homes also tend to commit more to the monochromatic colour palette, while modernist homes have room for experimentation with colours and patterns. It is easy to understand how the two can be confused, as the colloquial use of the word ‘modern’ is indistinguishable from contemporary.


Technology: modern as the future


Occasionally someone might use the word modern to mean something beyond just the contemporary design movement. This use of the word modern is best understood as synonymous with advanced. An advanced home is one with a futuristic style and technology embedded within its design. You guessed it: smart homes.

Extras such as smart furniture, theatres, high-tech security, and hidden pool technologies are often grouped in under the ‘modern’ label. Don’t be confused: modernist homes are typically not filled to the brim with smart tech and science fiction-y décor. However, advanced homes built within recent years can be informally considered modern. Read on for a list of some of the best modern house designs and floor plans, complete with a pictures gallery to help inspire your home design.


Ultra-modern house plans: 4 different style ideas for modern house architecture

4. Small Modern Home Floor Plans


This house on the Norwegian island of Vega was designed by Kolman Boye Architects. As you can see from the floor plans (provided below for free), this modern house is small and orderly, with many compartments divided neatly into separate spaces.


Modern house blueprints like this is are great choice even for those with plenty of space on their property, because they really allow the natural beauty of the surrounding environment to shine.


The simplicity of this house is where its true charm lies, in keeping with its Scandinavian origin.


Simple floor designs lend beautifully to modern house plans because they allow for the interior and exterior surroundings of the house to become the focal point.


However, a small modern house is not the best idea for those who have large families or crowded neighbourhoods with little surrounding natural features.


3. Single Storey Modern House Plans


This single story house has blueprints available here from Eplans. The PDF set of plans is relatively affordable at $1525.00.


Remember that this cost will save you from the charges of an architect or draftsman drawing up individual plans, which will likely be much higher. This plan can also be customized.


It is a three bedroom, two bathroom modern house with two garages. A challenge of ordering plans online is that you will not have the personalised contact and vision of an architect, meaning that many of the decisions are up to you.


However, if you have a passion for design yourself and a clear vision already for your house, you may benefit greatly from the flexibility and control that plans like these give you.

2. Modern Floor Plans for Mansion


This large, four bedroom house is the height of luxury. With 3.5 bathrooms, two storeys and a three-car space garage, this home has ample space for a large family or those who like to have lots of room for guests.


The PDF set of these plans cost approx. $1995, which is quite cheap considering that much smaller modern house plans are almost the same. You can purchase these plans or read more about the specifications of this house here.


1. 3 Storey Townhouse


This three storey townhouse has a clean and simple design that makes the most of its vertical space, with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms spread across its three floors.


A 5 copy set of the blueprints for this house cost $1600 and can be purchased from eplans here.


The third storey is primarily balcony, perfect for entertaining or gazing out on the street views of an afternoon.