The Prairie house was innovated in the early years of the 20th century. An architect named Frank Lloyd Wright is responsible for bringing this style to the masses. He grew up in the Midwest. Therefore, he expressed the flat, flowing landscape of his home in the Prairie architectural style. As a result, this style features wide, sweeping horizontal lines. The Prairie style of architecture is simple and focuses on comfort. Beautiful and full of utility, it is unique from all other past styles of home building. Houses that have been built in the Prairie style have roofs that are broad, sloping and sheltering. In addition to that, the chimneys are low. Prairie houses also have terraces and balconies that are laid out in all directions. This creates protected spaces in the outdoors for people to relax on. Generally, the Prairie home design features horizontal and vertical planes that rhyme with each other seamlessly.

The key elements of Prairie style homes

This style of architecture has some unique characteristics. Firstly, the houses have between 1 and 2 stories. They have a floor plan that is open with spaces that flow freely. As a result, the outdoor and indoor spaces mesh together. Prairie houses have wings that are cantilevered which project outwards. Moreover, houses that are built in this style are normally integrated with the environment and general landscape.

One of the most important visual and functional elements of a house is the roof. Prairie houses have roofs which have a low pitch and that are hipped. Sometimes they can be flat too. The eaves of the house are overhanging and have broad proportions. In addition to that, the horizontal lines of Prairie houses are very strong. The windows can be described as clerestory and are arranged in horizontal ribbons or casements. The chimneys of Prairie style homes are centrally located and feature prominently on the house.

The materials used in Prairie style houses

The Prairie style of architecture extends into the interior of the house. Here you can find cabinetry that is highly stylized and is built in. To keep within the natural Prairie theme, the cabinetry is made of wood. There is extensive use of natural materials in the house. Examples of these are wood and stone. The siding materials are normally brick, stone or stucco. To decorate the house, you can find friezes installed around the doors and windows. Moreover, you can find bands located under the eaves.

The color palette used in Prairie houses

The Prairie style of architecture is inspired by nature. Therefore, the colors that are used to decorate such houses are inspired by the those of trees and flowers in the Midwestern prairies. In nature, these colors change with the seasons. As a result, there is variety in the color palette of a Prairie style house.

The floor, walls and trimming of the house are decorated using earth colors. These include gray, brown and wheat brown color. They mimic the natural appearance of the Prairie fields. Also, you can find some red, orange, green and rust colors in these houses too. These ones are brighter and more vivid. Therefore they are more likely to be found in decorative items such as paintings and rugs. These bright colors are also found on the furniture and draping as well. Wood is a major construction material for Prairie style houses. It is often presented in medium and dark brown colors. To maintain a natural look in the house, tiles are used to construct it too. You can find them in colors such as deep rust and terra cotta. The colors mentioned above form the foundation color palette in Prairie houses.

The walls and ceilings of Prairie style homes give decorators a chance to experiment with brighter colors. Normally, they are decorated with wood trim. This feature is given a dark color so that the brighter colors on the walls and ceilings can pop out more. Colors such as golden brown, ivory, sand brown, cream, light green and ochre are used on these parts of the house. Today, people add glaze to these colors so as to add depth to the walls and ceilings. In addition to that, some use suede colors to give these features some texture. Despite being delicate, suede paints make the walls look soft and supple in Prairie style houses.

With such a huge variety available to you, how many colors can you use at the same time in a Prairie style house? The wood trim divides the walls and ceilings into sections. Therefore, you get the opportunity to use as many colors as you want throughout the house as long as they are within the accepted color palette. Some owners of Prairie style homes are known to apply up to six different colors in a single room. Some of these are stark contrasts of each other while others are simply different shades of similar colors in the room. When decorating a Prairie style house, always remember to use darker colors for the lower levels of the room and lighter ones for the upper levels.

Stencils on the walls

To maintain the design tradition of Prairie style homes, there are some stencils that one can paste into the space between the upper part of the windows and the ceiling. Available in many designs, stencils cover an area of between 2 and 3 feet to decorate the house. Ensure that you pick some that have colors which complement those in the rest of your house. Also, keep them moderate.

Some examples of Prairie style houses

A good example of a Prairie style house is the Dr. Clarke House. It is located in Fairfield, Iowa and was designed by Francis Barry Byne. This house was constructed between 1915 and 1916. Another one is the Frederick C. Robie House. It was built in 1909. In addition to those, the Mrs. Thomas Gale House in Oak Park, Illinois is another excellent example of a Prairie style house.

Frank Wright created a style of house construction that has lived on for more than a hundred years. He transitioned from the Victorian houses into Prairie houses by opening up the rooms and inviting the outdoor atmosphere into the house. Mr. Wright purposed to design houses that looked like a part of the landscape that they sat on. Prairie houses are spacious, elegant and open planned in a tasteful way.

Contact Larry Stewart Homes – Expert Prairie Style Custom Home Builders

Larry Stewart Custom Homes has more than 30 years of experience building luxury homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth. Give us a call at (817) 402-2154 and we will be more than happy to answer any questions or help you build the home of your dreams.

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