10 "McModerns" that are taking over from McMansions

  • Photo courtesy of Zillow

    Forget the once-popular "McMansion" that popped up like crazy in suburban neighborhoods during the 1980s and '90s. "McModerns" are the new trend that will soon be showing up on your street.

    Most people can recognize a McMansion when they see one. They're large, inexpensively constructed houses that lack a cohesive architectural style. If you see craftsman-style columns on an otherwise Mediterranean-style house, for example, you could be looking at a McMansion.

    With the resurgence of modernism over the last decade -- for which the 2007 TV show "Mad Men" is often credited -- the McMansion has adapted to homebuyer tastes.

    "What's so interesting is it's the first evolution in exterior home trends in the last 20 or 30 years," said Kate Wagner, founder of the popular website McMansion Hell, which is dedicated to roasting the worst McMansion offenders. "The traditionalist design aesthetic of McMansions has been consistent since the 1980s."

    The McModerns resulting from this aesthetic shift aren't all that different from their predecessors, Wagner said. Think of modernism as more of an outfit that McMansions wear. The interior of a McModern will typically follow the same design logic of a McMansion, as if the house was built from the inside out. While the exteriors follow the straight lines of modern architecture, they still have an erratic appearance.

    "You'll see different parts of the house clobbered together," said Wagner. "The entryway might be covered in stone, but there's aluminum panels for the garage. It gives it a piecemeal aesthetic."

    So what makes McModerns so popular? For one thing, Wagner said, modernism is a design language that has been enthusiastically embraced by wealthy millennials, who are attracted to its simplicity.

    McModerns also typically have a more cohesive architectural style than McMansions, due to their more specific inspiration.

    Lastly, McModerns preserve what a lot of homebuyers like about McMansions. They often have big rooms, open-concept floor plans, lots of garage space and luxury amenities like high-end kitchen appliances, spacious master suites and "bonus" spaces, such as sunrooms and offices.

    While McModerns are popular for a reason, attracting lots of attention in recent months, they also have qualities that are easy for architectural purists to dislike. For Wagner, it's "the huge wastefulness of them." Not only are these homes oversized, she said, they don't advance architecture the way that homes built and owned by the (relatively) wealthy once did.

    Love them or hate them, it seems McModerns are here to stay. Click ahead to see 10 examples of what could be popping up in your neighborhood.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.