The Three Pillars of Interior Home Design

The Three Pillars of Interior Home Design

Have an upcoming interior design project? Knowing where to start and where to allocate your budget can be tricky. As an architect with more than a decade of experience I can attest to this. As much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself without a clear way forward. In such cases, I try to break things down into a roadmap that I’m familiar with. I’ve found that three different areas of focus can turn any interior project into a winner without much stress.

Pillar One: Neutral Colors Are Forever

Nearly every client expresses their desire to get crazy with at least one room. This usually is expressed as the desire for some bizarre accent furniture or weird architectural feature. Many times it comes up as a very colorful paint.

I’m not saying bright colors can’t work. I’ve seen plenty examples of deep red walls against mahogany that make my artistic heart sing. Not only are these cases rare but they illustrate great expense as well.

I urge all my clients to reserve their flair for the sensational for paintings, plants, and other types of transient decor. That is, things that can be easily changed.

I recommend painting all walls a neutral base tone that would accommodate black and white photography as well as it would wall-sized abstract sculptures of varying colors. Finding the best paint color for interior walls is more about realizing what you don’t want as it is anything else!

Pillar Two: Furniture Helps Rooms Feel Complete

The key point to consider here is to allow for the expense of buying new furniture when you remodel a room. If there’s existing furniture that’s pat of the overall motif—fine. In many cases there’s a need to reassess which types of furniture are present all together.

There’s no situation where budget isn’t of concern. The key to having well-chosen furniture is to not overextend oneself on construction costs. This isn’t always true but usually a good place to start. For larger projects that involve structural design I recommend allocating 30% of total budget for furniture. There’s nothing emptier than a brand new room without furniture.

Keep in mind that not every piece of furniture in your home has to be from luxury furniture brands. Bargain hunting at the local Salvation Army works just as well. There are online retailers such as WayFair that constantly have sales on large case goods and upholstery. You’re limited in selection but, if you aren’t rushed for time, can save thousands. A little bit of planning goes a long way!

Pillar Three: Less is More

This echoes into every aspect of my professional approaches. Less rooms, less wiring, less space, less colors, etc. By approaching every design decision with the mindset of limiting variables one quickly finds that complex tasks become manageable.

Paint all walls in the house the same color. Use the same shape for all the base molding. Buy all your furniture from the same brand. Buy all your appliances from the same company, in the same color, from the same line. These might sound like hard-nosed stances but there’s a magical lining just beneath the surface.

By approaching decisions so simply I find that an underlying continuity emerges. Each room starts to feel as if it is part of a larger whole. Each theme coalesces into a larger meaning. Uniformity given to underlying layers of design tend to give rise to beautiful systems of harmony on a larger scale. Just remember: interior design is art.

Bringing it All Together

These three basic considerations each have their own merit. Together they provide a basic framework by which one can understand any interior design project more easily. I apply this framework to any project I feel stuck or uninspired about. At the end of the day it’s all about finding inspiration. Sometimes one needs simply to spend some time building one’s canvas before knowing what to paint!

Modern Architecture From the Past

Modern Architecture From the Past

It might sound peculiar to reference century-old designs when discussing modern architecture. To some degree, one could argue that any design is “modern” during the period in which it was conceived. However, the tell-tale characteristics of what we define as modern are what I’m after here. Straight edges, “boxy” designs, and lots of glass make up what I consider “modern.”

Not-So-Modern Modernist

The Modernist style is very distinct. Among the many characteristics of this style, one will find everything works towards a sense of minimalism. Simple (yet elegant and often curious) lines are often accompanied by simple textures and materials. Simple, in this instance, refers to the visual experience. Marbles, highly-figured woods, and decorative patterns be damned; the modernists won’t have any of it! Modernism is as much a philosophy as it is a style. Architects of this style often approach design from a more analytical perspective, often employing cutting-edge techniques to simulate forces such as gravity. Designs of this style are characterized, at least in part, by these traits:

  • Prominent use of Concrete
  • Cubic and Cylindrical shapes
  • Flat roof structures
  • Lots of glass and metal framing
  • Asymmetry
  • Solid and “bland” colors

The Company One Keeps

Modernism was a very niche pursuit for many years. Architects that build within the context of this minimalist style were often criticised for their perversion of the craft. Many such architects have found their names lifted on high among critics several decades after their prime. One might call this the curse of being ahead of one’s time. Some famous Modernist architects you may recognize are:

  • Frank Llyod Wright
  • Philip Johnson
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Le Corbusier
  • Rem Koolhaas

Some of these architects are of days passed, others are still alive and aware of their fanbases. What all these designers have in common is their pursuit of a minimalistic impression of common architectural themes. There won’t be any ornate carvings or decorative elements here. These artisans choose to inspire us through what they choose to leave out rather than what they choose to include.

Famous Examples

What would a post on famous architecture be without some examples! Here are some of my personal favorite from many different eras of architecture. I find all of them to inspire a minimalist perspective when I consider my next project.

Bank of London and South America, Buenos Aires

Bank of London Brutalist Modern

This building was designed with a brutalists impression of modern architecture. Its almost-governmental spirit is contrasted by the softly-rounded recesses on the facade. This is one of my favorite buildings mostly because it’s located downtown around other common buildings without a care in the world.

Habitat 67, Montreal

Habitat 67, Montreal

This Safdie McGill design was first presented in the 1967 World’s Fair, though it had been an evolution in progress for some time. This design exemplifies the use of boxes, glass, and concrete common to Modernist styles. I love this work mostly because it maintains such a welcoming and granular impression while remaining a very large overall structure.

Geisel Library, San Diego

Geisel Library

Part brutalist brilliance, part spaceship; this is one of the most iconic designs in Modernist architecture. I’ll admit, it usually makes the “top ten lists” for brutalist feeds moreso than vanilla modernism. Still, this design illustrates how simple concrete can be used to create outlandish, yet efficient, designs. If I had to put my love for this design into a single phrase it’d be “form follows function.”

Keeping Inspired

Many of the best modern architectural designs have one thing in common: they were harshly criticised long before they were appreciated. There’s a place for recognizing constructive criticism from clients, peers, and mentors. There is not a place for giving credence to the wailing of those without constructive feedback. Those that would claim a building defies their diety of choice or “ruins” the surrounding area shouldn’t be given any consideration at all. Love your designs and follow your heart. Architecture is an art after all, not a science (mostly!)

Popular Modern Home Designs

Popular Modern Home Designs

Over the decades, homes have continued to undergo an evolution of style as designers have morphed, graphed, adapted, and flirted with modern trends that have inspired many. For this reason, modern home designs are at once diverse, while still containing ideas that overlap and even run together at times. However, there have been six home designs that have become classic since the mid-20th century, with many variations on these central themes. To gain a better understanding and a better appreciation of these home designs, consider these popular modern choices:

Craftsman Design is Centered Around the Porch

Oceanic Design


With some inspiration from traditional Asian trends, the Craftsman style home design is at once richly inviting and welcoming in its details. With a focus on wood materials and a bungalow-like appearance, this style conveys relaxation and warmth in its approach. Often highlighting gorgeous porches out front, they feature simple, yet elegant railings that have become synonymous with the style. Shingle siding is usually the most common for this style, but you may also occasionally see stucco or other materials with the same stylistic feel, while brick is reserved for decorative elements such as a column or two in addition to the chimney. Homes in this style are highly-sought after and often preserved in historic neighborhoods that focus on modern style.

Proportion Brings Together Prairie-Style Foursquare

Like many of our modern home styles, this one also features a focus on simplicity. With a box-like style, they also often include a porch out front, though not with the same emphasis that the Craftsman style does. Instead, the priority is put on a design that is stripped down and straightforward. In fact, the inside of the home is often cubed into 4 equal rooms. Symmetry is the design element most at play in this style of home, which gives it its name. While this style isn’t as well-known as the Craftsman, you’ll still find many homes with this approach, and many that draw from this tradition.

Japanese-inspired Modern Designs are Bold, Yet Graceful

Prairie Split Level Rancher


While this style can be incredibly diverse and still include aspects of more Western-style architecture, Japanese-inspired modern home design goes beyond the mere nod to Asian styles. It’s true that some of our other styles draw from Asian concepts, but in Japanese-inspired modern design, you’ll find more direct parallels to ideas that are wholly taken from traditional home design in Japan. For example, it’s not uncommon to find inside doors featuring windows paneled in paper or extensive use of exposed wood throughout the home. You may even see a focus on circles to complement that cleanliness of long rich lines and squares. This style remains at the top of trends for modern home design.

Art Deco For Something a Little Different

Skyscraper 3D Model


Once popular in the early part of the 20th-century, the Art Deco style is making a bit of a comeback in today’s home design. Its defining elements include a commitment to flat roofs and large expanses of stucco on the exterior of a home. While the style might feel basic, where it excels is in its interesting ornamentation, which often includes vertical pieces of ribbing, flute-like shapes, and others. Details are often symmetrical as well, aiding in the sense of harmony and unity of any home design. While seen less often than the other styles here, it still makes for a great choice for a style that is unique, yet classic.

Modernism with a Bit of European Internationalism



For a style that is at once breath-taking as it is economical, Modernism draws from European Internationalism still focuses on function over a form like many modern styles, but with a brilliance that can hardly be denied. Because modern design focuses on clean design and a simple approach, this style incorporates glass in a way that opens up spaces to their full potential while also including aspects that feel as if they’re floating. Exposed steel and concrete keep the home design composition equally as pared down, while glass seems to glitter and hold lighting in a beautiful way. Homes in this style are incredibly popular, and you’ll find many that use elements of this style in their approach.

Ranch-style Keeps a Balanced Approach

It might seem odd to include the Ranch-style design in this list, but really it has become a staple of modern design. As pedestrian as it is ubiquitous, it still holds a special place in modern home design. Also called “rambler,” this style encapsulates the feel of Western-style homes in the United States during the early part of the 20th-century. A low profile and little decoration ensure that this style is completely modern while still being traditional in its roots. It’s becoming more often to see homes in this style incorporating elements like steel roofs or simple front porch decks to increase the feeling of stability and fortitude inherent in them. This style remains incredibly popular for those searching for modern design.

Modern home design seems to have an almost unending amount of choices, but with this guide, you’ll be able to get a sense of the possibilities. From the quirky Art Deco to the traditional Ranch-style, these designs have remained as a foundation for designers and architects the world-over.

Popular Home Designs for a Minimalist Lifestyle

Popular Home Designs for a Minimalist Lifestyle

A simple lifestyle

To some people, minimalism lifestyle is a way of living a happy life and freedom. The main idea behind these simple a home design is having things that only benefit and enhance your life. In essence, a minimalist home has unique characteristics such as minimal furniture, accent decorations, clear surfaces, and prefers quality over quantity. The following are simple designs for a minimalist house.

Small house designs

The Eco-Friendly Kit House



This popular design is comprised of any length with 20-inch interior width and 8-inch side walls. With these measurements, you can also design other varieties. Normally, these types of homes use solar heating that is placed in the windows of the south facing walls. Besides, you can give the house a timber-framed look by using structural long posts along the window walls.

The Taieri Mouth Bach Design


This simple design was the work of Mason & Wales Architects. The inspiration of this design is derived from the original fishing huts found at the mouth of Taieri River. It is often hand built using cheap materials and its gabled shape enables quick construction.

Tuath Na Mara Design

Tuath Na Mara Home


This minimalistic design was developed by MacGabhann Architects. It has a perfect setting thus depicting a modern appearance. This design fits well in the country side since it consists of dark elements. These dark elements help to bring out the beauty of the sceneries close to the house.

The Keret House Design


Karet House REnderingIt is a unique architectural design that supports the theme of living small. It was designed by Jakub Szczesny. The measurements of this house include only 152 centimeters width while the narrowest end is approximately 92 centimeters. Among the smallest house in the world, this design takes the number one spot.

The black shade design

Black Shade hand REndering


This design is a form of a cottage that was developed by Rural Design Architects. It consists of a corrugated roof and black spruce. The entry is made up of natural wood. It looks like a “low-pitched gable roof protecting a rectangular building. This cottage looking structure has polished-concrete floor with the bedroom and bathroom located at the entrance end. It has heavy drapes at the living room that can be converted into a guest bedroom.

The living church design

Found in the Netherlands, and designed by Zecc Architects, the living church is an example of a minimalistic house that was nominated for the Design Award in 2008. Including only the least number of essentials, the design of the church has helped open up space inside.

Bare minimum

The minimalistic lifestyle is one where you don’t keep a lot of stuff in your house or home. A minimalist will choose very few things that he or she loves and uses most often. A minimalist will do away with anything that will distract his comfort in the house. They love living the moment. In short, the following can summarize what minimalism in its entirety means, “Minimalism in its true form detests anything but the bare minimum.

Large Corporations with Sophisticated Designs

Large Corporations with Sophisticated Designs

Super designs

In this era of technological evolution, we are witnessing impressive structural designs in the world. Large corporations for instance, have put a lot of efforts and finances in building eye-catching structures. Some of the designs are so complex that they are worth noting. These large corporations have built lavish offices for their employees. Let’s look at some of the large corporations with complex designs.

The leaders in architectural sophistication

The Hearst Corporation

The Hearst Corporation has its headquarters in Manhattan, in its Hearst tower. This tower houses all the publications under the Hearst Corporation which include the Esquire, the Cosmopolitan, the Marie Claire, Seventeen, and the Harper’s Bazaar.

The Hearst tower is the first skyscraper in New York and it has a triangular framing pattern. It received the Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best skyscraper of that year. Its complex design consumed over 10,000 tons of structural steel.


The BMW Welt is a unique futuristic architectural structure that was designed by Coop Himmelb(L)AU. Visitors are amazed by its remarkable interior that even the smallest details show its uniqueness. The BMW Welt has different room perspectives yet they maintain an easy orientation. The corporation uses this building as a place to present its car brands, and also as a meeting place for customers and visitors from all over the world.



This major shipping corporation has got its headquarters at the CMA CGM tower. The tower links the group between the city of Marseille and the port. Since the tower faces the sea, it offers its employees an excellent work environment. This asymmetrical structure is connected by a glass footbridge that resembles the tower’s magnificent exterior.

Besides, this building houses all its equipment such as generators, IT equipment, boiler rooms, cooling units, and technical installations.

Aldar Properties.


Aldar Properties developed the first circular building in the United Arab Emirates. The Aldar headquarters was built with a diagonal grid of steel. Due to its unique shape, it was voted the “Best Futuristic Design” by BEX in 2008. Its set up provides a spectacular view of the canal and sea, the city and also provides an unequaled working environment for international corporations.

General Motors

The General Motors Renaissance Center comprises of seven interconnected skyscrapers with the Detroit Marriott being the third tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere and has the largest rooftop restaurant. The Renaissance Center is the Head Quarters of General Motors. This gigantic and complex center is the tallest in Michigan.

 Encana Corporation

The office headquarters of this corporation is called the Bow situated in Calgary, Alberta Canada. The bow is a 1.7 Million sq. ft and it curves south towards the sun. This building has triangulated sections that have six stories each which create some visual illusion. It was constructed in such a way that the convex façade faces the wind hence it used less amount of steel for the diagrid system.

ING Group

ING Group Architecture


The ING group has its headquarters at the ING house at Zuida, Amsterdam. Its funny shape resembles that of a table on a 16 angled steel legs that are independent of each other. When in the building, you can view the high way from the third floor because the second floor is at an equal height as the high way. Due to its shape, this building is nicknamed, “the shoe” or the “dustbuster”.

Putting work environment into consideration

It is evident that these large corporations have dedicated their finances in ensuring that they come up with state-of-the-art buildings. These buildings are not only used to conduct their businesses but also they provide an essential working environment for their employees. With such unique offices, employees are able to experience excellent work and life balance.