Comprised of several states in the northern and middle regions of the U.S., the Midwest is well-known for its wide-open spaces, friendly and welcoming locals, large expanses of wilderness and wheat fields, and historically significant cities and towns.
Here, in the heart of the country, life is slower, there’s plenty of room to move around, traditions are important—and there are several popular home types that are unique to the Midwest. These include the Classic Farmhouse, the Modern Farmhouse, the Craftsman Home, and the Prairie-Style Home. Read on to find out more about each home type.
The Classic Farmhouse
Though the classic farmhouse style is most prevalent in the Midwest, farmhouses, in general, are popular in this region, and this includes vintage, rustic, and modern farm homes. Some trademark elements that set the classic farmhouse apart are natural wood accents—think wide-plank floors, exposed wood beams, barn board, and other wood accents. In terms of décor, typical furnishings are simple, cozy, warm, and lived-in—you probably won’t see stark modern furniture in classic farmhouses. Rather, butcher block counters, apron sinks, weathered finishes, wicker baskets and furniture, traditional fabrics (floral and paisley), and vintage touches are all trademark décor elements that you’re likely to spot in a classic farmhouse. Above all, expect a balance of old and new mixed with practical, sturdy furnishings; this is the epitome of true farmhouse style. Most interiors are painted with dark hues of grey and navy or light hues of whites, beiges, blues, and grey.
The Modern Farmhouse
Modern farmhouse style is similar to classic farmhouse style—the former simply has more modern, of-the-moment chic touches than the latter. For example, modern farmhouses tend to be characterized by sophisticated design elements like granite counter tops, modern lighting fixtures, and stainless steel appliances, in addition to a neutral color palette (usually beige, cream, or gray). Contemporary furnishings and natural, woodsy elements are also part of the modern farmhouse look.
The Craftsman-Style House
Craftsman-style homes are undeniably one of the most popular home types in the heartland. The craftsman style originated during the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 1980s—the goal was to contrast cookie-cutter homes with creatively charming architecture and handcrafted products made by artisans. Today, Craftsman homes have common identifying features like low-pitched rooflines, double hanging windows, covered front porches, pillars, exposed rafters, open floor plans, and usually, grand fireplaces. Though there are four main types of Craftsman homes—Prairie, Mission, Bungalow, and Four-Square—they all share these common features. Interior design elements typically include built-in storage, nooks, window seats, and natural materials.
The Prairie-Style House
Did you know that the Prairie house plan is one of the few architectural styles that wasn’t invented in Europe? Rather, Prairie-style architecture is synonymous with Frank Lloyd Wright; it came of age around the turn of the twentieth century in the Midwest and is characterized by wide-open floor plans, sweeping horizontal lines, a flowing interior (rather than several boxy rooms), rows of small windows, and overhanging eaves. Essentially, Prairie-style homes were designed to blend in with the flat prairies and open fields of the Midwest (these designs feature many different exteriors and shapes), and they were a direct reaction to ornate Victorian-style homes. Today, you’ll see Prairie houses scattered all over the region—they’re easy to spot, with their simple, clean lines, low-hipped roofs, and open floor plans. In terms of décor, Prairie-style homes tend to set the stage for natural materials, earth tones, and geometric forms, thanks to their minimal design; many of these homes have built-in furnishings like cabinetry, bookcases, and shelves, in addition to vintage accents like Prairie-style lighting fixtures and tile accents.