In the evolving landscape of home design, the harmony between nature and modern aesthetics has emerged as a beacon of inspiration for many. This marriage of nature and contemporary aesthetics is often referred to as “natural modernism.” DEN is a pioneer in the natural modernism home movement, and it is the driving force behind our designs. Unlike other modern home designs that may often feel cold and out of place in their surroundings, the natural modernist philosophy guides us in crafting homes that seamlessly blend contemporary designs and nature.
With the launch of our full-service building platform BuiltBy DEN in Austin, TX, we’re bringing our natural modern homes to the southern region with a model designed specifically with the Texas climate in mind. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at natural modernism and discuss its significance in DEN's home designs in conversation with our Design Director, Eric Leathers.
What is natural modernism?
Natural modernism is the fusion of two central design philosophies. The term “natural” emphasizes a harmonious relationship between buildings, people, and the environment. It highlights a design approach that incorporates and respects nature. On the other hand, “modernism” refers to an architectural movement that began in the early 20th century, characterized by simplicity, clean lines, and a focus on showcasing a building's functional elements and materials without unnecessary ornamentation.
Together, natural modernism is about crafting aesthetically pleasing structures that blend seamlessly with nature, using natural materials, and prioritizing human-centric designs.
What materials are typically used in natural modernist home builds?
In natural modernist home builds you'll find a blend of solid woods like pine and cedar, which bring warmth and a touch of nature indoors. Paired with these are often sleek, smooth finishes like polished concrete or minimalist metals, creating a seamless but striking contrast. Large expanses of glass are often included, ensuring homes are bathed in natural light and connected to the outdoors. Many homes will also include sustainable and eco-friendly materials, with builders opting for recycled, reclaimed, or low-impact choices whenever possible, ensuring a design that's not only visually captivating but environmentally responsible.
Why does DEN value natural modernism?
DEN is intentional in creating natural modernist homes because of their seamless blend with nature, timeless aesthetic, durability, and the enhanced well-being of those who live in them. We believe buildings should exist harmoniously among the people and places around them. We’re big on creating spaces that not only look great but make people feel connected—to each other and to the outdoors, because when you get down to it, it's those moments of joy and that feeling of wellbeing that really matter.
BuiltBy DEN’s new Austin design reflects our modern naturalist architecture design values. By intuitively melding Austin's distinct environment with our design, we showcase how architecture can coexist with nature. The strategic use of windows not only harnesses the beauty and abundance of Texas sunlight but also captures glimpses of nature. The blend of muted exterior woods with contrasting interior hues emphasizes our dedication to a design that's both fresh yet familiar, and modern yet rooted. It's a testament to DEN's commitment to constructing homes that don't just exist within nature, but thrive alongside it.
Can you describe DEN’s commitment to high quality design standards and how we work to achieve them?
We believe there is great value in thoughtful and high quality design, materials, and execution, and therefore we are committed to delivering that to as many people as possible. We recognize, though, that for many, the primary obstacle to accessing this kind of quality has been affordability.
That's why we're on a mission: to make outstanding design not just a luxury, but accessible to a broader audience.
We take pride in the value we offer, striking a balance that's hard to find elsewhere.
Our commitment to high quality design standards was top of mind when designing our BuiltBy DEN Austin model. We recognize the significance of tailoring designs to suit specific environments, in this case the southern heat. The model is a testament to meticulous planning, thoughtful design, and our relentless pursuit to complement the local climate and lifestyle. From choosing strategic window orientations that optimize natural light without overheating interiors, to selecting authentic Central Texas aesthetics like dark, muted brown woods and contrasting interior elements, we ensure each detail aligns with our gold standard of design. Our drive is to craft homes that resonate deeply with their residents, providing comfort without compromising on quality or aesthetic appeal.
Achieving a high standard of design is both a task and a passion. It's about dedication and diving deep into every detail. The real art is ensuring this level of quality is affordable and scalable, and that is where DEN’s innovative tech truly shines.
What is the value in choosing DEN’s natural modern homes over other modern homes?
Natural modernism, as seen in our designs, merges the sleek appeal of modern aesthetics with a deep appreciation for the natural world and its resources and materials. This fusion not only creates spaces that radiate joy and promote wellbeing but also stand the test of time. With DEN, customers can expect homes that are not only healthier and built to last but also brimming with joy and vitality in every corner.
If you’re looking for a quality, modern home but feel overwhelmed by the process of homebuilding, check out BuiltBy DEN, our streamlined, full-service homebuilding offering. We’ll take care of everything so you can sit back, relax, and watch your home get built.__________________________________________________________________________
Eric Leathers is a designer with over 10 years of experience in the architecture, design, and construction industries. Eric holds a Master of Architecture degree from Kent State University and has helped lead building and planning projects at all scales.
Eric is passionate about attainable, design-driven residential architecture and buildings that cultivate connections with the natural world. As design director at DEN Outdoors, he continues to explore the intersections of home attainability, thoughtful design, and technology-enabled delivery.