Prairie School architecture developed as a consciously and authentically American design style in the late 19th and early 20th century, with roots in Chicago and the Midwest. Pioneered by young designers including Louis H. Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, the style was concerned with solid, sincere craftsmanship and a harmonious integration with nature, created by echoing the landscape with horizontal and organic lines.
Although singularly American, Prairie style does share many of the design philosophies and ideals of the Arts & Crafts movement, including a focus on simplicity and handcrafting as a reaction against mass production and assembly lines. Prairie homes are intentionally wide and low to reflect the American landscape, which was viewed as more open and undeveloped compared to the crowded European cities. Wright and his contemporaries wanted it to feel as though the home grew from its environment naturally.
This style features flat or hipped roofs with broad, overhanging eaves and windows assembled in horizontal bands. Interiors reflect the same principles, with earthy color palettes, along with fixtures and furniture that are often custom crafted. Prairie homes evoke a sense of peace and tranquility, with open floor plans and plenty of natural light. Ornamentation is minimal and thoughtful, with leaded windows and stained glass featuring geometric nature motifs of, for example, stalks of wheat, wildflowers, or trees. In taking its cues from nature, the Prairie home is effortlessly timeless and balanced, and this style translates beautifully to any era.