Have your say, I’m curious to know.
Four years ago, I did a video about these new-age, ultra-modern, somewhat “California Style” houses in Toronto, with their odd, sore-thumb look on traditional streetscapes, and one reader commented, “These houses ruin a neighbourhood.”
Styles change, and trends come and go.
So let’s look at a few examples of these “ultra-modern” houses, with their California-style-roots, and compare them, along with their features, to classic, traditional properties…
Go ahead, have your say!
I was going to try to remain neutral, but it’s hard to provide photos without commenting.
There are a lot of different ways we can evaluate the “ultra modern” versus the “traditional” homes, but I want to pick a few characteristics at random:
We could pick just about anything, but these offer a good start.
First, however, let’s look at the most important criteria: the exterior.
Call me old-fashioned and simple, but I really, really don’t see the appeal here in Toronto to this:
This isn’t quite as ugly, but isn’t my cup of tea:
This looks completely out of place:
Now how can you possibly turn away a gorgeous red-brick, Georgian style like this, compared to the ultra-modern look:
Or this one:
Or a classic red-brick Edwardian, 3-storey that you’d find in High Park, Riverdale, or Roncesvalles:
Or an English cottage-style with original stone facade:
Here’s more of a “stone and stucco” new build that you might find in Leaside, Davisville, or Lawrence Park. I still prefer this over the ultra-modern:
Which of these kitchens do you prefer?
This isn’t too overboard:
But I don’t like this one at all:
This is more my speed, and something you’d find in a traditional Leaside, Lawrence Park, or North Toronto home:
Now let’s look at the staircases, just as one characteristic of a home.
The glass is overwhelming in the ultra-modern style:
It works in this case – with that huge glass window, but I still don’t love the pane of glass versus traditional wrought-iron spindles:
This just feels really dark and uninviting to me:
I don’t love the floors either…
Call me crazy, but I prefer the oak stairs and wrought-iron spindles:
This is a bit gaudy, and I don’t love the design of the spindles, but I prefer the wooden bannister and steps:
All of these seem to have floating stairs, but here’s a very traditional set, done in hardwood:
Now let’s take a look at the windows as another indication of the style.
These are really strange looking to me, and the tiny little horizontal “box” window adjacent to the long vertical window seems to serve no purpose unless you’re 7-feet tall:
This is just showing off your unique design:
Call me boring, but what’s wrong with this:
Or this – a classic 3-window set in a bedroom with the “leaded window” throwback, although I’m sure it’s not real lead:
Now let’s look at the basement as an indication of how the styles translate into the rec-room, or man-cave, or kid’s play room.
A tile floor?
In a basement?
That’s going to be freezing cold on your feet, and it’s not child-friendly.
I’m a big fan of broadloom in a basement rec-room. It’s got soft under-padding so it’s good for kids, it’s warm, and it’s comfortable. Personally, this is how I’d want my man-cave to look:
And if you want hardwood (or likely laminate, given basement floors are tough to level), here’s a traditional basement that shows the mouldings, and staircase too:
As I said, it’s tough to post photos without commenting!
We all have our own tastes and preferences, and while I’ve had clients that like the ultra-modern look in condos, or even clients who have purchased homes with more sleek, modern interiors, I’ve never sold, or even shown, a house that has the exterior of one of the houses shown at the top.
I like areas with a somewhat homogeneous look to the streetscape, and when you have one of those, in between two very traditional, red-brick homes, it’s the very definition of “Peacocking.”
So what’s the verdict?
Ultra-modern, from the exterior to the interior: like or dislike?