This cottage, designed by Architect Omar Gandhi, has a lot to teach us about modern design elements.  Click below for the video.


Today we are looking at an ultra-modern cottage designed by Canadian Architect Omar Gandhi .  This home is a great example of the new modern aesthetic – authentic and pure, no wasted moves or decorations that distract.  What you see is what you get.  While the style of the home may not be right for you, it can teach all of us a few lessons about home design for the modern lifestyle.  To learn more about Mr. Gandhi and his awesome work, take a look at his website at

Form Reflects and Reinforces Function

So, what makes a home modern?  While most think it has to do with appearance, but in fact, it has more to do with the feelings and emotions that the design evokes for the people that experience it.  This home is expressive – meaning it effortlessly shows the viewer its feelings and emotions.  It’s not hiding anything.  In fact, quite the opposite.  It’s all there for us as visitors, guests, and occupants to see and understand.  It’s authentic and true.  There are no decorations or added trim pieces to cover and hide – just straight forward materials put together with simple details.

We can clearly see in this design the contrast of glass and solid material.  The second floor is more private with solid cedar clapboard siding, while the first floor is exposed with glass and a minimal steel structure.  At first glance, we intuitively know that private spaces must reside on the second floor.  And public spaces, those open for entertaining and socializing, are clearly expressed with open glass areas.  One anomaly is the Master bedroom, which happens to be on the main floor level. It’s a design move made to take advantage of views from the spaces most often used.

The design also shows how we move within the space.  For example, that slot of glass that extends into the second floor is where the stair hall is located.  Our vertical movement inside is reflected by the design on the outside.  It’s a very modern design tool – one that helps viewers to understand the home better. It helps create clarity in our minds about the space and eliminates any ambiguity.  Because of this, we are more free to focus on the important things – our family, our friends, and of course the environment.

Blurred Lines Between Inside and Out

From inside this home, we get a complete sense of calm and order.  The home becomes the background, the stage for living simultaneously inside and out.  Material choices are neutral, allowing the views to become the decoration within the home.  Note how the black door actually frames our view to the pool and cove beyond.

The lines become blurred.  Where does the home end and the outside begin?  This desire to be connected with our outdoor spaces is not new. In fact, it’s not a modern concept.  But fairly recent breakthroughs in materials – for example, large panes of glass set in large sliding walls – allow us to have this connection even in the harshest climates.  We are now free to experience our environments from the comfort of our homes more so than ever before.  A great example of modern advances promoting age old concepts.

This home is completely integrated with the context, the site, the surroundings, the environment.  While it may stand apart visually (just because of its uniqueness), the occupants feel completely connected to their surroundings.  Life inside begins to blend with life outside.

There is a belief that the more we connect with our own environment, the more we can appreciate it and enjoy it.  Recent scientific studies have made it clear that we human beings feel better and are happier when we are part of, and connected to nature.  Sit by a stream or rocky coastline.  Or, stroll in the woods for just a few minutes.  Your blood pressure decreases and your body releases those chemicals that make you feel happy.  In a modern world full of stress, your homes should be your sanctuary.  It should be a relief from the daily grind – a place to find solace and comfort.

Your cottage does not have to be this modern in aesthetics to achieve some of the same goals. Being true and authentic to who you and what you want your home to be is the first step.  Uncover the things that make you happy and design them into your space.  What feelings and emotions do you want people to experience when they live here or come to visit?  With just a little modern thinking you will be able to transform your home into your sanctuary – a place to unwind and recharge.  Welcome home to your modern cottage.