What’s trending? Modern residential design inspiration for stylish Sydney homes

We’ve put together our pick of the top 5 modern residential designs for the perfect Sydney home.

19 May, 2022
What’s trending? Modern residential design inspiration for stylish Sydney homes

Residential architecture and design throughout Sydney draws upon a diverse and worldly palette, inspired by an intermingling of cultures and ideas from all over the world. From early Victorian and Federation styles to the inter-war Art Deco movement, Sydney has seen design approaches come and go, yet all are on display depending on which parts of the vast city you choose to trundle.

But what about Sydney’s modern approach? To put it simply, design popularity has shifted towards a love for clean lines, versatile material use and rather simple presentation. However, inspired throwbacks to the past are not at all uncommon with modern twists applied to designs tried and true.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your Sydney home, read this guide.  

Five modern residential designs for the perfect Sydney home


Minimalist design focuses on saying more with less, emphasising uncomplicated lines both in the interior and exterior. With neutral colours, maximisation of light, and a general lack of ornamentation, minimalist design throughout Sydney commonly emboldens the structural outlines of an abode with exposed concrete and corrugated iron textures typically on display. This works to showcase uncluttered open spaces and construct a dialogue between the home, its site, and location.

Functional and stylish truly describes the cross-section of minimalism, and it’s unsurprising why it has become so contemporarily popular throughout Sydney, especially throughout the Inner-West and the North Shore.


The Hamptons design trend is embodied by coastal vibes and a relaxed, natural way of living that implements a seamless indoor/outdoor blend. The ocean-inspired style is commonly referred to as “modern coastal”, and one look at the nautical palettes, weatherboard exteriors, white-painted floorboards and picket-fenced homes that dot the Northern Beaches will prove that it truly is in vogue. 

A common Hampton design is a windowed affair, with an organic emphasis on natural light and coastal tones. Many build upon the sandstone brickwork of original colonial homes or recreate that rugged, yet sophisticated style with a modernised, clean sandstone approach. As the name suggests, the Hamptons style captures elegant and relaxed living, just as the original Hampton Villages of Long Island, New York established in the 19th century.  

Californian bungalow

The Californian bungalow is another American-inspired design rooted in the 1930’s that has become a popular base for modern reinterpretations in the city’s west as much as it has on the eastern seaboard. Originally built in exposed red brick, many modern appropriations of the Californian bungalow feature a rendered brick exterior in neutral tones, though still maintain the classic one-story construction, front-verandah, hedged front-yard and gabled roofs.  

With their traditional bay windows, open-planned interiors, and simple colour schemes, the Californian bungalow, although a clear design throwback, exhibits the same emphasis on clean exterior lines and open indoor/outdoor seamlessness as many modern Sydney homes. Some would say the contemporary iterations of this inspired design showcase the perfect intersection of two centuries.

Mid-century modern

Mid-century modernism is a functional design style built on the fruits of open, raw living and a complementary connection to the outdoors. This approach is quintessential to the architectural period between 1950 and 1970 within Sydney, and its modernised comeback is unsurprising given its emphasis on uncomplicated contours, floor-to-roof windows, natural colours and use of raw, exposed textures such as wood, rough tiles and sandstone. 

Harmonisation with nature is truly at the forefront of these inspired designs with flat, raked or rolling roofs allowing homes to subtly slip into its surroundings. It’s not uncommon to find these sprawling masterpieces on the side of eucalyptus-lined cliffs of the Sutherland Shire. 


Typically blocky, geometrical affairs, mixed-material designs are a modern staple of any Sydney street. These homes intertwine textures, eras and materials to form a striking sight, sometimes pushing traditional design boundaries when it comes to the vibes you can bring together, both inside and out. However alien this might sound, the true emphasis is on highlighting naturality, and many of these uncanny elements of design lead into natural highlights and ornamentation, grounding the projects back on earth.

Mixed-material homes are springing up all around Sydney, coming in the form of standalone houses in the Western Suburbs, spruced-up terrace houses in the Inner-West and entire apartment complexes in the inner city. Right now, these incredible homes seem to embolden the most forward-thinking approach to design throughout the city.

A myriad of design approaches for your dream home

There really are no rules when it comes to designing your dream home. Whether you’re jumping onboard a defining contemporary trend or revitalising a style that defined a generation past, it’s important to gather inspiration so you can model your vision. Just taking off on a casual drive anywhere in Sydney will spark your imagination with so many inspired design styles blossoming street to street.

ES Design is devoted to realising the residential design dreams of anyone ready to see their imagination come to life. From contemporary to classic, boundary-pushing to past-inspired, ES Design is prepared to exceed expectations and adapt to the needs of any client with a vision.

With the expertise of ES Design, maybe your dream design will spearhead an article like this one day?

Get in touch – let’s develop something worth writing about.

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