What’s in a dream home?
Today’s most modern and futuristic homes boast eco-friendly materials, smartphone synchronicity and dazzling designs – but some architects and designers go even further, challenging our notions of home and living. Can a modern home also be a luxurious oasis? Here are 13 modern homes that feature unique characteristics, redefine how space is used and push the boundaries of both style and function.
1. Four Level Modern Mexican Home by Agraz Arquitectos
This sleek, modern home in the Santa Anita Golf Club of Tlajomulco in Jalisco, Mexico, is built into a slope and features four different levels: one for cars, one for social areas (kitchen, living room, dining room) one for the master bedroom and one for additional bedrooms. Its sumptuous wine cellar looks nothing like a cellar, and the way it includes outdoor living space completely redefines “open concept.”
2. South African Cliffside Bachelor Pad by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
The ocean views, giant bar and outdoor hot tub make this stunning home in Bantry Bay the perfect bachelor pad – but what’s most impressive and unique is its infinity pool, which runs alongside the home’s sunken living room. You can watch people swim like you’re watching TV! The romantic recessed lighting makes me think this could be a great bachelorette pad, too.
3. Eccentric Malaysian Mixed-Material S11 House from ArchiCentre
Why does your home need one consistent theme or color scheme? The design team at ArchiCentre used brick, concrete, hardwood, marble and other materials in the design for the “S11 house,” which was finished last year in Malaysia. Adjoining rooms contain pops of pink, green, yellow and purple; the monochrome sleek grey kitchen stands in stark contrast to nearby rooms with wall-to-wall brick and wood. An outdoor space is even painted in army camouflage!
4. The Komb House by Karim Rashid
Karim Rashid’s cool, futuristic Komb House includes solar panel heated water, energy-efficient appliances,
reuse of pluvial and grey water, low energy LED lighting and raised radiant flooring – but we’re most interested by the “combs” that give the house its name. These reclaimed wooden fins (which look like comb teeth) are set at angles to let in light while also providing privacy. Inside, the house consists of four main areas known as “play,” “eat,” “sleep” and “cleanse.”
5. The Zero House
The Zero House puts a modern spin on the idea of a pre-fabricated home. Unlike other modern eco-friendly homes, the Zero House isn’t one-of-a-kind; it can be built quickly and shipped easily. It includes a full kitchen, bath, and all the necessities for four adults – but what makes it different is that it can operate independently, without any external utility or waste disposal connections. It’s perfect for remote or ecologically sensitive areas.
6. Australian Wave-Shaped Beach House by Brian Meyerson Architects
When we think of modern design, harsh angles and lines come to mind – but this futuristic home in Bondi Beach, Australia challenges that notion in its wavelike shape. Despired by Brian Meyerson Architects, this contemporary abode is tucked in close to its neighbors, but maximizes its seaside comfort with tall windows that let in light and ocean breezes. Inside, the beach house features plenty of soft curves to make it cozy.
7. Acqua Liana Oceafront Palm Beach Oasis by Frank McKinney
Frank McKinney’s Acqua Liana is named for the Tahitian and Fijian word for “water flower” – and the home was designed based on the theme of liquid serenity. It’s equipped with all kinds of eco-friendly features, such as solar panels, water recycling systems on the roof and air quality purifiers – but it doesn’t look like most minimalist eco-friendly homes; instead, it’s lush and luxurious, with 5 bedrooms and 11 baths (for a total of over 5,000 square feet). Acqua Liana also includes a breathtaking glass “water floor” with hand-painted tiles in a Monet-inspired Lotus garden motif, a 2,000 gallon arched aquarium wet bar, a 24-foot oceanfront sheeting water walls and a 10-foot kitchen and dining water wall. It’s like living in the ocean!
8. Washington Park Hilltop Residence Overlooking Lake Washington
Water is also a prominent theme in Stuart Silk Architects’ H-shaped Washington Park Hilltop Residence, which overlooks Lake Washington. Inspired by the canals of Suzhou and Venice, passages leading to the private rooms also point guests toward the home’s breathtaking views of the Lake Washington, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades.
9. Eco-Friendly 10,000-Square-Foot Log Cabin in Larkspur, Colorado
This 10,000 square foot “log cabin” in Larkspur, Colorado challenges both the size of a usual cabin and the cost of maintaining the utilities of such a luxurious place. Made from sustainable and repurposed materials and outfitted with solar panels, this 5-bedroom, 8 bathroom dream home only costs about $400 a month in utilities. It’s also cozy and rustic, with many unique features: its floor-to-ceiling gas fireplace is hand-built from volcanic pumice, which is naturally insulating and reflects heat more efficiently than traditional stone, and its stunning artisan chandelier is made from driftwood.
10. Studio MK27’s Mirindibas Residence in Sao Paulo, Brazil
What if your entire wall was a sliding glass door? That’s the case at the Mirindibas Residence in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This sleek, stunning bachelor pad exemplifies openness with an open concept floor plan and a relaxing combination of indoor and outdoor space. Completed in 2006 by Studio MK27, the contemporary house comes in at just under 9,000 square feet.
11. $30 Million Rustic Townhouse in Manhattan
If you’ve got the $30 million needed to snag 80 Washington Place in Greenwich Village, New York City, you can escape from the cramped, bustling city. This masculine but cozy townhouse, originally built in 1839, has been completely remodeled with stainless steel appliances, recessed lighting, wooden floors, stone walls, and exposed brick – making it feel modern and historic at the same time. It’s the ultimate urban oasis.
12. Casa Kolonihagen, A Summer Retreat in Norway
Why should a summer house be huge – don’t you want to spend the summer months outside? That’s the principle behind Casa Kolonihagen, a Norwegian holiday retreat with just 24 square meters (258 square feet) of indoor living space. It sounds tiny, and it is – but guests will have plenty of room to lounge outside on decks and patios (there’s also a long communal table on the grass). The house, designed by Tommie Wilhelmsen, is also a budget-friendly escape.
13. Baan Citta Vacation Home in Bangkok, Thailand
Designed by XXS Architects, the Baan Citta house is the ultimate urban oasis. Located in the North part of Bangkok, this dazzling lakefront home offers a zen environment that’s also sleek and modern. Inside, the exotic vacation home features whimsical pops of color amid a neutral palette of soothing whites, blacks and grays.
Amanda has been writing for several entertainment, tech, shopping and business websites since 2009. A resident of Los Angeles, she also works as a screenwriter, script reader and tutor. She's obsessed with film and TV, and is not afraid to admit that her Samsung Galaxy SIII is her most prized possession.