The Disappearing Regional Home Design

Once upon a time the kind of home you lived in was almost exclusively dictated by the region of the country you lived in. It makes perfect sense; at one point air conditioning and central heating weren’t available or even invented, so the construction of your home had to take advantage of your regions positive climate attributes or at least shield you from the bad ones. Likewise, the architecture and design of the area was most likely heavily influenced by the ethnic groups that first settled the area.

Of course there are other factors that determine the construction and design of a home. The amount you spend is going to be very important no matter where you live, for example. But generally speaking, homes in certain regions adhered to similar designs:

  • California: Spanish style, open homes that transition between inside and out easily. Courtyards are commonly used and provide a large living space instead of stressing formal living areas.
  • East Coast: Generally homes on the Right Coast are more formal, sophisticated and even have a touch of aristocracy to them.
  • Midwest: While not as consistent as West and East Coast homes, Midwest homes have always been designed to be comfortable and traditional.
  • Texas: Not to be outdone by the other 49 states, Texas has been known to have its own style of home as well. Like California/West Coast homes, they are more open and Spanish influenced, but with a lot more Mexican elements than purely Spanish.

Melting Pot

Just like our country, housing designs started to merge and meld together in the various regions, creating sub-regional styles and influences. In the California example, you can see the evolution from Spanish Colonial to Monterey to Spanish Eclectic variations of homes and design elements.

As more people come to an area and more homes are needed, space and land issues begin to influence design as well. Sprawling homes built in the 1920’s just wouldn’t cut it in Los Angeles today.

Homogenized Design is the Norm

With our complete interconnectivity now, it is becoming the norm to see home design homogenized no matter what region you are looking at.

For example, Florida once had a very unique design to their homes. But other coastal states like the Carolinas started to incorporate this style into their own. East Coast transplants brought their love of formal design to the Midwest and you see a lot of melding of the two styles in designs like Farm House, Colonial and Craftsman cottage bungalows. But now as more West Coast people are finding the Midwest more advantageous to live in, design elements and home design came with them.

Shifting populations bring their own design elements and as a consequence, it is becoming increasingly harder to find a pure regional or even sub-regional design. If anything, home design seems to be mostly differentiated along environmental and ethnic lines these days.