12 Residential Architecture Features fit for the 21st Century


12 Residential Architecture Features fit for the 21st Century

The residential architecture industry is constantly changing. With each passing decade, residential architects continue to find new ways to improve our quality of lives with innovative features and new design ideas.


In fact, hiring a residential architecture firm is one of the best ways you can increase the total value of your property. Colorado residential architects can help complete a wide range of projects, including custom home designs and major renovations if you’re in the area. No matter where you are, whether you have a specific vision or want total guidance along the way, the right residential architecture firm will help you explore the many different options currently available.


Of course, especially in the modern era, there are likely many different architectural features and special design ideas you might want to consider installing. With new technologies, new art forms, and new aesthetic preferences, it is easy to create both indoor and outdoor spaces that reflect your unique personality.


If you are currently in the process of designing or redesigning your residential space, you might be looking for a bit of creative inspiration. In this article, we will discuss 12 residential architecture trends that are fit for the 21st century.

1. Retractable Panels

Retractable panels are perfect for homes with large windows that want a bit of flexibility. These panels can easily be installed onto almost any home and help make it much easier to control how much sunlight does or does not make it into your home. Some retractable panels can even be controlled via remote control, making it even easier to adapt your home to ever-changing weather conditions.

2. Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans, without a doubt, have become the defining characteristic found throughout the world of residential architecture. An open floor plan makes it easy for homeowners to maximize the value of their space and to adapt to different social situations. While older homes tend to have closed-off, distinctive spaces, modern homes have a much more open environment.

3. Built-In Chargers

In the modern, work-from-home (WFH) era, built-in chargers have become increasingly desirable for homeowners of all kinds. With a built-in USB, it is easy to charge a phone, connect a computer, or use a variety of other devices. Furthermore, having a designated USB port can actually cause certain devices to charge even more quickly and efficiently. No longer are traditional three-prong outlets the only option available.

4. Smart Shading and Lighting

Smart shading and smart lighting can help add value to any home. With a smart lighting system, lights can be easily adapted for any occasion, including entertaining guests and cozy dinners with your loved ones. There are currently many different smart lighting and shading brands available to choose from. Three of the most popular brands include Lutron, Control4, and Savant.

5. Maximum Storage Space

Whether your home is large or small, finding ways to maximize storage space can be very beneficial. Finding creative storage areas, such as in a kitchen island, overhead, or collapsible drawers can help increase your ability to store without losing out on square footage. By having additional storage spaces, it is easier to stay organized and keep clutter out of sight.

6. Privacy Walls

Privacy walls are essential for any outdoor space, particularly those in densely populated areas with plenty of neighbors nearby. A privacy wall will not only help you get a greater sense of being “at home”, but it will also help minimize the amount of noise coming from beyond your property. Today’s residential architecture firms make it easy to incorporate a privacy fence that is both structurally effective and visually appealing.

7. Outdoor Kitchens

While it will obviously be worth investing in a modern, indoor kitchen, investing in an outdoor kitchen can also be very beneficial. Outdoor kitchens can include all the appliances offered by their indoor counterparts, including outdoor stovetops, ovens, sinks, and refrigerators. An outdoor kitchen is ideal for people living in a relatively sunny climate—like Boulder, Colorado—who want to entertain their guests on a regular basis.

8. Deliberate Asymmetry

While symmetry dominated the design space for ages, the post-modern movement is largely characterized by creating design features that are deliberately asymmetrical. By incorporating asymmetrical architectural features—roofs, stairs, windows, and even doors—your home will gain a unique sense of character that is difficult to replicate.

9. Flexible Rooms

The work-from-home “revolution” has caused many people to suddenly need a well-equipped office. However, in many cases, these people might not want to dedicate an entire room to work. Finding ways to create flexible rooms, especially when having an open floorplan, can help equip your home for any possible situation. Incorporating a sliding or foldable door, for example, will make it easy for your home to be private when you need it to be and open when you don’t.

10. Focus on Air Flow

The COVID-19 outbreak has also caused residential architects to think about airflow, something that was already widely considered to be important for numerous other reasons. Creating open spaces with high ceilings can help reduce circulation issues. Furthermore, finding ways to better integrate indoor and outdoor living areas will help make it much easier to create a consistent flow of fresh air.

11. Commercial and Residential Blending

Residential architecture and commercial architecture each often demand a specialized approach. Nevertheless, there is a significant amount of overlap between these two design disciplines, especially for people who live and work in the same building. Be sure to ask your architect about design features that could enhance both residential and commercial value.

12. Modern Fireplaces

A fireplace is perfect for anyone hoping to make their house a home. With new technologies and design styles, installing (or updating) a residential fireplace is easier than ever before. It is now possible to install a real, working fireplace with far fewer infrastructure changes than was required in years past. Additionally, an outdoor fire pit can be used to give your yard the perfect gathering space.


The architectural features that are best for your home will depend on your personal preferences. However, if you are hoping to maximize homeowner value and also increase aesthetics, each of the features mentioned above will certainly be worth considering.


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