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Beautiful blue kitchen with Modern designs and blue walls with an open floor plan.

Modern Home Design: Popular Interior & Exterior Features

Looking to incorporate modern design in your home? Whether you want to create a modern outdoor oasis or add wood accents in your living room, there are plenty of modern design features that can create the home of your dreams. Here are 20 interior and exterior modern home features!

What Is Modern Home Design?

Modern home design can be seen in a home with clean, crisp lines, geometric shapes, and a simple color palette. Modern homes reflect the architectural and interior design styles of the Modern era, which began in the early 20th century and remained popular through the mid-1950s. The no-frills attitude of modern design continues even into materials used for a modern home, which often include metal, glass, and steel. Modern design is known to have simplicity in every element in the home—including its furniture pieces. It’s also known for being a functional interior design style that emphasizes the relationship between form and function!

Interior Modern Home Features

From updating the flooring to adding a sleek staircase to your entryway, there are several ways to incorporate modern design into your home. Check out these top modern home interior features below!

Go with an Open Floor Plan

Modern Farmhouse open floor plan with exposed beams on the ceiling. Photo by instagram user @howzit_mgt

Photo via @howzit_mgt

An open floor plan is popular in a modern home because it allows you to have a more social and airy space. A common open floor plan can involve the combination of a kitchen, dining room, and living room that are connected in a large room with a vaulted ceiling. Without doors to open and close and no walls to slow down foot traffic, you can create better flow and move through the space with ease.

Use an Earth-Toned Color Scheme

Mid-Century Modern living room with a sleek brown couch, large windows, wooden shelving, and a striped rug. Photo by instagram user @westelm

Photo via @westelm

Paint colors should complement and balance each other in a modern home. In the interior of modern homes, you can find earth tones with a mixture of white, beiges, and tans. This neutral color scheme is an empty slate for decorating with modern design. This type of monochrome color palette uses variations of one color to create a harmonious and visually cohesive look. It doesn’t draw attention to itself, but rather lets the room look more clean and organized, which is a staple of modern design.

Add Industrial Elements

Modern open floor kitchen with exposed bricks steel structural beams. Photo by instagram user @themodernhouse

Photo via @themodernhouse

Modern home design combines industrial elements with natural elements. Having exposed beams and other structural pieces is common for modern design. Pairing materials like steel, concrete, and glass with natural features like wood and stone are great for adding an industrial touch to your modern home. Exposed bricks on walls or fireplaces that are combined with streamlined modern furniture can add contrast to an otherwise plain room.

Create a Sleek Look with Concrete Floors

A modern flooring idea that can elevate your home is to use concrete for your floors. Concrete floors are an edgy option that can mimic ceramic tile or natural stone, and they give a clean, industrial look to a modern home and can add texture to the room. The sleek nature of neutral concrete floors is a great way to contrast bold furniture and light fixtures!

Consider Adding Wood Features

Incorporating wood features in your modern home can improve the aesthetic of your space because it’s a natural material that brings texture and character to your space. Wooden beams, fireplace mantels, wall paneling, and wood flooring are all features that can create a modern look. Wood flooring offers depth and adds an earthy element to a modern living room, bedroom, or kitchen, while dark wood flooring can make a room look elongated and dramatic.

Think About Shapes

The perception of space is an important feature in modern homes. Geometric or playful shapes can add interest and will help to balance a room. You can opt for geometric shapes when it comes art, lighting, wall molding, or furniture, as long as it coordinates with the rest of the room. Also consider the shapes of door frames, stairwells, and windows in your modern house design.

Rethink the Staircase Design

While some staircases are basic and solely focus on functionality, you can opt for a more modern staircase design that combines functionality with aesthetic. To give a more streamlined look to the room, incorporate a glass or wooden staircases. For a bigger impact, install floating treads attached to the wall, or save space in your modern home with a spiral staircase featuring black, wooden treads and a trendy stainless steel railing or a U-shaped staircase. Straight staircases are great for adding simplicity to your modern home.

Let in Natural Light with Oversized Windows

Modern dining room with wood features and plants with oversized windows that brighten up the room. Photo by instagram user @flackstudio_

Photo via @flackstudio_

Not only do oversized windows bring in more natural light, but they also create a brighter, more seamless design to your modern home. As long as they’re not covered by blinds or curtains, large glass windows can also give the illusion of more space in your room. Installing large windows of various sizes and shapes can shift the focus of the room to its natural surroundings, rather than on focal points like artwork or busy wallpaper. Those looking to incorporate more natural elements in their home can easily do so by properly utilizing windows.

Install Built-In or Recessed Lighting

Installing modern built-in or recessed lights can streamline your modern home’s design in places like the entryway, kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Recessed lights are perfect for places with low ceilings because they don’t protrude down and take up space. Often, this type of lighting takes a minimalist approach so it doesn’t interrupt the home’s design or create any clutter. Built-in lighting is sleek, functional, sophisticated, and helps to create a modern ambiance in a room without compromising space or design.

Utilize Lofted Rooms

If you’re working with a small space, modern homes can include lofted areas. Lofted areas generally keep an open and flexible concept to serve multiple purposes, which is why it’s a common modern home feature. Place a sofa, side tables, and chairs in the room for a hangout space. Or get your work done and transform your loft into a home office. Lofted areas can also include a kitchenette for cooking and dining.

Add Dimension with Built-In Shelves

The use of vertical space is a prominent feature in modern houses. Built-in shelves are ideal for modern homes because they save space while adding additional storage to your room. These shelves can create a focal point in your room—to make the shelves stand out in your modern home, consider painting them a neutral color like beige, brown, gray, or light green.

Invest in Sustainable Upgrades

Modern farmhouse kitchen with colorful statement features and appliances with a large wooden table. Photo by instagram user @msldavies

Photo via @msldavies

Sustainability and eco-friendly features are key to modern homes, so you might want to understand green living! Go green with energy-efficient home improvements like replacing your lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs and sensor light switches or installing a smart thermostat to conserve energy. To significantly cut down your water consumption, install low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets in your eco-friendly bathroom. For a sustainable kitchen, upgrade to energy-efficient dishwashers or refrigerators to help reduce your carbon footprint while cooking or cleaning.

Include an Inset Fireplace

Modern fireplaces that are seamlessly integrated into walls give a living room a sleek look while providing heat. Inset fireplaces are popular in modern homes because they’re practical, add ambiance to the space, and can contrast neutral walls or statement walls made of stone. To make your fireplace stand out in your modern home, opt for unique trends in styles like double-glass fireplaces, ribbon fireplaces, or wood fireplaces to make the area more pronounced. These will often divide the room with a half wall or have a geometric shape element to them!

Get Creative with the Kitchen Island

Modern kitchen islands are a great place for socializing in the home. An L-shaped island can adapt to the needs of your space whether it’s being used for dining or meal-prepping. Get creative with the color of the island and incorporate modern materials like steel, marble, or concrete. A modern kitchen island can be an extension of your table by adding chairs to it, or you can use it as a space for open storage. If you’re looking to stray away from a plain kitchen island design, opt for an island that has sharp geometric edges to add dimension to the kitchen.

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Exterior Modern Home Features

With features like an unconventional roof design and industrial exterior elements, you can bring modern design style outdoors! Learn more about the different types of exterior modern home features you can use below.

Mix & Match Materials

Exterior of a modern home in Palm Springs with a desert landscaped front yard and palm trees in the background. Photo by instagram user @modtraveler

Photo via @modtraveler

Mixing up the elements to the exterior of your home can make it more modern. Try to balance steel, brick, and wooden elements in your modern house design. Utilize steel or concrete beams and metal railings in the backyard under a wooden pergola to create a modern contrast and extra shade. You can also mix together weathered wood, vinyl siding, and exposed brick to create a unique exterior design.

Think About Unconventional Roof Designs

Most modern houses have unconventional roof designs as a way to challenge traditional design and add a dynamic visual element to the house. Flat roofs are popular and can be an extension of your useable outdoor space if your home is on a narrow lot. Slanted roofs are known for their durability and can stand up to outdoor elements better. A gable roof, which consists of two roof sections sloping in opposite directions, creates a mixture of a modern and rustic vibe. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your roof design!

Connect Your Outdoor Spaces

Backyard of a modern home with a rectangular pool and a courtyard the connects rooms together. Photo by instagram user @phxhomebuilde

Photo via @phxhomebuilder

Courtyards and outdoor spaces that connect to different parts of your home are popular in modern homes for their accessibility and contribution to the modern mixing of materials and room elements. Think of a courtyard as an open floor plan for the exterior of your home! If you want to create a sense of flow to the outdoors, it’s best to utilize the same design scheme both indoors and outdoors. Place a big fountain in the center to add depth to a plain backyard.

Build a Visually Appealing Fence

Modern backyard with built-in potted plants and an Edison light string. Photo by instagram user @flippinggvl

Photo via @flippinggvl

An outdoor fence can create an interesting visual for a modern home. You can utilize materials like metal or steel for your fence to make the design more sleek and modern. Give your fence extra height with a trellis to get more privacy and encourage plants to grow. Paint the fence a modern matte gray to incorporate a splash of color in the green area and to suit the aesthetic of your backyard.

Make Your Pool a Focal Point

Angular or geometric pools are good for making a backyard look more modern because of their sleek shape. Since this home feature is pretty significant, lean into it. Place the pool in the center of the backyard or courtyard to ensure that its surroundings are aligned properly. Shrubs, palm trees, or bold flowers and plants can be used for landscaping around the pool. To finally achieve that modern look, go with porcelain or mosaic tile in the pool.

Utilize Progressive Features

Exterior of a modern home with a landscaped yard and large solar panels on the roof. Photo by instagram user @astound_energy

Photo via @astound_energy

Most modern homes have progressive elements that can conserve energy and are friendly to the environment. Installing solar panels on your house extends the life of the roof and helps to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Or consider other eco-friendly backyard ideas for a modern home, including installing a synthetic lawn, landscaping with eco-friendly tools, and more.


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