Inside an Amish Home: Swiss Amish

Following up last week’s look inside a New York Amish living room, we have a couple more photos of an Amish home interior, courtesy of SUNY-Potsdam anthropology professor Karen Johnson-Weiner.

These shots were taken in a home in the Swiss Amish settlement in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

amish home inside

Swiss Amish tend to be fairly plain, and I think this interior reflects that.

amish home interior

A few things jumped out at me immediately on viewing these photos.  What do you notice?

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    1. Alice Aber

      Greetings Erik,

      I see very nice hard wood floors, with a high shine. Calendar on the wall which is a common site in Amish homes. Color coordination between the bed cover and the pad on the rocker. The walls are in excellent shape which makes me think a newer house or recently remodeled. I am not sure what is hanging on the wall above the cot or child’s bed but it looks to me home made. I love the cabinet which looks to be a secretary type hutch. The curtains are very well made, simple yet draped back quite nicely. More like what a modern home would be without all the pictures and wall hangings. Looks to be a ceiling light in the first picture.

      That’s my observations for now. Not fully awake yet, LOL.

      Nice pictures! Thanks for sharing!!
      Blessings, Alice

    2. Lisa Brown

      I see the beauty in both the plain and the woodwork. The floors, walls and furniture are just beautiful. I notice that the windows have curtains and not shades as I would have expected. The desk chair is a bit industrial so it’s a little surprising. I would expect a wooden chair. I also would have expected a patch quilt and not a solid one.

    3. Lisa Brown

      hmmmm….what’s that on the ceiling?

    4. Jean H

      Use of nature wood to ‘decorate’ the room. This is not a home full of CHILDREN… where everybody sit in evenings? Not to mention no little black hats on rack. That bed, it is not custom in general household but very good alternative to a couch. Presence of bed in livingroom I most often see in plainer Amish homes so I’m guessing this is such. I agree that this may be recently build/remodled. It is to the point of wondering if it is actually “dawdy house” addition (look at cabinet and desk handles, two of them are either missing or loose). It does look like there are some Uncle Arthur blue bible story books on desk (that’s what I call them). That’s not common sight for me.

    5. Jean H

      Lisa, “that thing on ceiling” is reflector for hanging gas light. It also help a little to keep ceiling a bit cooler. I still have mine from my horse n buggy days (not Amish but nevertheless).

    6. Anita

      I was wondering if it’s a Daudie Haus, too- because of the bed in the living room. My grandma has a tiny addition to my uncle’s house and it looks very much like this (with the bed in a corner of the big room, I believe). Actually- the whole place looks a lot like my dad’s people’s places in N IN- but not Shipshewana- a few miles south of there in a more conservative area by LaGrange.
      It’s a beautiful room- love all that wood!

    7. Anita

      Also- that thing above the bed looks like a box for holding letters and stuff like that. In some homes, that’s fairly common.

    8. Roxanne

      Is that a stuffed animal on the bed?

    9. linda saul

      I love these pictures. Jean H mentioned that there were no little black hats on the wall. I am thinking there are two on the left side of the door, or are those something else. Anyways do love the photos. A well kept home.

    10. Also in the desk there is a huge German Bible, a German Prayerbook and a Raber’s Almanac.

    11. Alice Mary

      When can I move in? Having two desks (one of which looks out windows on what seems to be a gorgeous slice of nature) would be wonderful if it is a Dawdi house…one could sit there writing their memoirs for their multiple grandchildren/great-grands. I was a little surprised about the old “typing chair” (as I knew it) and the fact that the desk hardware needed repair. There’s no way I could tell what books were on the desk—you folks have good eyes!

      I’m curious about what appears to be “hanging” out on the porch, as viewed from the door—socks? Towels? Does anyone else have any ideas?

      Yes, I, too,, love these photos. (They’re better than “Where’s Waldo?” and “I Spy”.)

      Alice Mary

    12. I’ve got more furniture right now, and my walls aren’t this Plain yet – and I have a real couch now – but it isn’t much different from my house. I have often used single bed as couch – it was also a guest bed. Things in our house are practical rather decorative.

    13. Anita

      @linda saul- I think the point is they’re not little hats, they’re adults’ hats.
      That stuff on the porch- looks like a small drying rack attached to the porch wall with socks. (Sort of) dry your socks when it’s raining! 😉

    14. Sydney

      That home is really lovely. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Did Karen Johnson-Weiner actually take these pictures herself? I would love to hear her comments on our comments.

    15. Tom

      I see everyone talking about the shades on Amish windows but my experience has been different. In my area the homes all have curtains fixed the same way as the above pictures. I wonder if the shades or curtains are decided by districts or certain orders?

    16. Mona

      I think this looks like a bedroom, not a living room….and the floors are beautiful, love the secretary desk,and the rocker, but did notice one of the desk drawers needed the hardward screwed back on…. Surprised to see the typing chair at the desk also…..I was looking for the bed to have one of their quilts they make all the time on the bed instead of what looks like a blue blanket !!!! Don’t they use window shades at all ?

      Very neat and clean……

    17. Roxanne–I think that’s a teddy bear!

      Tom, you would see some variation between affiliations and even individual churches on things like interior decor and furniture.

      By the way, I don’t know if anyone could make out the logo on the calendar? 🙂

    18. Marilyn in New York

      Hi Erik,
      I enlarged the picture on my computer and got a magnifing glass and it looks like Newsweek calendar to me, but I may be wrong. I’m an old lady and my eye sight ain’t as good as it use to be. LOL

    19. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I wish my house where that orderly. A family friend bemoans her house being a home befitting the series “Hoarding: Buried Alive”, but, despite her assertion, in my place the halls are clear at least. Table tops not eaten upon are, I sometimes think, are to be used like shelves, at least temporarily.

    20. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      PS … One think I did notice was the desk chair. Looked quite old, but I doubt it would fall apart as easily as some new chairs do.

    21. Hi Marilyn–didn’t mean to make you go to the trouble! It is actually a Pepsi calendar 🙂

      Shom you are right, that desk chair has been around the block but still looks pretty sturdy.

      I think a lot of folks have been struck by the neatness and lack of hoarded up piles of stuff. Hey and how about that shiny floor.

    22. Upholstered Amish hickory rocker

      The upholstered hickory rocker is another Amish specialty. Amish businesses make them by the boatload (there are a lot of producers in Holmes County among others), and you’ll see them often in Amish homes. I picked one up for my father some years ago which he keeps outside. They’re quite comfy even without the upholstering.

      Anita you are right–a very “woody” room. In some Amish homes you see more of the paneling like this, others not so much.

    23. George

      I like the room.
      I am surprised that the handle of the middle drawer on the right side of the desk is only partially attached.
      Unusual for such a well kept room…

    24. Karen Johnson-Weiner

      Comment on Inside an Amish Home: Swiss Amish

      This was a fairly new home when the picture was taken. In fact, it was in a new settlement in western Pennsylvania. And there are lots of young (school age and younger) children in this family! This photo was taken when I stayed with these folks about 5 years ago.

    25. Karen Johnson-Weiner

      Comment on Inside an Amish Home: Swiss Amish

      Oh–the hats. This photo was taken (with the family’s permission) when the children were outside. That ensured that they didn’t get in the picture–but it also explains why there are no smaller hats. They were in use! Notice the circular “close dryer” through the window of the front door–it holds socks drying.

    26. Sydney

      Comparing Kitchens

      After seeing the other page, “Inside and Amish Home: Amish Kitchen”, it would be neat to see what the kitchen looks like in this home.

    27. Robin Miller

      This reminds me so much of my grandmother’s kitchen in Southern Maryland as I remember it from the late 50’s/early 60’s. Her table was at the center surrounded by her Hoosier cabinet, her propane gas stove, built in pantry, her wood cook stove, corner sink, later on our hand me down fridge and that ever-present cozy day bed. I “inherited” her round oak kitchen table when I got married 34 years ago and it has followed us from RI to SC and all places in between, the centerpiece of my dining room!

    28. Carolyn B

      Erik, Thank you so much for emailing this link. I had a blast looking at this room’s views. Woodwork is a favorite treatment of mine and I am really surprised to see so much of it in an Amish home. In our English world, it’s seen as such a luxury now to have wood floors. Like another post said, I’m tempted to move in.

    29. Oliver

      Home does not pass MO/KS Swiss Amish code

      A number of items I see there that would fail the “building codes and zoning ordnances” with the local MO/KS Swiss Amish:

      1. Kerosene lamps only (no propane anything allowed)
      2. No windows allowed on the doors
      3. Vinyl Windows not allowed
      4. Not sure but dont think the metal chair would pass ordnung codes either

      I have hauled, stayed with, worshiped with, and helped these local KS/MO Swiss Amish quite a bit. They also milk by hand and allow no small engines.

    30. mike m

      I deliver diesel fuel to the Amish businesses in the area. At one business, the owner asked me to fill a tank by his house which was connected to a refrigeration unit that was taken from a tractor trailer. This Amish person has air conditioning!! Whether there is duct work in the house or not, I don’t know. This guy may have central air conditioning. Has anybody else seen this at other places?

      1. Occasionally there are medical exceptions allowing air conditioning but it is uncommon and unlikely. Could be a cooling unit, say for cold storage of produce?