Instant Modernification


1. Staircases

Staircases are frequently-used and often highly visible features of homes. Get familiar with the Michigan Building Code staircase requirements before your heart is set on a particular design; not everything you see in magazines can be implemented in Michigan homes. Then browse our staircase gallery for inspiration.

Go to Lennox website

2. Fireplaces

Fireplaces are frequently the focal point of living spaces, so make sure that your fireplace is worthy of the attention, like this fireplace by Lennox. Consider placing it in a prominent location and dress it well with a complimentary surround and/or mantle. See more about modern fireplace design.


In modern design the kitchen is open to adjoining spaces, so choosing the right cabinets is more important now than ever—since they can be seen from the sofa and the dining room table, they have to support your overall design. Take a look at our kitchen gallery to see some attractive designs.

Go to Hudson Furniture Inc. website

4. Chandeliers

Years ago, lighting design was unheard of. Then task lighting was all the rage. We forgot how a chandelier can transform the tone of a room. Remember that a chandelier is a lot like jewelry—a little goes a long way, so one great piece may be all your space needs. Check out Hudson Furniture to see some of our favorites.

Go to Krown Lab website

5. Doors

Nothing kills a modern design faster than the fussiness of the traditional six-panel door. Slab doors work well with the simplicity of modern design. If you’re looking for something with more visual interest, consider hanging doors in an exciting way, like these sliding barn-door styles at Krown Lab or Bartels.

6. Windows

Despite advances in energy-saving windows, in Michigan’s climate, windows are still relatively inefficient when compared to an insulated wall. Therefore, more/bigger windows result in higher energy use. In our designs, we put the biggest windows where the best views exist and where privacy isn’t a top priority. If the view isn’t noteworthy or when privacy is an issue, short, wide windows placed high up let light in while obstructing views. Additionally, this horizontal window design can be visually striking both indoors and from outside.

7. Trim

Baseboards, crown moldings, and casings were popularized because they easily covered cracks and uneven lines where the wall ends or changes direction. In modern design, elaborate trim work over-complicates space. Simple, straight trims in the wall color create a transitional look. Opt for no trim for the most contemporary feel.

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