Modern Vs. Traditional – What’s your Home Style?

When choosing or renovating a home, you must to first determine your personal style. Broadly, there are many different home styles: contemporary, A-frame, barndominium, colonial, Cape Cod, craftsman, Tudor, and plantation are just a few options. However, most of these styles can be narrowed down to two main categories: modern and traditional.

Here in Western Canada, you are more likely to see a modern home with clean lines and towering windows, or a stately traditional home with classic lines and masonry instead of a roomy Mediterranean with a courtyard, or a sprawling colonial with columns. Our western weather and lifestyle go a long way in paring down your home style choices! That being said, you still have plenty of options when choosing between modern and traditional. Here’s how to figure out which one is best for you.

Modern Homes

Light, airy, geometric and minimal – if those words appeal to you, you are leaning towards a modern home. The modern, or contemporary, home style features crisp clean lines in the architecture and the décor. Large, floor to ceiling in some cases, windows flood each level with natural light.



Building or renovating a modern home calls for attention to detail like glass panels instead of heavy banisters; chrome oven hoods; and open floor plans that blend the kitchen, dining, and living areas on the main floor.

Decorating a modern home means neutral colour palettes and metallic accents, mirrors, chrome detailing, minimalism in the cabinetry and countertops, pale granite, and canvas art.

Traditional Homes

The traditional home is a callback to yesteryear’s estates, where heavy details and elaborate finishes gave the home a more imposing, but still welcoming look. Traditional homes have more closed off floor plans – it’s not uncommon to see a dedicated dining room set apart from the kitchen, a formal living room and a separate family den.


Building or renovating a traditional home calls for masonry, granite, wainscoting, mouldings, darker cabinetry with ornate hardware, carpeting and hardwood on the floors, and larger light fixtures that double as art in their own right.

Decorating a traditional home means bolder colour choices, such as a forest green accent wall or patterned wallpaper. Heavy drapes, dark area rugs, and large pieces of framed artwork complete the look.

Can you Have Both Styles?

Perhaps you and your partner disagree on which style to choose, or you love some elements of a traditional home, but crave the open and airy feel of a modern home. The good news is, you really can have it both ways! An experienced and knowledgeable contractor can open up a traditional floor plan to create an open concept living space, and brighten up the interior though choices of finishings and paint while still having the impressive masonry and other details on the exterior. Such a contractor can also take a modern’s home minimalism down a notch by installing wainscoting, making the kitchen look more traditional, or transforming a living space into a music room or library.

Whichever style you prefer, you can have it when you work with a contractor that listens to your needs and wants, and that has experience in renovating both traditional and modern homes. The most important thing is how the home looks and feels to you – the homeowner. When you fall in love with your home, you know it’s the perfect style.

Contact HomeFix Today

We have the experience, along with the access to materials and subcontractors, to create the home of your dreams. Modern or traditional, open or formal, estate home or tech-forward contemporary – rely on our years of home renovations in Calgary to provide you with the timeless home you will always want to come to at the end of the day.

Photo credits: and