Prairie Style Design - It's Roots Run Deep

Different ages have seen different home styles. The architecture keeps changing and evolving. Before 1887, you would see a lot of European inspiration in American architecture. The houses were cluttered and overdone. The exterior boosted spires, towers, and even columns. The interior looked scattered, unkept, and box-like. There were small rooms designated for a specific function as music, parlour, or dining.

In 1887, Frank Lloyd Right created what is now called Prairie-style design. His homes took heavy inspiration from the Midwest landscape. His designs were based on bringing harmony between home and nature. He thought (and it is true) that your house should be designed in harmony with nature. This will, in turn, improve the well-being and overall health of the people living inside.

He wanted to make a living in the house fun and easy. The box-like rooms used to give a feeling of suffocation and confinement. To curb this feeling, he introduced the open floor plans. Prairie design focuses on spacious areas. One huge area is broken up into different spaces of use by changing either the décor or the height of the ceiling.

Walls do not restrict prairie interior design. You don't need walls to show that one room has ended and the other begins. There are a few must-have elements that make a home Prairie style. These are discussed below.

5 Characteristics of Prairie Style Home Design

Prairie style home layout design

1.      Horizontal Lines

It is a well-known fact that lines play an important role in designing. How you use lines can define your style. In the Prairie home décor, horizontal lines are used. Not only lines, but the majority of the surfaces were also horizontal. If you compare it with the Art Deco design, you will see a major difference. Yes, it had vertical surfaces.

This does not mean no vertical surfaces can be used. They are not just made the center of attention, e.g. gutter downspouts were well-hidden. Roofs were horizontal, flat, and long.

2.      Woodwork

Simple and clean woodwork is incorporated as the key concept behind the Prairie décor are natural elements. It is kept simple, and natural woodwork is incorporated. Smooth wood bands are included to see and admire the woodwork and wood grain.

3.      Craftsmanship

This design style incorporates a lot of art glass and hand-wrought woodwork to bring it close to nature.  Focus is on delicate and intricate designs which speak up for themselves. Built-in art on furniture allows toning down the grandeur of the house a little.  

4.      Open House

Unlike the other design movements of its time, the Prairie style emphasizes open spaces a lot. Mostly the first story is open and does not have a lot of rooms. Only the kitchen is on one side and hidden. The dining and living room are together, and it seems like one big room. Change of furniture or the décor separates the rooms from each other.

5.      Style Flow

A unique Prairie interior design is the style flow. Usually, houses are made from outside to inside, or the interior and exterior are not dependent on each other. In this design, the flow of design moves from interior to exterior. The exterior seems a continuity of the interior, and you can see the same style statement in both.

Prairie home design was a revolution in the interior design industry. It was the first architectural design that incorporated modern ideas, nature, and function. The focus was on keeping it simple in design and as close to nature as possible. Functionality was another key element. This was why these homes are still seen all across the globe!