The leaders of what's now known as midcentury modern had lofty goals. To create homes families could live in. Inside and out. To unlock once tightly defined rooms like parlors and claustrophobic kitchens to unleash great open spaces. To efficiently organize a house into gathering places, work areas and sleeping zones.

American houses today benefit from designers, builders and crews executing these ideals.

Technology has allowed the concepts to progress. Smooth sliding doors can now erase the demarcation between interiors and exteriors. Matching the flooring, finishes and, yes, even furniture and appliances further obscure what's under the roof of the house and what's sheltered by a patio cover.

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