Moving Toward Modern: New Englanders are gravitating toward a modern aesthetic

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Moving Toward Modern: New Englanders are gravitating toward a modern aesthetic

In a region steeped in history, one could be forgiven for assuming that every home in “stodgy” New England must be filled with family heirlooms and sterling silver (preferably something made locally by the likes of Paul Revere). Yet from the hills of Western Massachusetts and happening Portland, Maine to the windswept dunes of Outer Cape Cod, many New Englanders are gravitating toward a decidedly more modern aesthetic in their home.

It was on the Outer Cape that Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany, along with like-minded architects and designers, began building modern homes in the middle of the 20th century, so perhaps the recent trend toward modern design isn’t all that surprising.

The concept of living in a simplified space free of clutter, with sleek lines, oversized windows and a liberal use of glass, metal and stone, appears to have wide appeal in today’s plugged-in world.

A recent story in Boston Home magazine, aptly titled “Steel the Show,” features the completed renovation of an Italian Renaissance Revival home in Newton. While the exterior looks like the historic grand dame that she is, an innovative remodel conceived by architect Treff LaFleche, principal at LDa Architecture & Interiors in Cambridge, has given the interior space a thoroughly modern flair.

The home’s kitchen, shown below, features twin islands and chef-grade stainless steel appliances. The use of wood for the flooring and laid horizontally onto the cabinetry beautifully warms the space.

This kitchen, designed by Donna Venegas from Venegas and Company in association with Jennifer Palumbo, pairs sleek, geometric lines with warm wood accents. An intricate tile backsplash and shiplap lining the ceiling add texture.

Blonde wood and glossy white walls create a bright, open feel in this relatively small kitchen space, also designed by Donna Venegas from Venegas and Company in association with Jennifer Palumbo. The pared down color palette also allows the homeowners’ art collection to take center stage.

Oversized windows are one of the defining characteristics of modern design. A classic Bauhaus-style home in Wellfleet, featured on Remodelista, includes entire walls constructed with floor-to-ceiling windows.

In the home shown below, casement windows make a modern statement when paired with Mad Men mod furnishings. Once the window of choice for ill-thought 1970s remodels, casement windows have recently been surging in popularity among designers and homeowners.

It’s difficult to imagine this waterfront home with anything other than glorious, view-grabbing windows. Every inch is devoted to soaking in the water views. The transom-style windows add the perfect sense of balance to the lower vented windows.

With New England becoming as widely known for its cutting-edge technology as it is for centuries-old buildings, the emergence of modern design is a welcome trend.