materials matter

milehimodern reviews the latest raw design trends on display in this minimalist Hilltop ranch. In 2020, the trio of trends are modern staples, yet each look has an underlying history.

story // dana lapinel
photography // teri fotheringham
mhm listing // 121 south cherry street


The influence of ancient Greek architecture has echoed throughout the centuries, first inspiring Roman culture, and today, Greek-developed architecture continues to guide today’s most forward-thinking architects.

Classical architecture is renowned for its intricate details, symmetry, balance and innovative use of natural stone. The result is a monument like the Parthenon in the Acropolis that has stood the test of time, erected with commanding colonnades. A structural element revamped in this contemporary home designed by Entasis Group.

“The columns promote scale, rhythm, texture, balance, direction and strength in the home,” said Entasis Architect Brian Ojala. “The limestone masses slowly dissipate as you pass through the home and act as a constant reminder of scale throughout.”


Wood is one of the most long-standing building materials in existence. There’s evidence that homes built over 10,000 years ago — at the dawn of man — used timber as a primary construction material. Bring it to the 21st century, and we’ve continued to evolve the use of wood to build structures and accent interiors.

Wood paneling was a typical décor move from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Pre-Millennium, contemporary design rejected the look that’s often reminiscent of a grandfather’s basement. Today, new iterations of wood-paneled walls have taken hold in the realm of cool, current style.

There is a comeback of wood paneling, particularly with the use of oak. Here, oak-wrapped, floor-to-ceiling wall panels add an understated organic element and dimensional warmth. Bleached-oak wide plank floors complement the subtly striated wood walls.


In the 19th Century, concrete was used mainly for industrial buildings. Since then, a once-commercial material has made its way from subfloor to center stage. Exposed walls and floors slathered in concrete add a strong statement that’s still industrial in nature. The sleek and understated vibe is an ideal palette for contemporary interiors.

The bold look celebrates a home’s foundation in raw form and has become a fixture in the trend-driven design landscape. Shown here, polished concrete floors — linear cracks and all — add a sophisticated edge to the flooring. When paired with rugged, rough concrete walls, the result is an all-encompassing focal point decked in sublime texture.

“Architectural, historical elements have never gone out of vogue — they are timeless and classic. The way they are reimagined is what makes them relevant.”

-the creative collective

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