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15 Must-Have Features for Your Modern Home

The experience of designing your own custom home is all about the way you choose unique design elements and make style choices that express your individuality and cater to your lifestyle.

Here are 15 features that separate the modern home from the classic traditional home. So which of these features will be a “must-have” when you design your new home?

1. Open Floor Plans

Open-concept floor plans are the very hallmark of a modern home. Try to think of any home built in the last 10 to 15 years that didn’t prominently work off an open floor plan and you’ll come up short.

Open floor plans help to make homes more spacious and grand. Creating this impression relies on these open concept floor plans that are usually open to above, and feature easy, obvious pathways from one room to another, allowing light and air to stream through the house.

2. Flexible Spaces

In the “early days”, they might have called it a “maid’s room” or a “bonus room”. Today, however, flexible spaces are more than simply rooms whose functions change over time.

When you think about designing your own home today, flexible spaces are all about “being your own architect” — with a little foresight, of course. Flexible spaces are rooms that are built with certain modifications to walls or doors, forming systems that are using spaces in multiple ways.

Flexible spaces are perfect when building a modern home for a family that may want to combine a child’s bedroom into their playroom and workspace through their growing years.

“Modular” is key with flexible spaces and you’ll want to anticipate furniture that can be stacked, tucked away and transformed.

3. Chef Kitchens

If you’ve ever frequented display homes in Melbourne, you may have seen “upgraded” kitchen spaces that are even sleeker than what you may have imagined.

These are known as a “chef’s kitchen”, a style to denote kitchens that are built with lots of space for air and light, plenty of storage and custom cabinetry with a mix of glass and solid panes, and high-quality appliances.

It may also include centre islands or peninsula breakfast bars and countertops above which a trendy rack for a few choice utensils may hang.

As part of chef’s kitchens, appliances are built-in as a standard. But, to take it to the next level, many modern home designs feature appliances done in an overlay or integrated as part of the decor.

Must Have Features for Your Modern Home - A Chef's Kitchen

4. Spa Bathrooms

The standards for bathrooms have changed — for the better! Designing your own home today means you can cram it with all the creature comforts you’d like.

These are options that make it so comfortable. In fact, you might never want to leave. Prepare for a stay-cation with spa bathrooms.

Besides double vanity mirrors and plenty of counter space on granite or marble countertops, a spacious, marble-tiled walk-in shower with water softener or a hand-held shower head extension, these perks include:

  • A luxurious and relaxing steam room or sauna
  • A free-standing soaking tub that is elegantly moulded to look like a sculpture
  • Heated floors
  • Skylights or windows with a view

5. Master Bedrooms Reimagined

When homeowners want to renovate their existing home, the first thing they consider, besides an elegant kitchen, is a revamp of the master suite. An opulent master bedroom is high on the list of modern home design features because families plan to spend quite a bit of time in these rooms.

Well-designed master bedrooms might feature separate sitting areas, fireplaces, separate his and hers walk-in closets and plenty of lighting for the interiors of the closet.

6. Designer Staircases

The addition of a staircase, its height, and its design will be based on the orientation of the home as well as how many stories you plan to have. A tall home built with depth and height can have a designer spiral staircase across three floors.

Must Have Features for Your Modern Home - Designer Staircase

A shorter and wider home that wants to give the effect of a split level or wants to incorporate stairs across the home can opt for raised rooms on a platform or sunken living rooms.

Designer staircases can include decorative elements, as featured above, in wrought iron or the quality of wood chosen.

7. Modern Fireplaces

Gone are the days of the wood-burning fireplace. One of the marks of a modern home is a gas fireplace that is cleverly inset or created as a built-in to the wall, easily integrated into any room. In fact, many modern home designs feature one fireplace laid into a wall divider, servicing both parts of the room, or fireplaces within bathrooms.

More contemporary fireplace products are wide and linear and have the appearance of flame and wood. They don’t require any annual cleaning and upkeep and can be operated with a remote control.

8. Walk-in Closet Spaces

Consider the walk-in closet a decorative and essential extension of the modern home.

This could be a system of pull-out drawers, cupboards, shelves for shoes, a vanity and mirror as well as taller spaces to hang dressier, evening clothing and pants.

Walk-in closets, depending on space, will also require plenty of lighting overhead as well as within the closet nooks themselves and could also feature a space for full-length mirrors and a chaise-lounge for girls nights out.

9. Creative Walls

If you’ve always thought of designing your home as a chance to express, not just your personal style, but your own creative eye, creative wall elements are a great way to incorporate personality into a space.

In some home spaces, creative wall elements can be a decorative pattern such as a tessellation, a tree or even treated wallpaper. In other spaces, it can be a singular design that mimics the style of graffiti art.

10. Glass Elements

Glass is the very epitome of the modern home. Used in the right way in custom homes, glass can convey a sense of space, cleanliness, sleek design and elegance.

Must Have Features for Your Modern Home - Glass Features

It’s also a smart way to instantly brighten up a room and it’s an element that many Melbourne architects and decorators rely on to bring style to a room.

Glass is best used in small accents across bathrooms, kitchens and powder rooms. These can be glass sinks, glass panes on cabinets or doors, or delicate glass light fixtures that overhang coffee tables and centre islands.

11. Natural Light

Natural light depends on the exposures that your custom home’s site affords you. As you’ve seen, you can also mimic natural lighting, extending what you’ve got through the use of open-concept floor plans, transitional living spaces and the use of glass.

Natural light enhances many of the decorative elements of a modern home, especially when incorporated with built-in shelving, such as pantries and bookcases, and integrated kitchen surfaces.

12. Butler’s Pantry

As a walk-in closet is a dressing room extension to a master bedroom, the butler’s pantry is a serving bar extension to a master chef’s kitchen.

Even if you’re only at amateur level, the butler’s pantry is a space worth considering. Butler’s pantries usually feature counter tops and storage space for preparing serving dishes, have a warming oven or even a microwave for food on-the-go, a mini refrigerator, and pull-out shelving.

13. Home Security Systems

Fully integrated security systems are key for modern homes. These usually hook up to smartphone technology and can also integrate home temperature monitoring (for fires and fail-safes), cameras and remote-control technology for powering external gates.

14. Smart Home Automation

Home automation is the newest trend in modern home designs and one that is catching on fast.

Custom home builders give would-be homeowners the chance to automate different electrical features of their home including lighting, heating, appliances and even curtains.

Automation of lighting, heating and even curtains allows a home to maintain its optimal temperature, whether someone is home or not. This increases energy efficiency and lowers the stress on electrical grids.

15. Outdoor Spaces

When the weather is this fine, you’ll want to spend every moment you can outside, relaxing, entertaining, working up a summer tan, and spending time with friends.

Must Have Features for Your Modern Home - Outdoor Living

Modern homes that are custom-designed usually feature pools with added perks like a shower area, a waterfall, gazebos for relaxing, a wetbar, a patio area, outdoor fire pits or built-in, ground barbecues for the ultimate camping experience — right in your backyard.

For even more inspiration for your modern home design, download our Lubelso Luxury Home Design brochure and explore the possibilities.


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