Among the roof formats common at mid-century were “butterfly roofs,” in which two gables dip at midpoint and arch upward; flat roofs; and sawtooth roofs with multiple sets of gables.
PRIVATE FRONT FACADES
While the mid-century home often opens up to face the sun in back, the front of many homes use stucco, brick, stone, siding or other materials to create a private and flat front entry, with minimal windows.
OPEN FLOOR PLANS
Open floor plans: Mid-century homes employ many different designs, but most include an open living/dining/kitchen area, often accented with a fireplace as a kind of gathering point.
WINDOWS AND WALLS OF GLASS
Many mid-century homes use windows extensively to bring in light. These homes often feature floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of sliding doors. They may also include “clerestory” windows that are set high in the walls of a home to let in light while preserving privacy.
Instead of interior walls functioning as support walls, they serve more as room dividers or for appearance. In many homes, “pony walls” extend from the floor to just below the ceiling, separating rooms while allowing them to share light.
EXTENSIVE "OUTDOOR ROOM" SPACE
Multiple rooms open onto a large patio or atrium, designed to extend square footage and blur distinctions between the indoors and outdoors.
GARAGES OR CARPORTS
Garages: With many mid-century homes built around the time the national highway system was expanding, most homes feature an attached garage or carport.
CREATIVE USE OF INTERIOR SPACE
Mid-century homes played with their use of space, with floors divided on split levels or through “sunken” spaces designed for conversation or lounging.
Many mid-century modern homes blended established materials such as wood and brick with then-newer materials such as man-made floorings. They also incorporated new technologies – such as radiant floor heat – and building techniques such as construction atop slab concrete foundations.