Specifier Review
smart home technology

Creating a modern masterpiece

Smart and simple changes can bring homes into the 21st century 

Television programmes such as Grand Designs have made many viewers yearn for a home that promotes a modern lifestyle. Sleek aesthetics and innovative features are key to bringing aesthetic aspirations to everyday life — but how can a modern home be achieved without building from the ground up? Here, Nick Cowley, managing director at windows and doors manufacturer Euramax, looks at the home improvements that can transform a plain home into a contemporary palace.

Many homeowners crave the latest gadgets and are increasingly interested in adding a modern flare to their properties. While not all of us can create a modern masterpiece from scratch, there are improvements that can be made to give living spaces a modern touch.

Smart technology

Smart homes are the domestic face of the Internet of Things (IoT). Lighting, security cameras and even kettles can now boast functionalities that allow users to manage their homes from the touch of a button. It was once impossible to answer your front door while away from the property, but this is now a reality for many homeowners. In fact, research carried out to mark the start of 2019’s Smart Home Week found that 57 per cent of UK homeowners have a smart device.

However, home appliances cannot be labelled as “smart” simply because they are plugged into the internet. While automated window blinds and remote access doorbells certainly make homelife more comfortable, much of the technology we’ve seen so far would be better suited to the term “connected home”.  As more technologies begin to make use of machine learning and natural language processing, the shift towards truly “smart” devices will soon be upon us.

According to a Top 30 desired smart home additions list, created by iNews, some homeowners seek fridges that can create a shopping list, a self-cleaning carpet and lights that automatically switch off when you fall asleep. It’s clear that smart technology will continue to transform our appliances and security systems, and the technology to help achieve this is well on its way.

Exterior design

Changes to the outside of a home can also enhance its modernity. Homeowners that want to move away from traditional designs, styles and colours may opt for more contemporary exterior finishes. The choice of exterior décor could influence house price and interest, which is particularly important for homeowners who want to sell.

The majority of houses in the UK are built using traditional red brick, a style that isn’t as desired as it once was. Selecting a different colour of brick such as Cotswold Stone, which has a yellow hue, is an easy way to modernise a brick home. This colour brick can give a home a converted barn aesthetic, making it stand out against the rest.

Another way to modernise a property is by installing exterior cladding to enhance the build’s structure. Cladding is available in materials including vinyl, timber and aluminium, and can be used to add style and colour to a plain exterior wall. It can also be used as an architectural enhancement to decorate and accentuate specific areas. For example, façades can emphasise the face of a property, adding modern character to the overall design.

A home does not need to be characterised by its classic red brick and mortar walls. Enhancing exterior walls with colour, texture and decorative features can create a unique style and structure.

Aesthetic enhancement

Whether your home’s theme is minimalist, sleek and stylish, or bright and colourful, it’s important to add features that complement these designs. In a 2019 survey focusing on “kerb appeal”, Homeowners Alliance found that 71 per cent of homeowners agree that good quality and well maintained windows are important home features. 52 per cent also agreed that a “well maintained and attractive” front door is a top consideration.

But what makes windows and doors suitable for a modern home? Firstly, composite materials have become extremely popular thanks to the stylish woodgrain effect that can be etched onto the material. Many composite doors typically have more material than glass panels to emphasise this effect.

On the other hand, windows with more glass than frame are also considered as highly modern features. Large glass panels such as floor to ceiling windows or bi-fold doors are great design features, extending a space and bringing the outdoors in.

A contrasting colour can also add a modern touch. For example, dark grey frames against a neutral brick will define the clean lines of the windows and highlight the entrances into the property. Euramax manufacture bespoke PVCu windows, doors and composite doors, available in Chartwell green, Anthracite grey, royal oak and white. The selection of colours is suitable for a number of exterior finishes and preferences. Euramax’s bespoke service means that window and doors can be customised to any homeowner’s taste, including the number of panels in a composite door.

A Grand Designs style project may break the budget, but making some modern improvements could be the answer to fulfilling your modern dream. Investing in smart technology, enhancing exterior design and considering the colour and material of your windows and doors could help you to achieve a contemporary style palace, without starting from the ground up.

For further information contact:

Euramax Solutions

Telephone: +44 (0) 1226 361639