Traditional v. Contemporary Design

For many people, the difference between a traditionally designed house and contemporary one is a matter of taste. Traditional residences are influenced by more historic styles like Victorian, Spanish, Colonial, or Neoclassical, while contemporary homes are fashioned from modern 20th Century architecture. Popular contemporary elements include sleek lines, square or rectangular shapes, heavy use of glass or transparent panels, and minimalistic interior design.

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Although personal taste matters in residential design, one of the more important contrasts between classic and modern homes is sustainability. While a traditional house can have energy efficient features, most contemporary ones are built with conservation as a main design factor. Today’s architecture is heavily influenced by the green design movement and seeks to integrate eco-friendly elements with stylistic aspects.

Traditionally styled homes are often less environmentally favorable because their design aesthetics can clash with energy efficient features. Since many have a classic sense of style, it’s not typical to see them decorated with more modern furnishings or smart devices. For instance, solar panels on a conventional roof, or stainless steel appliances inside a kitchen with warm colors and wood finishes, can be an eye sore. Sometimes this leads to residents in traditional homes investing in equipment based on style rather than sustainability. However, a more conventional or classically designed house does have room for recycled elements. Homeowners can invest in refurbished antique fittings or fixtures, for decorating their traditional residence.

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In a significant number of contemporary residences, sustainable materials and tools are tied into the overall look, during the construction process, in order to create a house that’s both energy-saving and elegant. But contemporary buildings have their stylistic limitations, too. For example, if a green house is built with recycled metals, concrete, and/or glass, then its industrial frame and gray colors will not be compatible with all types of interior furnishings; an ultra modern residence is likely to have sparse, minimalistic furniture in order to match the sleek exterior.

Despite variations in taste, most homeowners prefer complementary design aspects that create a cohesive setting rather than a disjointed or mismatched home. However, many people are concerned with conservation, too, especially here in Boulder County. Luckily, it’s possible for residents to invest in green design, regardless of their aesthetic. Energy efficient materials and appliances can be incorporated into any new home or remodeling project, as long as you work with professional and innovative designers. With 20 years of experience in custom home design in Boulder County, TreeLine Homes can help bring your style ideas and sustainability goals to life. Contact us today for more information: [email protected]

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