By Jason Walsh, senior industrial designer, and Patrick Ege, lead industrial designer
Gen Xers and Millennials crave contemporary design with clean lines and bold colors. One way they create a modern look throughout their home is by installing stylish interior doors that sport crisp features and rich, dark colors.
Buyers within these generations often lean toward a decluttered home philosophy, and are buying smaller houses that are not overwhelming. Many are moving into existing traditional-style houses, but they quickly set out to remake the interiors to suit their modern tastes. They expect to live in the houses they buy for at least 10 years, according to a 2015 National Association of Realtors survey, and are willing to invest in modern updates.
Ranging from 18 to 50 years old, Gen Xers and Millennials are heavily influenced by retailers IKEA and Crate & Barrel, and popular inspiration websites Houzz and Pinterest. The retailers and online-only sites offer plenty of free expert advice and professional photography of jaw-dropping modern interiors.
Here are five cost-effective ways that Gen Xers and Millennials – and anyone with a preference for modern architecture, décor and furnishings – can employ modern-looking interior doors to give homes fashion-forward makeovers.
Say goodbye to the six-panel door.
Most existing traditional-style homes have six-panel interior doors throughout, but you can replace, for reasonable cost, those doors with modern-style ones. For example, Masonite’s new Heritage and Barn Door collections offer no-panel and sliding-door models that can be painted any color.
Also, you can create a big statement in a small space with the crisp vertical lines of the new Melrose West End door.
Turn underutilized rooms into useful spaces.
A recent Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey of 1,000 Millennials showed that 20 percent refer to their dining room as a home office and 43 percent want to transform their living room into a home theater.
Consider installing modern-style interior doors to turn a dining room into a productive study or a living room into a cool space for movie watching. The doors not only are attractive, but they also keep noise at bay.
Decorate with trendy dark hues.
Black and other dark colors top the interior design color charts. For example, bold blue is the hot color on HGTV’s 2015 list of home trends. Designer Susanna Salk, in an article for House Beautiful this year, said that rich blues paired with white creates a modern twist on an enduring traditional color combination.
A modern-style interior door can be painted deep black or another dark, saturated color in a matte or gloss finish quickly and inexpensively. For example, you can opt for a sleek Hamel West End door painted a vibrant shade that reflects your unique style.
Create a uniform look.
Keep in mind that some modern styles don’t complement each other. For a seamless look, it’s best to install the same interior doors throughout your home. But as long as the interior doors are similar, you can use one style of door on the first floor and another style on the second floor.
In addition to updating your interior doors, you can enhance your home’s modern style by replacing the entry door with one that has a sleek look. Masonite, for example, recently introduced eight exterior door collections that allow consumers to easily navigate panel and glass combinations to create their own unique looks.