Tips for Building a House When You’ve Never Owned a Home Before

Photography by Lisa Russman

Traditional homes remain some of the most popular among homeowners today. While the traditional design has always meant the celebration of styles and architecture from many different periods, the updated traditional home of tomorrow will provide the perfect outlet to combine modern design features with those from other aesthetics and offer some of the best house designs for the upcoming year. 

What is considered to be traditional is actually a blend of many different styles and eras and often includes pieces from many periods. Most traditional decors, though, include matching furniture, heavy window treatments, many different patterns in one space, and the strategic use of saturated colors. What’s not to love? Modern traditional homes, though, have taken the best of this and combined it with cleaner lines, more function, and even bolder mixing of periods and textures to create an updated, fun, and elegant look. The best house plans for 2020 are eclectic, giving you the paramount of many styles and the opportunity to incorporate all that you love rather than feeling confined by one look. 

The Updated Great Room

While traditional architectural designs for houses usually embrace separation of spaces for specific purposes, modern families are clamoring for great rooms that combine eating and cooking areas with functional social spaces. Why not have both? The contemporary traditional style can still include open-concept design but delineate spaces using color, texture, flooring, and other design choices. Keeping lines clean and color palettes neutral will help tie everything together, but there’s nothing that says that your great room can’t still include a beautiful hutch for your dishes, an inlaid table where everyone can eat, and decorative light fixtures and elements that lend elegance and flair to your eating space. 

Traditional Meets Minimal in the Master Suite

While traditional interior design for the master suite would typically include multitudes of colors and fabrics, why not switch it up by combining the simplicity of a minimalist look with some exciting period touches? Create a monochromatic base by choosing carpet and wall covers that are neutral and nearly identical. Then, bring in punches of color and texture using traditional fabrics, rugs, window treatments, or wall hangings. Selecting pieces with varied patterns but a common color is a way to tie it all together. 

A New Take on Traditional Furnishings

In the past, having a traditional home meant lots of heavy, dark, and possibly dated furniture. Going in the opposite direction, a modern home lacks detail and may feel cold and uncomfortable for many. The happy medium, once again, is a new traditional design. With larger, more comfortable furniture that still has excellent lines and plenty of fun details, this new take on a classic gives you plenty of character and unique touches. 

The Window Treatment Gets a Pare-Down

We all remember the heavy, often dark, overly fussy window treatments of the past several decades. These types of curtains, swags, and valences are a surefire way to make any room look dated, but the traditional design still calls for the use of color or texture on the windows to add interest to your space. Roman shades with bold designs, funky curtains with sumptuous textures, or solid shades that hang from ornate rods are sufficient to block out the sun, give you privacy, and add the right elegant touch to your updated traditional space. 

Traditional Design Brings the Best Ideas Together 

When modern families combine to form new unions, second households, or blended units, that means that there is an opportunity to bring everyone’s favorite furniture and decorative pieces together and celebrate them all. By combining the best of all your extraordinary pieces, your home becomes a reflection of your life before, now, and for the future. The best traditional interiors are those that showcase many styles, which means everyone gets to keep something that they love when households combine.