We love contemporary homes for their smart design and curb appeal, and these homes are no exception. Architects and designers continue to push the envelope and reimagine how we live by using tight angles mixed with curved surfaces, floor-to-ceiling picture windows, and innovative design. Contemporary living adheres to a few principles that define its simple aesthetic: open-floor plans, clean lines, minimal clutter, and a neutral color palette. These elements are key to a serene and sophisticated lifestyle, and general wisdom says that when you elevate your home, you elevate your life. Ahead, contemporary homes from the pages of AD that are certain to inspire.
At a Nashville home, multiple terraces reach out to the landscape.
This Greenwich, Connecticut, home has an aluminum wall that screens the addition, which doubled the size of the house.
The west elevation of a Napa Valley home is seen from nearby vegetation.
A simple glass canopy extends over the entrance to a home outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A bridge cantilevers over the pool of a home in Sonoma, California. Designer Ron Mann added the poolside terrace and used a large fragment of a ceiba tree root as a curtain for the outdoor shower.
Architect Edward M. Jones created this contemporary curvilinear home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A house in East Hampton, New York, designed by architect Michael Haverland.
A bluestone path crosses in front of a Dallas guest home’s garden room, where Lucian Freud’s Large Interior, Notting Hill is on the wall. The slate-and-teak exteriors are designed to blend with the garden.
Architect Dean Nota gave an austere stucco façade to the Venice, California, live-work space he built for photographer Erhard Pfeiffer, disguising the warmth of the airy, loft-style interior and protecting it from the noise of a high-traffic intersection.
Architect Jack Lionel Warner and Los Angeles designer Barbara Barry paired up to create a light-filled house atop a hill in Montecito, California.
The guesthouse of a Connecticut home, viewed from the west, is where crimson-painted stucco wall surfaces contrast with large mahogany-framed windows and a Tuscan-inspired terrace wall culminates.
The roof of a Rancho Palos Verdes, California, home designed by architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner echoes the curves of the hills.
Logs, which architect Antoine Predock imagined as representing fallen trees, are a dominant feature of the rear elevation of a Colorado Rockies home, extending from deep in the landscape through the façade and into the upper reaches of the three-bedroom residence.
The front entrance of a complex Palo Alto, California, residence by architect Steven Ehrlich and designer Mike Witt.
Heavy stainless-steel double doors open to reveal the entrance courtyard and the front door of a renovated 1960s home in Bel Air, California.
The zinc-clad steel gambrel roof of an addition to a Greenwich, Connecticut, home is a counterpoint to the gambrel of the barn.
Windowless, plaid-textured walls made from cast concrete block emphasize privacy on the street-facing side of an East Hampton, New York, home.
With a sculptural stucco exterior and neutral color palette, this unique contemporary home (AD, July 2008) blends gracefully into the surrounding rugged terrain. Conceived by father-son architects Harvey and Conrad Sanchez, the interiors and landscape were created by Ron Mann, who designed bold textural spaces featuring natural materials like recycled wood and locally harvested stone.
Architect Dean Nota strove to get this Venice, California, home up in the air for privacy from the street below. Oriented to an interior courtyard, the office and living areas showcase selective views and are accessed by an outside stairway.
For Brad and Hallie Lakin, architect Carlene Nolan Pederson created a house in southern Illinois that embraces a small knoll at the top of a challenging five-and-a-half-acre site, emphasizing exterior “rooms” and preserving every surrounding tree.
For developer Eric Johnson and his wife, Susanne, architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner designed a concrete, steel, and glass house on an ocean bluff in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
The pool area of this Bel Air, California, home is ideal for outdoor entertaining.
Secluded on 100 desert acres in Utah, a 4,200-square-foot prefab structure, which has two bedrooms and two baths, utilizes solar power.
The slotlike main entrance of a Hamptons beach house by Leroy Street Studio leads through the home to the rear deck.
Juan Miró and his partner Miguel Rivera collaborated on a lakefront guesthouse in Austin, Texas. “The terrace was shaped to avoid encroaching on the setback of the lake and wetlands,” explains Miró. David Mahler, of Environmental Survey Consulting, designed the landscaping to have a very limited ecological impact.
It’s meant to feel ephemeral and diaphanous, as if it were lightly inserted into the meadow, architect Maryann Thompson says of the weekend house she designed for Doug Reed and Will Makris on 42 acres in rural Massachusetts.
A whitewashed wall with gridded windows marks the main entrance to a home near Boca Raton, Florida.