Modernizing Traditional Homes


The movement to turn traditional houses into contemporary homes

Families today live stressed, tired and rushed lives. Between professional commitments, school activities and commuting, households of all sizes desire the opportunity for quiet calm and rejuvenation – or as close to it as is realistically possible.

The quest to achieve a laid-back-at-home lifestyle and create a sanctuary from daily life has inspired changes in home design. Whether English Tudor or Dutch colonial, farmhouse or mid-century, modernizing traditional home styles is becoming the go-to way to get it.

Behind the walls of new-build and renovations alike are contemporary interior spaces that blend the warmth and character of classic design styles – cozy spaces, textured fabrics, rich colors – with the openness and convenience of a modern design aesthetic.

Modernizing traditional home styles – or the transitional home phenomenon – is increasingly popular in urban and suburban infills but particularly in older city renovations where contemporary homes are scarce, new home construction is costly and restrictions limit exterior remodeling of historic homes.


Open to new ideas

Bright, open and spacious, these hybrid homes celebrate simplicity and minimalism with clean lines, a free-flowing floor plan and a focus on large windows and glass doors for ample amounts natural light and great views of the outside.

By knocking down a few walls and installing internal glass French doors, continuous living spaces can connect through to the ever-popular open kitchen. And by installing window walls, big glass doors and skylights, unparalleled views of the outdoors can be utilized to create a truly unique atmosphere.

In fact, glass plays a key role in transitioning a traditional style into a modern structure that speaks to these values of quiet comfort. The views and fresh air provided by glass window walls and movable glass wall doors have a huge impact on the experience of being in a home. By connecting an outdoor living area through a large glass door the boundary between indoors and outdoors can be removed in an instant with a simple motion.


Pay attention to details

In addition to using walls of glass or larger-sized windows within the traditional structure to modernize traditional home styles and embrace the outside as part of a home’s interior, details such as hardware, window color, sash and trim can impact the look and feel.

Trim, for example, seems like a subtle thing, but it can influence impressions of design and style, just as the right piece of jewelry can influence the impression of an entire outfit. In these modern interpretations of traditional homes, dark trim interiors and exteriors are now in high demand.

Other design elements homeowners might choose to emphasize include traditional details like brick walls and unsealed concrete while adding modern features such as steel beams and recessed lighting to convey a more industrial aesthetic. This is another place where more and larger windows and doors are adding to the contemporary feel as the transparency of glass lightens up the heaviness of dark and industrial materials.

Contemporary furnishings and artwork juxtaposed with the thoughtful architectural details of traditional homes further contribute to the modern aesthetic. And no current dwelling would be complete without taking into consideration state-of-the-art technology, including sophisticated audio and visual systems, wall-mounted TVs and sleek entertainment centers. Elements which homeowners would also like to make disappear from view when not in use.