4 House Tours That Prove the Midwest is Packed With Modern Design

published Aug 25, 2019
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The Midwest can get a bad rap when it comes to its homes. Even though many people probably envision a sleek high-rise in the middle of New York City or a light and airy bungalow somewhere along the Pacific Coast highway when they think about modern design, the fact is, the Midwest has been on the forefront of the cutting-edge for… ever. After all, Frank Lloyd Wright created some of the best, most forward-thinking homes in America’s heartland, and his legacy isn’t going anywhere.

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But even if this isn’t news to you, it’s still nice to get a visual reminder of the sleek, bold designs that call the Midwest home today. And if this is surprising, then prepare to be delighted by some of our finest Midwestern house tours:


When searching for mid-mod inspiration in the midwest, the town of Columbus, Indiana, (population is around 44,000) comes up a lot. Nearly 70 buildings in the town are showcase pieces of modern architecture and seven of them are National Historic Landmarks. Ryan Brinkerhoff and Katie Tyne’s Columbus crib, for example, takes on a mid-century approach with a boxy couch and sunburst clock.


It should come as no surprise that the Windy City is all swept up in great, modern design. In fact, the Chicago History Museum has a two year-long exhibition dedicated to the city’s contribution to modern, American design. Of course, Chicagoans know how to give modern decor a unique flair. Kira’s Gold Coast abode combines sleek, modern pieces with an effortlessly elegant vibe.


Spring Green, Wisconsin is home to The Usonian Inn, a nostalgic roadside spot designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students. You’ll find mid-century modern creations throughout the state—in Madison, Richland Center, and beyond—partly because Wright himself was born and raised in the state. Midwestern couple Michael and Danijela bring the modern spirit to Milwaukee with their pared-down place.

Credit: Emma Fiala


With gorgeous coffee table books published on the subject, Minnesota has a flushed out swath of mid-mod buildings. The state, especially the Twin Cities, has more design appeal in line with this aesthetic than you might think, no doubt influenced by Minnesota’s proximity to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home state. With dark wood accents and subtle modern flair, this Minneapolis house tour pays homage to FLW himself.

Seek and ye shall find Midwestern inspiration for mid-mod design – that’s an ancient architectural proverb or something, right?