The third post of this three-part series describes the history and attributes tied to modern, contemporary, prairie, mountain, and Florida homes. If you missed our other style guides, jump back to Part 1 or Part 2 for additional styles.
The terms modern and contemporary are often used interchangeably, and there are certainly many commonalities between the two design styles. However, it is important to identify the differences when speaking of home design. Modern design typically refers to an era in the past with a long history spread over a variety of different styles. For example, Art Deco was born in the 1920s, as well as mid-century modern in the 50s. Clean architectural lines, open floor plans, and oversized windows are features often found in modern homes.
The contemporary style of a home refers to the here and now, along with the future of home design. Sleek, state-of-the-art materials are used throughout the home, with a minimalist approach, all the while taking advantage of advances in building technology and materials. Restraint in the use of ornate, exterior decor is common in this style of home. Oversized windows refuse decorative trim and flat, or low-pitched, roofs often include deep overhangs.
This style of home was first seen in Chicago when a few architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, got together to blend nature-based architecture with the Arts and Crafts Movement. Prairie homes focus on the horizontal lines, rather than vertical, remaining close to the earth. They take advantage of the space offered on their lots by spreading out, while featuring flat or low-pitched hip roofs.
The mountain style of home focuses on the picturesque landscape by providing grand living spaces oriented to take advantage of the sweeping and stunning views. Whether cozy or quite grand, modern or traditional, the consistent feature of this style is the cozy atmosphere and mountain setting.
This style of home no longer remains solely in the state of Florida, but can be found in a variety of regions. Their open interiors, which often extend onto verandas and porches, serve as great vacation, or coastal, homes. Spanish and Mediterranean influences are often seen in Florida-style homes, whether due to the clay tile roof or stucco exterior.