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28 Modern house designs – floor plans and small house ideas

By Elise Hodge

Updated: April 13th, 2022

Knocking down to rebuild or buying off the plan? Here are lots of ideas for you!

Choosing a house design is a big decision because it will shape how you live in your home. Modern house designs need to include so many different areas, such as multi-use spaces, open-plan living, smaller house ideas, multi-story houses, and maybe even underground solutions.

Regardless of whether you’re going for something worthy of being on Grand Designs (one of the best architecture tv shows) or just to buy off the plan, there’s a lot to think about.

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When it comes to style design, there are so many beautiful styles on the market right now – from green and sustainable, to barn and farmhouse, to modern concrete, to white and bright, and so much more. With so many options, it can be pretty overwhelming to know where to begin.

To help you get started on your home project, I’ve compiled 28 modern house design ideas, including everything from floor plans, tiny cottages, entry-level family homes and more. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Modern house floor plans

When you start the design process of your house, you need to make sure you include your must-haves but also make sure that you’re being true to yourself and ruling out things that you don’t need.

1. Central living three-bedroom plans

There’s nothing that says the heart of the home more than a central living area with bedrooms coming off in all directions. Complete with a garage, multiple bathrooms, walk-in-robes and an outdoor terrace – this seems like a dreamy house!

multi-bedroom house plans
Source: Shutterstock

2. A multi-level three-bedroom home

For the inner-city living, multiple floors are so common and you’d be surprised if you came across a single floor house. This example floor plan has all the bedrooms compacted together and communal areas, plus a garage, on the bottom floor.

small three bedroom house plans
Source: Shutterstock

3. A one-bedroom apartment

With a one-bedroom apartment, you may (or may not) be lucky to play with a little bit of space to have defined areas. I really like how this floor plan has a breakfast bar but also a dining table if you were to have a few friends around.

Source: Shutterstock
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Now, what about style…

4. Contemporary family home

If you have a large family and want a contemporary home to suit your style, this is the perfect house for you. Complete with large windows overlooking a gorgeous blue pool – it’s a kids (and adults) paradise!

modern house exterior backyard
Source: Shutterstock

5. Barn-style home

With 1,878 square feet, this beautiful white timber plan offers three bedrooms and open living spaces. The best part: the kitchen has a huge island, which creates a central gathering spot for snacking, socialising and enjoying time with family and friends. Another bonus: extra space in the garage!

Source: Shutterstock

6. Modern farmhouse

To update your farmhouse, look at replacing (or in this case, repainting) all of the natural timbers to a crisp light white. This will instantly modernise your country manor.

You can also look to replace window treatments, add skylights throughout, fit bi-fold doors and install modern fixtures throughout. It will really make the statement, everything old is new again, ring true.

7. Modern Mediterranean house

Classic Mediterranean architecture and design means terracotta, exposed wooden beams and bright colours used throughout in terms of styling, wall colours and most importantly tiles. But it’s a look that can date quite easily, so what if you could modernise it by using lots of white, and concentrate colour with pops of it in one item, instead of large scale colour schemes… Well here’s what it could look like.

Source: Photo by Florian Rebmann on Unsplash

8. Mix old with the new

When building your home, you don’t have to start from scratch. This corner block combines an old, brick structure with a new modular design that looks stunning from the street.  The simple, geometric addition stands independently from the brick, working in nicely with the original design.

If you love these designs and inspired to make some changes of your own. It’s worth speaking to a residential architect to make sure you get the right advice for your home.

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Modern house design features

9. Elevated ceiling heights

Natural light is one of the most requested items in a new build. Having elevated ceilings is an addition that you could include in your renovation to make your living space seem a lot larger and really appeal to the open plan living requirements.

10. Waterfall idea

Look if you’re going all out, go all out with this waterfall that falls down into your stunning pool.

Source: Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

11. Curves

Curves are back baby! And I’m talking about in architecture and interior design. I’ve seen them in bathrooms, hallways and here is a lovely living room space that stylishly brings in curves.

Source: Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

12. Light and airy

When it comes to space, floor-to-ceiling windows or curtains make any room appear larger. High ceilings also make it appear significantly roomier.

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Environmentally friendly house designs

13. Green living house

If you’re wanting to limit your environmental impact (and also save money on your electricity bills) look no further than putting solar panels on your roof. It doesn’t have to look ‘ugly’ but if incorporated to the overall design at the start of the planning phase, it can look quite remarkable.

solar panels on house roof
Source: Shutterstock

14. Go green – on the roof!

Green roofs are being used as a key element in sustainable housing. Besides being great for the environment and your home’s overall sustainability, they also add value to the visual appearance of your house. Make the most of the space by adding your favourite flowers, herbs or vegetables. And if you like to bask in the sun, add an outdoor dining table and chairs.

Source: Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
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Modern house design materials

15. Contemporary concrete house

This two-storey grey house is as modern as they get. It has a stunning slick design with expansive wide windows that allow plenty of natural light inside. The front of the home features a simple landscaped area with gravel and greenery.

Source: Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash

16. Wooden facade

This design shows exactly how to use wooden facade cladding to make your home modern and fresh. Modern houses usually have slick concrete walls, but the combination of timber, glass and metal makes this home warm and welcoming.

Source: Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

17. Clean black lines

This design maintains the home’s original period character on the facade while using minimalist fittings and furnishings inside to bring the design into the 21st century. The home is centred around the back patio, and natural light fills the space with skylights and glass sliding doors.

Source: Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

18. Brick modern house design

Who says red brick houses are only a thing of the past? Here’s a stunning modern adaptation on the red brick exterior, which when paired with the black turns it into a lovely industrial/modern design.

Source: Photo by Terrah Holly on Unsplash
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Box-shaped modern house design

19. Light, light and more light

When considering your house build, never underestimate the power of natural light. Bright, airy spaces that allow for plenty of natural light can significantly lift your mood. The overall design of your home is the first thing you should think about when it comes to energy efficiency and all-round comfort.

You should position your house to make the most of your climate zone. Think about the location of the sun in the morning, afternoon and evening. Plan the positioning and size of your windows so that they provide the right amount of shade. Don’t miss this step, because it will ultimately determine how comfortable you will feel and will even impact the amount of money you save in heating and cooling bills.

20. White and bright

This modern flat-roof design is the perfect family home. The bright white colours, clean lines and manicured greenery make this house a minimalist’s dream.


Source: Photo by Luigi Estuye, LUCREATIVE® on Unsplash

21. Compact and minimal

If you’re the kind of person who prefers neat and small over expansive and grand, then you’re going to love this design. This simple two-storey home strikes the perfect balance between visually appealing and practical. Small house design based on minimalism and a less-is-more approach can do wonders – a de-cluttered space equals a de-cluttered mind!

Source: Photo by Julia Kuzenkov from Pexels

22. Hillside home

It may seem complicated to plan and build a house on a hillside, but the breathtaking views and unique elements are sure to be worth the effort. If you’re building on a hill, your home might include a split-level design, modern exterior, glass walls and copper screens, an expansive pool, timber stairs, an open-concept kitchen and so much more.

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Out-of-the-box house designs

23. A tent house

Love glamping? Then you’ll love to be in your own personal glamping inspired tent house. Designed to mix in with the surrounding forest environment, tent homes can be larger than they seem from the outside, with ample living space and stunning views from every room.

24. Compact beach house

The two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot modern cottage has a sandstone exterior with an asymmetrical flat roof. Window walls wrap the beach-facing facade, creating the feeling of being on a boat.

Source: Photo by Durian Bullet on Unsplash

25. Geodesic dome house

The design possibilities for a house like this are almost endless. The open floor plan means you can insert or remove walls almost anywhere, because a dome home doesn’t need any interior framing. This home is a blank canvas with plenty of possibilities!

Source: Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

26. Abstract modern designed home

This one has a little bit of everything. Using multiple materials brings a lot of visual interest to the exterior, including this timber-lined roof. It’s a lot but it’s actually not over the top when you see it.

Source: Photo by Avi Werde on Unsplash

27. Add a mural

If you’re wanting a wow-factor on the outside of your house, why not add a mural by a local artist. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but something to add a pop of colour.

28. Contemporary monolith

This modern home has living spaces on the upper floor, as well as plenty of covered parking and storage below. The exterior features beautiful stacked stone and commercial-style windows and door units. There’s no shortage of storage and relaxation space in this home. It also includes energy-saving features such as spray-foam roof insulation, internal foam wall insulation, an on-demand water heater, and high-efficiency air conditioning.

Source: Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
From small and compact, to green and sustainable, to large and bold – there are so many house styles to choose from! I hope this post has opened up your mind to the design possibilities and inspired you to take action on your own house project. Before you go, I’d love to hear from you! Comment and tell me which design was your favourite.
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Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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  1. Rodolfo Moraca

    Nice and inspiring

  2. Martin

    Onyx marble is a very beautiful natural stone. We sell a number of onyx marble products that will look stunning in your home.