The living quarters and stalls are built together. This method of construction clearly shows the close relationship that the farmer had with his animals.
The Kreuzfirsthaus or cross-ridge house is the epitome of the Appenzell house. The living quarters under the gable and the stable barn with projecting eaves are combined such that the ridges of both parts of the building are located at right angles to one another. The colourfulness of Appenzell farmhouses is known to both foreigners and locals. It is simply considered to be a characteristic part of the Appenzell cultural landscape.
The gable of the living quarters always faces the valley. The house is more often than not cladded with shingles to protect against the rigours of the weather. The shutters are pulled and, when they are open, disappear into a slot mounted above the windows.
The construction of the Toggenburg houses is very similar, but they are not as colourful for the most part. The façades are cladded with wooden shingles
Embroidery rooms were often set up in the cellars. Windows located at ground level allowed light into the cellar which provided the required air humidity and constant temperatures for the embroiderers’ fine work.