Contemporary homes are designed for modern elegance and practicality, but rarely are they designed for warmth. It’s not uncommon for a newly-built home to appear cold, sterile, and unwelcoming to the average homeowner and visitor. However, just because a house is modern doesn’t mean it has to lack warmth. You might be able to inject some much-needed coziness in some of the following ways.
Walls and doors in neutral colors like white and beige are standard in any new build. While they undoubtedly add to the modernity of the home, they don’t inject any warmth into a property.
Instead of white doors, consider internal timber doors through a leading supplier like Doors Plus. While timber doors are traditionally found on decades-old homes, they can also complement a contemporary property and add richness and warmth where you need it the most. Internal doors can be your door style of choice in a new build, or you can install them in a pre-constructed property during the renovation process.
While you don’t need to stray far from modern colors like white and beige, it doesn’t hurt to follow the 80/20 rule. This common decorating rule describes using neutral colors in 80% of your home, with the remaining 20% for warm accents.
Warm colors are typically variations of yellow, red, and orange, and these pair beautifully with neutral hues like white, gray, black, and tan. However, the 80/20 color scheme rule is not set in stone. Depending on room sizes and color intensity, you might opt for less or more color.
Incorporate Wood Furniture
While timber internal doors can go a long way toward warming up a home, wood furniture might also help. There is nothing wrong with opting for solid, contemporary furniture in shades of black, white, gray, and similar, but even just a hint of wood in a room might have the desired effect.
For example, you might incorporate a wood breakfast bar in a predominantly white kitchen or a wooden coffee table in a black-and-white-themed living space for an industrial theme. Wood furniture, when manufactured to a high standard, is also easy-care and stands the test of time.
Hardwood, laminate, and tile floors can feel cold underfoot. Unless they boast rich colors like mahogany and walnut, you might also find that they look cold. Combat that problem by purchasing rugs and placing them strategically throughout your home. Not only do rugs feel luxurious to walk on, but they can also make a space appear visually warmer.
However, don’t be afraid to take your time with this process to ensure you purchase the right rug for the right space. For example, if you have a patterned sofa in your living area, a rug in a solid color would reduce the risk of a space appearing ‘busy.’ If you have a modern room with clean lines and simple furnishings, a patterned rug might be the show-stopper the space is missing.
You don’t always need to spend thousands of dollars painting your walls or changing furniture to warm up your home. Sometimes, warmth can be achieved with a simple light bulb change. If you currently have ‘cool’ lightbulbs, consider swapping them out for ‘warm’ lightbulbs and seeing if the change in light type makes a difference. Sometimes, when cool lighting is paired with stark colors like bright white, it adds unnecessary sterility that can be hard to combat, even with furniture changes and warm rugs.
If you don’t think you’ll have any trouble remembering to water houseplants, incorporating a few into the most frequently used parts of your home might make it feel more homely. There are many easy-care plants to choose from that have adequate greenery to liven up any space, such as succulents, peace lilies, aloe, and snake plants.
Choose a large, neutrally-colored pot, place your plant of choice inside, and put it somewhere prominent in a living room, kitchen, or bedroom for a beautiful contrast against neutral colors.
Many modern homes built today have in-ceiling lighting to provide adequate illumination in an elegant and energy-efficient way. While you don’t have to buck the trend and do away with your in-ceiling lighting, you might like to incorporate unique light fixtures like string pendant lights and sconces in exciting materials to add depth and vibrancy to your home.
If you can’t change the light fixtures you have permanently in place, enhance a space with floor lamps. These come in a wide range of materials, like concrete, glass, wood, and metal, to be a focal point and add warmth.
There is nothing wrong with preferring a simple home and a minimalistic approach. However, something as simple as a painting on your wall might be all it takes for guests to feel warm and welcome in your home.
Before you visit your local art gallery or retailer and buy the first piece you find, take a moment to consider what will suit your home the best. Alongside considering your budget, you also have to work with your existing home’s style and take your furniture and walls into account. It’s also vital to ensure the wall-to-painting ratio is correct.
Most interior designers recommend the 4/7 rule, meaning your art should take up 4/7 of the wall width. Work out this calculation by multiplying your wall width by 0.57 to determine how wide your art piece should be.
For example, if your wall is four meters wide, you would multiply 4 x 0.57 to receive 2.28m. This would mean that the total width of your art on that particular wall would look at its best at 2.28m or 7.48 feet wide. If you plan to hang artwork above your sofa, ensure photos aren’t wider than the sofa, with the bottom frame hanging about 7-10 inches from the top of your couch.
Making your home appear warmer doesn’t have to be an expensive or stressful process. Instead, it can be as easy as putting a new rug on your living room floor, changing the light bulbs, or investing in timber doors. You might be surprised by how many DIY options there are to transform your modern home into something a little cozier.