Diverse Home Designs of United States Regions

Diverse Home Designs of United States Regions

Architecture
By Alex Mikayelyan January 12, 2022

The United States is only one country among hundreds across the world, each with its own preferences and design choices for home interiors and exterior. But even in the United States alone, where countless cultures and subcultures collide, there is a huge diversity of house plans and designs.

Each state, right down to every city, has its own unique take on designing homes and it would take a very long time to analyze each and every single one of them. So, instead, let’s take a look at the bigger picture and find out what interior and architectural preferences each region in the country has. You will find that there is no shortage of design ideas and unique takes on what Americans consider to be a comfortable and attractive house.

New England

Step Into the History of the United States In New England Colonial Homes

Step Into the History of the United States In New England Colonial Homes

What better place to start than with the region where the modern United States originated from? Sure, there are many other regions that explorers landed in that were far away from New England. But if we’re talking about the history of the United States, it’s hard to imagine starting from anywhere besides New England. Comprised of Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, this region oozes with historical architecture and echoes its colonial origins.

As the name of the region suggests, the original settlers of this area were English colonists, who brought with them the architectural and interior preferences of their homes to the New World. Hence why the Colonial is a very popular design in New England states. Modern Colonial homes, though now having diverged from the original designs that were around over four centuries, have retained many of the motifs that make their interior and architecture unique.

In general, Colonials are quite simple house designs. A common exterior design element of Colonial homes are flat exterior walls with evenly spaced out windows of the same shapes and sizes. With the exception of a pergola, porch, or a small balcony, there are few to no bump-outs on the exterior of Colonial homes. Colonial interior house plans make use of wooden textures, such as furniture, flooring, shelving, and doors. Additionally, the rooms are very bright, directly echoing the design preferences of the English colonists themselves, who would paint the interior with bright colors. This was done to ensure that even with limited natural or artificial light, the interiors would stay sunny.

Mid-Atlantic

The Combination of Modernism and Comfort That Comes with Transitional Interiors

The Combination of Modernism and Comfort That Comes with Transitional Interiors

Moving a little further south we have the Mid-Atlantic, comprised of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in some cases, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland, though the first three are generally what people refer to when saying “Mid-Atlantic”. While these states were also among the original 13 New England colonies, their architecture greatly differs from their neighbors up north. In the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the more common house design is the Transitional.

It’s no secret that the three main Mid-Atlantic states are very diverse and some of the most densely populated areas in the country. While all three were originally English colonies, throughout the centuries, many immigrants from a large number of countries moved into this region as well. Since then, there have been a lot of designs and home preferences, but the Transitional is one of the most prominent. In the mid 20th century, during and following the war, modernism slowly began to take a more cozy turn.

This is why you will find that many Transitional homes share elements with other contemporary exterior and interior designs, but with an extra dash of plushness and comfort. So you’ll have couches and armchairs of non-traditional shapes, but very soft and cozy. You will also find plenty of neutral colors, as well as curvy geometry and straight lines that adorn the interiors and add a bit of quirkiness.

Midwest

The Rustic Coziness of Midwestern Farmhouse Design

The Rustic Coziness of Midwestern Farmhouse Design

Farmland and wide-open prairies are the heart of the Midwestern region. While the number of Midwestern states changes from map to map, most will agree that the Midwest starts from Ohio, along the Great Lakes, and moves west to the Dakotas and Nebraska. While each of the states in this area, from Michigan and Indiana, to Minnesota and Wisconsin, are vastly different in their own ways, they are all commonly referred to as America’s Heartland. This is mostly thanks to the region having vast acres of farmland, a motif you will soon understand is a major determinant in the area’s architecture and design.

It goes without saying that the Farmhouse design, with all its variations, is quite popular in the Midwest. Originally, farmhouses were designed a certain way purely out of necessity and practicality. But as time went on, these elements became a part of the Farmhouse aesthetic and were not used as much for the sake of practicality. Tall, steep roofs, plenty of open interior space, and no more than two stories tall, these Farmhouse homes are cozy and rustic.

The key ingredient to making a farmhouse plans work, even if it’s a more contemporary take on the design, is without a doubt wood. Wooden beams, even if they are faux, are a great way to introduce that farmhouse vibe into your home. The same goes for a dinner table with rustic wooden benches instead of individual chairs. Reclaimed wood accents also work wonderfully in Farmhouse interiors, as they are very rustic and offer a dash of visual variety without being too bold. 

The South

The Recipe to Southern Comfort Homes

The Recipe to Southern Comfort Homes

On most maps of the United States, the South is the biggest region in the country. From the huge state of Texas, down to the bayous of Louisiana, eastward to the farmland of Georgia, and even further south to the coastal cities of Florida, the South is a very diverse region with a lot of cultural influences. Because of this wide range of diversity, the Southern design is quite distinct and can be identified by a few specific features.

Neutral colored bricks are quite popular in Southern home design, as is the local wood since a very prevalent motif in Southern design is incorporating the local environment. But, by far the biggest hallmark of a Southern-style home design is a spacious porch and other outdoor living areas. The South has great weather and the residents really love it. So to enjoy it in comfort, porches and patios are a mainstay in Southern home design and are a proud feature of many homes in this region. 

Rocky Mountain 

The Mid-Century Modern Homes of the Rockies

The Mid-Century Modern Homes of the Rockies

Looking through the rough terrain of the Rocky Mountain region you wouldn’t think to find houses that are as bold as Midcentury Modern house designs. Now, do keep in mind, that the Rocky Mountain region is quite large and encompasses a huge mountain range as well as plenty of prairies. From Montana up north, down to Colorado and Utah, the Rocky Mountain region is home to varied landscapes. If you live in the prairies of Montana, then you can go for just about any home design.

But there is quite a widespread preference among those who live close to the snowy mountain ranges to build these Mid-Century Modern house interiors. While for some, these houses are only there for ski trips and holidays, many individuals live in these Mid-Century Modern homes, with their slanted roofs and open floor designs. Because of the rugged terrain of the Rockies and how difficult it is to get the land to cooperate, homes are built into the surrounding landscape, as opposed to adapting the landscape to suit their construction needs.

The interior of Mid-Century Modern homes makes use of smooth shapes and forms. You can find a lot of wood accents and elements, especially near mountain ranges where the lodge vibe is most prevalent. There are plenty of natural stone features as well, such as exterior walls and fireplaces. All of this is brought together with big panoramic windows giving residents gorgeous visages of the snowy mountain peaks. 

Southwest

How Southwestern Residents Adapted Their Home to Their Harsh Surroundings

How Southwestern Residents Adapted Their Home to Their Harsh Surroundings

What do you get when you combine Navajo culture with Spanish influence and make use of the natural materials found in the Southwest United States? You get the eye-catching Southwestern design that is unique from anything else across the country. Southwestern home designs can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, southern California, and Nevada.

There are two main elements responsible for the Southwest design’s unique appearance: the weather and nature. In the Southwestern United States, it can get quite hot, so hot in fact, that the reflection of sunlight from a nearby skyscraper can literally melt cars. So, in the years before air conditioning, people would paint the exterior of their homes with bright colors so the sunlight would be reflected off the walls instead of being absorbed into them and heating up the house.

As for the natural aspect of Southwest house designs — because deserts tend to be quite barren, people had to make do with whatever natural elements existed around them. This meant cultivating local plants, such as cacti and other plants that grew in the area. Also, because the desert was quite rocky, the landscape around homes would have to adapt to the surrounding natural formations, as opposed to homeowners having the freedom to dig it up any way they chose. As a result of this rigidness of the landscape, houses of Southwestern design are far more freeform than ones you’ll find on more malleable landscapes. Hence why you can find them in all kinds of unique shapes and layouts instead of the rectangular designs we’re used to in other parts of the country.

Northwest

Craftsman House Designs That Work with the Surrounding Nature

Craftsman House Designs That Work with the Surrounding Nature

Let’s finish off with the houses in the Northwest United States, which are the states of Washington and Oregon. These are two of the three Pacific Coast states on the mainland United States. And while they may share a coast with California to the south, their climates are vastly different, hence why there are so many differences in their architecture. One of the first things that come to mind is the Craftsman-style houses.

The word you’re probably looking for when it comes to describing the vibes of the Northwest states is “rustic”. The terrain and shorelines of the two states are quite fierce and oftentimes difficult to work with. So, the emphasis is placed on practicality and comfort. Cabins and lodges are quite popular near luscious forests, but if you don’t live off the grid or are not much of a nature person, then Craftsman home plans would be a good choice. Wooden textures, complex exterior design elements, and a cozy interior are fundamental elements of Craftsman cottage house plans.

The Northwestern region tends to get quite a lot of rain, so a huge emphasis is placed on high-quality roofing that can withstand all that moisture. This is why you’ll find a lot of houses with steep gable or Dutch roofs that provide proper irrigation. Besides Craftsman, you can also find a lot of contemporary houses deep within the embrace of Northwestern nature, with big panoramic windows that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding foliage.

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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