Inside an Amish Home: Michigan Amish Relaxation Room

You might remember a photo a couple weeks back, of an Amish kitchen that some people found a bit on the fancy side?

Today we have a shot of another room in the same Michigan home:

living room amish home

This place looks like it has some nice spots for taking a nap.  Just as long as those clocks aren’t too noisy.  A close-up:

amish clocks

Another Amish wall decoration:

amish wall decoration

Special thanks to Karen Johnson-Weiner, who took the photo.

More Amish home interiors.

More on Michigan Amish:

Michigan Amish communities in the Amish State Guide

Michigan Amish furniture directory

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    30 Comments

    1. Magdalena

      I think this must be the room where the family, especially mama and kids, spend their day. It has a baby changing table, the duvet for naps, and a comfy chair for nursing. I’d say this home belongs to a young family, with a moderately good income, and they have Englisch friends, or they wouldn’t bother much with the (what I guess is) the religious themed wall plaque and the sentimental brick-a-brack, which has the look of wedding/new baby gifts. I like the blue walls, very soothing. I can’t hear battery operated clocks, but my husband can, and that is what we have too – he finds it hard to nap in the living room.

      I think before people jump in with a critical eye, they need to think about what it means to be Anabaptist – I mentioned this in another comment. The teachings are (at least) five hundred years old, and they are pretty clear on the social responsibilities that each family has in the community economy. I’m in the midst of personal work right now, but will do some reading and post on my blog next week concerning Anabaptist economy.

    2. Alice Aber

      I didn’t really expect to see any wall decor other than perhaps the clock and a calendar. But it is still much plainer than the average “English” home today. Looks quite comfy to me.

      Blessings, Alice

    3. TomK

      Looks like it could be a typical baby/play room in alot of homes in this country, and they have hot water heat and a dog…

    4. Stephen B.

      It’s interesting to see the Tonka Toy (if that brand still exists), and the baseboard heater as well.

    5. Richard

      www.Amishstorys.com

      It just looks to me like a typical room where someone would be staying in. The only give-away for me that i notice are the mats under the hickory rocker and that lazy boy style chair, for some reason the few Amish Homes that I’ve been in had those on the floor. And of the 3 or 4 Amish homes that I’ve been in, none had rugs, so Erik do the Amish prefer non-carpeted floors in their homes?.In my house, the clocks are always set to 12 noon, which is lunch time, my favorite time of the day. Richard from Lebanon county’s Amish community.

    6. Robin Miller

      Do I notice a radiator along one of those walls? Is it functional or was this a former “Englisch” home? A very cozy, cheerful room. I can imagine Mamm and Daed along with the kinner, kicking back and relaxing, especially on an off-Sunday afternoon.

    7. Nadege Armour

      A very relaxing and comfortable room. I did read somewhere that the wall color blue is sometimes acceptable to some Amish Community. BUT, is that a yellow kitchen I see??

    8. Christina

      Erik, I really like these posts with the pictures inside Amish homes. They inspire me to live more simply:-) I didn’t even notice the baseboard heater, Tonka Truck and dog bed until I read the responses. How unobservant of me! I did notice the rather Asian-inspired candle holder on the table next to the recliner (maybe it isn’t really Asian-inspired, but that’s the feel I get from seeing it). I also noticed the candle chandelier through the window. This home is very pretty and looks very comfortable and welcoming:-)

      I suspect TomK is correct in thinking they have hot water heat. Do you know if this is true?

      Thanks,
      Christina

    9. Nadege Armour

      Erik, some of your commenters have blogs and interesting comments. Unfortunately we can’t click on their information to access their blogs. Can this be remedied?

    10. Mary Brandenburg

      From the homes that I have visited in Holmes County, a lot depends on the affiliation of the inhabitants. Our closest Old Order friends have large area rugs on top of linoleum flooring as well as throw rugs. They also have many wall decorations – all of which are either useful (wall calendar, large mirrors to reflect light), religious (the Lord’s Prayer) or time pieces (musical motion wall clock). As for wall colors, most of the house is white, but with an accent wall here and there. The Kitchen has a radiant orange accent wall. The one bathroom has a deep blue accent wall. When we have gone to visit their relatives, who are Andy Weavers, things are much different. Far more sparse, all white walls, few wall hangings. It really depends on where they fall on the Amish escalator.

    11. Amish clocks

      Magdalena on the clocks, I mentioned that because I’ve tried sleeping on my Amish friends’ downstairs couch on more than one occasion, and those chimes can be loud. I’m a light sleeper though. But a nice wall clock is quite typical in Amish homes and typically they have robust chimes or even play a tune.

      The grandfather clock is not too uncommon either. It’s another example of a useful item that is quite decorative.

    12. Blog links

      Magdalena also will look forward to hearing your comments on Anabaptist economy so I hope you’ll let us know when your post is up.

      Also on that note, Nadege you are right, there are definitely some nice blogs here (like Magadalena’s!)–previously I had a place where you could enter a blog url by your comment to provide a link to it. Unfortunately it was buggy and kept going to a 405 error of some sort which I could never figure out.

      However you or anyone else can feel free to share the urls here in the comments text section. It may be slightly less convenient requiring a copy and paste but I hope that will be a sufficient solution and allow people to share whatever they’d like.

    13. Shawn

      Amish Home????

      This doesn’t look like the inside of an Amish home to me at all! I thought they didn’t decorate? And a Lazy-Boy recliner? Come on now! This is not real!

    14. Heater and dog

      Robin I am thinking that may be non-functional…as to heat Christina and Tom as I recall I’ve seen some hot water systems, would typically be in piping behind walls/floors, also the basement wood stoves with venting going into different rooms of the home are common. I’ve don’t recall ever seeing an open fireplace in an Amish home.

      Tom, you noticed that doggie bed too…looks like another example of an indoor pet, like in the Swartzentruber Kitchen photo…

    15. Yes, it is an Amish home :)

      Sorry Shawn, it is 🙂 Though I can understand your reaction. This is a more progressive (though still plain-dressing, horse-and-buggy) Amish home. There are a lot of flavors to the Amish, not always the sort of primitive interior we might imagine. And, I have nodded off on an Amish La-Z-Boy on a number of times so I can assure you they are very much real 🙂

      As for Amish home decorations, some Amish do decorate, generally according to certain customs…if you’re interested you can read more about those in this post:

      https://amishamerica.com/calendars-zip-code-charts-amish-wall-decor/

      1. Shawn

        Inside an Amish home...

        Hello, this is Shawn again. I know this posting is several months old, but I recently came across a genuine Amish home that I would like to take this opportunity to share with you all. I’m not real computer literate, so you’ll have to excuse my ignorance for posting links. All I can say is, if you go to Homes.com, and type in 16142, which is the zip code for New Wilmington, PA. there is a home listed at Phillips School Rd., listed for $145,000.00. There are 18 photos attached to the listing so it gives you a very good idea of the inside of a genuine Amish home. I’m certain that you’ll find this listing more accurate than the one posted in this article in Michigan. Although I’ve never been to Michigan, and don’t know what the homes of the Amish look like there, I can tell you this…here in New Wilmington, this is a REAL Amish home!

    16. Shawn

      I still don't believe it...

      Just like the phony Obama birth certificate on CNN last nite, I still don’t believe it. This house looks no different than a regular “Englisher” house. I’m not buying it, still.

    17. lanore

      This is a very nice looking home….but it does not look Amish….from what I know there homes are much plainer than this one. But I do like the look.

    18. Elin

      elliha.blogspot.com

      Out of context I would never have even imagined it was an Amish home. It looks like regular modern home of a family with young children. Yes, it does not have that many decorative things but not everyone likes that. I like the general decor but the big green armchair though comfortable are in the cathegory of my least favorite furniture when it comes to how it looks… I would not put one like that anywhere near my home. It is the ‘fluffyness’ that I don’t like I think.

    19. Plain Lady

      From the what the skeptics are saying, I would say there are a lot of misconceptions about the Amish. I have been in many Amish homes and believe me they can be very fancy and comfortable. Of course there ones on the other end of the scale, those are pretty sparse and bare. It’s all about knowing what type of Amish they are and what they allow or do not allow.

      I have a friend the sell Home Interiors and said she loves the Amish, they are osme of her best customers. They are great for buying all the religious wall hangings and the candles!! Who can find fault with scripture and candles??? 🙂 Only in the most strict communities are they banned.

    20. Magdalena

      http://magdalenaperks.wordpress.com
      We are Plain but not Amish – our home is like this but we have the previous owner’s furniture as well. It is is plainish but comfy. You wouldn’t see icons in an Amish home, but we have a few. The house here will get plainer as we do some painting and some of the older furniture leaves. The recliner here, as I said, might be for a nursing mother. Maybe men don’t understand. And as Erik says, they are good substitutes for beds for napping. There are some photos of our little house on my blog. My taste runs to very plain, anyway – but I know we wouldn’t want to be so plain that we sat on wooden benches and had no colour at all. Really, if you aren’t Amish, by what are you judging that it isn’t “plain enough”?

    21. Amish rugs and flooring

      Richard linoleum on floors in Amish homes is very common. Easy to clean and durable. You won’t find wall to wall carpeting, at least have never seen it in any home I’ve been in. But you will find some throw rugs like this one. I have a rug made by Amish in Big Valley, rug-making is a fairly common home business. It’s a pretty tough and plain blue rug, it keeps my shoes off the floor 🙂

    22. Different ways to be Amish

      Shawn you are free to disagree, and I can somewhat relate b/c looking at this photo I would not immediately think “Amish”.

      One reason I find Amish society interesting is for the different ways of being Amish. From the very plain to the not-so-plain. Amish do sometimes purchase non-Amish homes, but would be expected to bring them into standard (ie remove electricity, etc). In that case you would see remnants like light switches on walls or A/C/heating ducts. But even in newly-built Amish homes you can see some pretty fancy things.

      Amazing cabinetry, for example, definitely not “Amish-looking”, or fairly fancy-looking kitchens. I doubt all Amish would agree with some home interior decor choices. But that is why there is not just one variety of Amish, but 1800 church districts spread across at least a couple dozen different affiliations, with differing standards on everything from technology to the width of one’s hat brim.

      This is not a super-Plain Amish home. But IMO this is still not a terribly fancy interior, all things considered.

      Many Amish have hickory rockers, grandfather clocks and comfortable furniture are common, so are children’s toys. The color of the wall is a bit “un-Amish” in my opinion, but not beyond the realm of possibility. Certain wall decorations and knick-knacks are to be found in many Amish homes as well.

      For a plainer interior, try the “Swartzentruber kitchen” or “Swiss Amish” links above. A great book on the subject is “Amish Paradox”, outlining diversity among Ohio Amish churches.

    23. Patty

      Michigan Amish Relaxation Room

      I have been in a number of Amish homes and most are decorated very nicely. Dollies, wall decorations. I find Amish homes look just like English homes, only they are ALWAYS neat! Their bathrooms look just like ours, mirrors, sink, tub, shower. I dont think many would want wall to wall carpet if you couldn’t use an electric vacuum cleaner. However, sometimes they will move into a “Non-Amish” built home, where it is wired for electricity and they will even use it sometimes….not sure whether they are “allowed” to or not, but I have known thenm to buy electric fans for these types of houses.

      Eric, where do you get these pictures? Are they from good friends? HOw do you ask to take pictures? I have never done that before. Just curious!

    24. Magdalena

      I have seen the whole range of Plain homes from one room log cabin to fairly modern homes like this, although most fell into the farmhouse category – woodstove, lino floors, mismatched furniture, lots of herbs and houseplants, mostly handmade religious mottos on the walls. The older couples still had spinning wheels and looms and such – wait, does that put us into the older couple category?

    25. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      “…A bright canary yellow” (yeah, I know that’s from “South Pacific”)

      It’s interesting the blues and yellows on the walls in the two rooms that I can see.

      Although I’m not a professional historian, I have been told by professionals in my local tourist/historic industry that historically people would paint their homes in lighter colours to reflect the sunlight coming in the windows. I know of a historic site home that has yellow floors in one room, it is pre-1840.

      So it is interesting to me that this family of Michigan Amish have blues and yellows on their walls. Of course it may be in keeping with historical trends, that and given the shades of the colours, blue and yellow are quite nice.

      I like blue.

    26. MELISSA

      Comment on Rugs under Furniture

      Someone asked why there were rugs under the chairs. My grandmother had hardwood floors and always put a rug under her furniture. She said it kept her floors from getting scratched, either from debris under the legs or from the chair legs themselves. I love the color of this room and I love its comfort!

    27. Tom

      Maybe they painted the rooms blue and yellow because they are university of Michigan football fans. (Just joking of course)

    28. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Tom. Could be! It wouldn’t surprise me if an Amish reads about professional and university sports and follow their teams through the newspaper, quietly and plainly.

    29. Amish home photo-taking

      Hi Patty, these particular photos were taken by Karen Johnson-Weiner who is a professor of anthropology at SUNY-Potsdam and long-time Amish researcher (among other things she’s written “Train Up a Child” about Old Order schools, and “New York Amish”, two great books).

      The majority of the photos on this website are my own, but when using others I always give a credit line which you’ll normally see in text or at the bottom. If I want to take a photo in someone’s home, I just ask, though I personally haven’t taken a ton of in-home photos, more of scenery, buggies, etc. Karen has done a good bit more in-home, as you can see in some of the other “Inside an Amish Home” examples above.