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Modern mansion in Phoenix, backyard.

Modern Mansions: The Who, What And Where

Molly Grace5-Minute Read
May 20, 2020

When we hear the word “mansion,” many of us tend to think of grand, old-fashioned estates with stately stone or stucco exteriors and lots of ornate interior details – winding staircases, decorative molding and intricate, glowing chandeliers.

But for the more minimalist, chic millionaires and billionaires among us who aren’t in the market for the stodgy old mansions of yesteryear, the modern-style mansion offers a haven of clean lines, open floor plans and uncluttered interiors.

How does this more fashionable other half live? Let’s take a look some of the most beautiful modern mansions currently for sale – and who might be in the market for them.

What Is Modern House Design?

To some, modern homes can seem cold and stark. This architectural style emphasizes clean, angular lines, neutral tones and minimal decor. It stresses functional spaces without a lot of unnecessary flair.

Modern home design is also well-known for its use of big windows that let in lots of natural light on a mostly open-concept living space, lending these homes an airy feel.

It’s important to note that modern style is different from contemporary style; the former is a concept that was conceived of in the early 20thcentury, while the latter simply refers to what’s trending right now, and changes based on style preferences.

A Modern Enclave In Phoenix

Modern Phoenix mansion.

Price: $4,395,000

Size: 7,619 sq. ft.

In an area where Spanish revival architecture typically dominates, this modern darling stands out – in a good way.

Open kitchen in Phoenix mansion.

The retractable doors that open all the way, seamlessly joining the kitchen to the outdoor patio, are a trademark of the modern style, which aims to unify indoor and outdoor spaces.

Kitchen and living room, Phoenix Mansion

Note, too, the open floor plan that combines the kitchen and living areas into a singular space.

Phoenix mansion open backyard.

The exterior entertaining space is extremely livable and looks out onto a lush backyard and beautiful mountain vista (and an in-progress guest house, naturally).

Area Stats

Phoenix has somewhat of a hot real estate market, with homes selling quickly and often at or over asking price. The median sold price in Phoenix is $272,505.

Obviously, this home is well above the median, so who in Phoenix might be interested in this property?

According to our data, this area tends to be populated by married couples, many of whom have kids. The vast majority of the neighbors own, rather than rent, their homes. A plurality of the residents here are between 35 – 64 years old. For fun, they play tennis and ski or snowboard.

Beachfront Modernity In La Jolla

Beachside mansion in La Jolla

Price: $22,000,000

Size: 6,884 sq. ft.

La Jolla, California, a community within San Diego, is known for stunning but pricey oceanfront real estate, like this beachfront beauty.

View of the beach from La Jolla mansion home.

Modern style aficionados who can afford such a life of luxury can enjoy indoor/outdoor spaces that overlook palm trees and a beach so close you can practically dip your toe in the Pacific right from your back patio.

Airy and open beach bathroom at La Jolla mansion home.

With the airy, light-filled master bathroom and the relaxing outdoor spaces with spectacular views, this place is more like a luxury spa retreat than a home.

Outdoor patio at La Jolla mansion home.

Area Stats

The median sold price in La Jolla is $1,367,571.

This area isn’t super popular for families, with nearly 80% of neighboring residents either single with no kids or married with no kids. Most neighbors own their homes, but a fair amount (36%) rent. The most common age range for residents is 35 – 64 years old. For fun, these inhabitants like skiing, tennis and soccer.

Lakefront Villa In Seattle

Lakefront mansion in Seattle.

Price: $15,700,000

Size: 7,170 sq. ft.

This light-filled residence on the bank of Lake Washington looks like it sprouts right out of the abundant foliage of the land it sits on.

Open living room in Seattle lakefront mansion.

As with many of the other homes on this list, we see open living spaces, plentiful big windows and a natural transition from in to out.

Master bedroom with balcony, Seattle lakefront mansion.

A master suite that opens right up to a roof terrace with a built-in fireplace? Yes, please.

Area Stats

The median sold price in Seattle is $705,049.

This is another area where a large number of residents are child-free, whether they’re married or single. The majority are homeowners. The neighbors are cultured and outdoorsy, enjoying live theater, hiking and tennis in their spare time.

Midcentury Modern In Boston

Midcentury modern Boston penthouse.

Price: $7,950,000

Size: 4,211 sq. ft.

How about a modern penthouse? Even in densely packed urban areas where sprawling mansions just aren’t possible, rest assured there are still plenty of options for those with deep pockets to live exceptionally large.

Terrace and outdoor space at Boston penthouse.

Even in the city, this home provides a taste of nature thanks to this peaceful, private roof terrace that boasts bamboo swings, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a hot tub and an outdoor shower.

Large master bedroom in Boston penthouse.

Wake up to modern paradise in the form of a window wall that lets in lots of natural light and gives you your own personal view of the city.

Area Stats

What are the neighbors like in this spot? The majority are single with no kids, and most of them are renters, rather than owners. Most are on the younger side, with 57% between 18 – 34 years old. They like going to concerts and art museums and enjoy hiking or backpacking.

The median sold price in Boston is $699,950.

Modern Loft In New York

Spacious New York City penthouse.

Price: $14,950,000

Size: 6,000 sq. ft.

This penthouse is a clean and crisp modern oasis among the hustle and bustle of NYC and a less than a block away from Union Square Park.

Exterior green space at New York City penthouse.

Green space in the city is precious, and this home has it, with a great view to boot.

Open kitchen in New York City penthouse.

Wide open spaces, lots of natural light and classy neutrals give this home a fresh look in an old, beloved city.

Area Stats

The median list price in the famously expensive New York real estate market is $599,000.

Renters have a slight majority in this neighborhood, but homeowners follow close behind. Most of the neighbors are single and child-free. They’re young, between the ages of 18 – 34, and enjoy all the cultural offerings of the city, including concerts and art museums.

Beverly Hills Modern Majesty

Beverly Hills modern mansion.

Price: $69,500,000

Size: 27,470 sq. ft.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a $70 million mansion that looks more like an art museum than a home? This estate in ultra-ritzy Beverly Hills, Californiarepresents the height of modern extravagance.

Huge dining room in Beverly Hills mansion.

From the glass panel wall in the “junior” dining room that looks out onto the lush garden to the 98-foot swimmer’s pool, every inch of this home is simply magnificent.

Beverly Hills mansion with swimmers pool.

Area Stats

In this neighborhood, you can be certain you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of Los Angeles County’s wealthiest residents. The median sold price for homes in this area is $2,812,500. Of homes recently sold in Beverly Hills, the least expensive clocked in at $886,000.

There aren’t a ton of kids in this area, as most households are child-free, though there is a significant minority of households that are married with kids. The vast majority are homeowners, and the typical age range is 35 – 64 years old. For fun, the neighbors like to play tennis and ski or snowboard.

Bay Area Beauty

Bay Area mansion home.

Price: $32,000,000

Size: 15,300 sq. ft.

This modern mansion is located in Atherton, California – 2020’s richest place in the countryaccording to Bloomberg.

Living room at Atherton mansion home.

This home has all the hallmarks of the modern style, including a great use of natural light and simple, neutral decor.

Atherton bathroom.

Natural space for relaxation abounds, like the gorgeously calming spa and sauna, or the big backyard pool surrounded by trees.

Large pool at Bay Area mansion.

Area Stats

The median list price in Atherton is $6,695,000. Here, in the richest area in the country, the least expensive house listed is priced at $1,500,000 for a mere 1,410 square feet.

In this neighborhood, there’s a fair mix of child-free singles and married couples with and without kids. Most of the residents own their homes and tend to be within the 35 – 64 years old age range. For fun, they play tennis and ski or snowboard.

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Molly Grace

Molly Grace is a staff writer focusing on mortgages, personal finance and homeownership. She has a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University. You can follow her on Twitter @themollygrace.