Take a look at 10 homes that champion both traditional and modern design at the same time.
Location: Milford, Pennsylvania
Both saw the school as such a fine example of the white clapboard structure that prevails in Milford that they resisted the idea of installing an anonymous contemporary interior. Instead, they sought to embrace both periods of the building’s history when making all design decisions. "The relative simplicity of the historic exterior needed to be mirrored by a comparable feeling in the inside," says Duman.
To add to the feeling of spaciousness, bookcases are set back on the upstairs landing.
Location: Birmingham, England
Faux timber doors, painted black, along with a brick facade help the dwelling blend with its surroundings: the Victorian homes of the Moseley neighborhood in Birmingham, UK.
The kitchen features a porcelain tile backsplash and a quartz countertop.
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Brammy and Kyprianou hardly touched the front of their house, an 1880 sandstone and brick Victorian with galvanized iron ornamentation.
We positioned the window seat in the northeast corner of the window so that as the sun goes down it catches the last rays. I often read there. When I stop and am still, the dogs love it, lying down below me on the floor.
4. A Traditional Edwardian with a Twist by Drew Mandel
Location: Lake Ontario, Canada
Mandel mounted the fireplace in a blackened-steel frame, which echoes the window and door treatment on the house’s new facade.
Mandel designed a six-by-eight-foot extension for additional space on the ground floor.
Location: London, England
Set in a conservation area, the home’s façade was designed to blend into the street’s terrace style. To that end, it is clad in red bricks from Traditional Brick & Stone and punctuated with sash windows. The concrete toned lintels hint subtly at the modernity that lies within.
The kitchen is situated in a sunken basement, underneath the staircase’s walnuts steps. The same joiner who built the house’s timber elements built the white cabinetry which are finished in a 40% gloss lacquer. Silestone countertops and integrated appliances maintain the space’s simple lines. Additional storage is fitted under the staircase.
Location: Sydney, Australia
From the street, the house’s decorative facade reveals nothing of the dramatic contemporary extension at the back. But architect Hannah Tribe says its two faces have more in common than a first glance reveals. Its basic forms were delineated in sharp black paint that highlights their geometry. She calls the effect "suburban uncanny"—"clean, blunt modernism that is slightly odd and familiar at the same time."
As in the kitchen, the bathroom features custom wooden cabinetry and Brodware faucets.
Location: The London Borough of Hackney, England
With the deliberate exception of its glass wall, the addition blends in seamlessly with the existing Victorian home. Its bricks were repurposed from the demolition process as were the windows for the upper level’s new bedroom.
The dining area looks out directly at the garden with only a solitary hanging light interrupting sightlines. Eames fiberglass chairs surround the dining table. Pale finishes, including the wood flooring by Reclaimed Flooring Company, further augment the sense of airiness.
8. A Sophisticated Townhouse by SHH Architects
Location: London, England
Behind a traditional facade, the house was stripped to the studs and rebuilt with a timber and steel frame and a rear extension. "We were working in a conservation district," says McLauchlan, "and there was a lot of back-and-forth with the community before the design got off the ground. We accommodated specific concerns about light pollution by adding a one-way film to the glass stair shaft."
The kitchen, Bulthaup island, and overhanging entrance-level comprise the remainder of the extension. A five-story double-sided, weld-free aluminum bookcase begins in the kitchen and rises through the lounge. A staircase traces every inch of it so that material can be readily accessed.
Location: Le Plateau Mont-Royal, Canada
At the city’s request, the design at the front of the home did not receive a major change—which included keeping the duplex’s stairs. "Everything is restored, but in a way that is respectful," Blouin said.
Uniformity was the basis of the home’s design, and the stairs were included in that mindset. The steel structure was painted white, and walnut steps conform to the same wood used throughout the home.
10. A Victorian Gets a Modern Makeover by +tong tong
Location: Toronto, Canada
The triangular window from the bedroom looks out towards the street. The window includes a custom blind for shading. A zinc awning covers the front door.
The space includes a vent-free fireplace in the dining room from EcoSmart Fire.