10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines, IA

by Lauren Chorpening Day

When I moved to Des Moines, IA three years ago, I wasn’t expecting to stay. I had my eyes set on the West Coast and thought if I could gain enough publishing experience to move out there in a few years, Des Moines would serve its purpose, but not be much more. Quickly upon arriving, though, I realized that this little-big city has so much more to offer. It’s constantly in the news for being the “wealthiest” city in America because of the low cost of high-style living it offers. The people who work, eat and socialize downtown can also afford to live downtown. The stately and historic homes aren’t out of reach for people who are early-on in their careers. Modern homes and lofts are being built at a rapid pace to keep up with the growing population. I thought I would stay here for a while — maybe live here — but I had no idea that I would make my home Des Moines, IA.

What I love about Des Moines homes and shops is the gorgeous mix of old and new. If you ever visit DSM, you’ll hear neighborhoods mentioned such as South of Grand (gorgeous, giant homes ranging from the early to late 1900s, still as pristine and impressive as ever), the East Village (modern, urban lofts next to boutiques and restaurants in historical buildings and set off by the stunning Iowa State Capital Building), or Sherman Hill (Victorian homes and brick apartment buildings in a quiet, treelined neighborhood just a few blocks from downtown). The variety and beauty of this town is everywhere you look.

DSM has shown up more and more recently on Design*Sponge, and we wanted to share 10 of our favorite interiors in this city — some you’ve seen in the past on D*S, and a few new peeks at stories to come. While you’re in the mood to learn more about the heartland’s cool little sister, Des Moines, take another look at last week’s city guide. —Lauren

10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Joseph and Nick's modern guest room utilizes white walls, wood floors and lots of contrast. These story producers at Meredith Corporation definitely take their beautiful work home with them.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Locally Grown's flagship store is located in Des Moines. The modern interior mixed with natural materials and nods to rural living complements the city well. Photo by Austin Day.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
My own Sherman Hill dining room mixes modern and mid-century modern styles with original 1915 wood trim.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Des Moines photographer Aly Carroll and her husband, Loren, designed this sweet and serene nursery for their son Grae.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Justin and Ali Meyer's Des Moines bungalow is kept classic with comfortable, sophisticated furniture and updated styling. Photo by Justin Meyer.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Preservation's shop and studio is located in a historic building in the East Village, but inside is a desert-meets-modern wonderland.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Eatery A's rich wood tones and texture make this industrial designed space warm and inviting for a cocktail or pizza.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
Liz Lidgett and Nick Renkoski added playful personality to their South of Grand charmer with a periwinkle paint job and graphic runner.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge
The new Hotel Renovo in the Des Moines metro is full of modern, rustic and industrial styling everywhere you look. It sits right next to a living museum celebrating farming in the 1800s, making the contrast between old and new even more beautiful. Photo by Emily Gilbert.
10 Favorite Interiors in Des Moines | Design*Sponge

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  • My hometown :) When I left ten years ago their wasn’t much going on downtown – I’m happy to see the city thriving and growing now when I “go home”.

    • Not very, though probably more so than it used to be. The Salvadorean and Vietnamese communities are fairly large. Iowa on the whole is not terribly diverse.

  • If you want diversity, you’ll love Gary, Indiana–second only to Detroit in the fabulous benefits of diversity.

  • I love this- I don’t see the midwest enough in the design world. I am an Omaha girl and travel to Des Moines for work, it’s where my company headquarters are. Omaha and Des Moines are very similar and fantastic places to live. I don’t know that I’d say that in January- but the winter makes me love spring that much more!

  • What a wonderful post! I am a Des Moines native, and very proud of our evolving culture and creative scene!!! A wonderful place to live and work.