Design Aesthetics Explained: European Modern Homes


If you’ve ever walked the streets of Rome, you know that you can run into ancient history around any corner. Old-world columns lean towards modern apartments. Ancient walls hold together new restaurants. Yet, nothing feels out of place. Rome keeps one foot in the old world and extends one foot into today. 

When executed well, European modern homes straddle a similar set of characteristics. Some features are drawn from the past, but this style of home never feels dated. Likely because designers are able to infuse modern-day design with the old to create a space that is comfortable and homey without feeling dated. 

Here’s everything you need to know if you’re ready to explore a European-style interior design. 

What is a European Modern style house? 

You don’t have to travel across the Atlantic to see European Modern homes. You may even have a few in your neighborhood. 

European modern homes have a design style that’s based on the elegance of old-world Europe. They have clean lines and asymmetrical facades highlighted with intricate details like ironwork or wooden trim. Not specific to the Spanish, Mediterranean, Italian, English, or French style, European Modern is found around Europe.

When designing, consider a natural exterior, an elegant interior, and functional design.

European Modern Interior Design Explained (European Modern Homes)

Natural Exteriors

The exteriors of European modern homes mimic those used in Europe for hundreds of years. Walls are made of natural stone, brick, or stucco. Roofs are high-pitched with pointed gables giving these homes a sense of grandeur – regardless of square feet. 

European modern homes feature ornamental details like pediments and keystones as part of their design. Arched doorways and ceilings are common and you’ll see tall windows and shutters throughout. Intricate ironwork like trellises or wrought iron balconies compliment the cedar shakes or clay roof tiles.

You’ll find more color in the well-manicured yards of Euro-modern homes. Planting is deliberate and often includes bright stem flowers like Dahlias or Cosmos. Exteriors are lit up with gas lanterns that further highlight their old-world charm.

Elegant Interiors

European modern interior design is understated and elegant. Traditional Euro modern rooms had darker, moody interiors. Today, these are brightened with large windows, vintage rugs, and warm fireplaces. 

The neutral color pallet is very easy to incorporate and furnishings are inspired by nature. Euro modern furniture is made from natural materials like wood, marble, clay, or bamboo. The mix of handcrafted woodwork and intricate moldings are balanced with terracotta tile or stone. Euro modern design allows for the natural aging of materials to add to their authenticity so your finishings never go out of style.

Many love the dramatic elements found in European modern design. Grand features like cathedral ceilings, exposed beams, and french doors, especially those that swing out, create a feeling of timeless elegance. 

While these are likely to be noticed first, don’t overlook the small details like intricate trim and millwork. You’ll find solid wood doors with vintage knobs and floors made from Terracotta tile, marble, stone, and hardwood. Incorporating these materials into modern layouts helps blend the look of old with new.

Walls and flooring often feature patterns and textures like wide plank wood paneling and reclaimed beams. You may even find a herringbone or black and white checkered floor. This trend dates back to the 1690s and is a perfect nod to old-world charm.

Functional Design

Brass or nickel finishes are popular in Euro-modern homes. It’s not uncommon to find exposed plumbing in bathrooms and kitchens. Newer homes have pipes tucked behind drywall, but back when buildings were solid stone, this wasn’t an option. Exposing pipes is an authentic way to tie in the old European way of life.

Euro modern furniture is also known for its thoughtful and solid craftsmanship. While styles can range from contemporary to modern, each piece is simple, elegant, and functional. The furniture complements the home with warm, classic textures like velvet, leather, cotton, and linen. Pieces have clean lines, but may include classic elements like carved wood or metalwork.

What are the benefits of European Modern interior design?

Flexibility is one of the major benefits of choosing European modern design. There’s a range of choices that follow the design principles of using old-world architecture and natural materials.

Your home could be one or two stories in a traditional Tudor style, a simple cottage, or a luxury manor. You can even include a garage without losing the charm of Euro-modern design. The key is to use classic Euro-modern colors, tones, and textures that create a spacious, neutral interior. This brings a lot of options whether you prefer defined rooms or an open-concept kitchen.

The natural materials used in European modern design make it easy to incorporate into any landscape. The color pallets are rich yet neutral providing an ageless look no matter if you live high in the Rockies or tucked into a suburban neighborhood. You won’t have to keep up with every new trend or paint whenever Sherwin Williams declares a new color of the year.

How Sustainable Are European Modern Houses?

Manufacturing and construction is one of the top polluting industries on the planet. We need to carefully consider everything we use in and around our homes. European Modern design allows you to use sustainable materials over manufactured finishes.

Using stone instead of concrete makes this style more eco-friendly as there are fewer steps in the manufacturing process. Reclaimed wood and natural clay tiles reduce the use of nonrenewable materials and add incredible texture and warmth. Even using greenery to define outdoor spaces is a great way to keep within the authentic European modern design aesthetic.

Within a home, there are sustainable interior design principles that help reduce our impact on the environment. European modern interior design incorporates many of these. 

The use of high-quality furnishings will ensure they don’t end up in the landfill. Using readily available materials like stone and bamboo helps protect nonrenewable resources. You can reduce your carbon footprint even more by incorporating energy-efficient appliances and windows. 

Focusing on natural materials throughout design and construction will reduce your environmental footprint. Plus, 49% of homeowners say having natural materials in their homes makes them feel happier. A beautiful, happy home? That’s a style that works for everyone.

Create a European Modern Home That’s Right For You

If a Euro Modern design sounds right for you, but you’re not quite sure where to start, Spark Interiors is here to guide you. Book a call so we can work together to create a perfect old world meets new world space. 

Contact Spark Interiors to get started!



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