America's Best House Plans

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Prairie style house plans are said to be the first original, uniquely American architectural style and were characterized as a type of bungalow indigenous to the Midwest. This, at the time, new form of architecture with its pronounced rooflines and low to the ground proportions were a natural extension of the sparse beauty of the prairie lifestyle. It was one of the few architectural styles not imported from Europe or otherwise and much of its success can be contributed to Frank Lloyd Wright. A master visionary and architect, F. L. Wright, relied on strong horizontal lines, earthy materials and organic interaction with the native landscape, which was then incorporated into the exterior spirit of the home. This sensitivity to the home’s surrounding environment gave Prairie style homes the appearance of emerging from the ground and belonging to the neighboring scenery.

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Warm, inviting and informal, these homes were considered to be the exact measure of simplicity to enhance the wide open spaces of the prairie. The native design materials used resulted in bringing the outdoors in and allowing for a greatly increased enjoyment of the accompanying porches and patios and an intimate connection to the landscape. These outdoor spaces could extend in many different directions beyond the interior plan which creatively added to the beauty and function of the home. America’s Best House Plans takes great pride in offering a varied selection of Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Prairie House Plans.

Unique Home Style Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright

This unique house style was engaged and flourished in the housing market but for a short time; however, the artistry and seduction of these key architectural design principles remain. From the late 19th century until perhaps, 1920, Prairie homes flourished in answer to the overblown Victorian architecture of the time. Not surprisingly though, this home style has proven to be an adaptable version of many different home styles as their architectural design elements can be suitable for a wide range of home styles such as Craftsman, Bungalow and Modern. While the exterior characteristics were radical, newly organized and represented a return to the spirit of seamless integration of the natural landscape, the interior arrangement was fundamental to Prairie style homes being separated from other home styles. These homes were a clear departure from the Victorian homes of the time, where small, independent, set-apart rooms were the norm. Innovative, modern interior floor plans where rooms flowed one into the other with a solid connection to the outdoors, were now being employed. Today, the exterior architecture and the interior layout of the Prairie style homes remain conducive to construction principles that can focus on both luxury and small homes. These luxurious homes can offer large amounts of square footage and yet, small homes are designed in such a way they will not lose any of their powerful exterior beauty nor will the interior floor plan be compromised by a smaller amount of square footage.

Lacking in decorative ornamentation, Prairie house plans often include: 

  • Low pitched hipped roofs
  • Overhanging eaves
  • Cantilevered floors
  • Prominent massive chimney 
  • Wide porches · Masonry construction 
  • Tall windows · One story projections 
  • Open floor plans  
  • Natural materials   
  • Strong horizontal lines

Organic materials

Prairie house plans are characterized by low horizontal exterior configurations, flat or low pitched hipped roof lines, deep overhangs and rows of tall, ribbon windows and/or horizontal waves of windows. The use of organic materials, both on the exterior and interior, aid in the environmental blend of the homes. Although lacking in ornamentation, the use of various geometric shapes help define nature as a meaningful partner when designing the home and create an aesthetically pleasing interior home environment. Window placement and pattern are essential elements of this style of home; they offer visual appeal and allow for a plethora of natural sunlight to enter the home. A key component of Prairie house plans, windows, were used as another organic aspect to the fundamental architectural design of the home which allowed for cross ventilation and air flow at a time when people were realizing the natural health benefits of doing so.

Footprint and Square Footage

Prairie house plans are often categorized as a two storied house plan but can also have a one story footprint. Either way, they often have a simple square layout with airy, open floor plans where each room effortlessly flows into the next while incorporating built-in cabinetry, nooks and crannies into the floor plan using decorative wood materials into the interior. There may also be cozy spaces for a study, a breakfast room or an accompanying sunroom adjacent to the outdoor space. Today’s modern version of the Prairie plan can even incorporate walk-out basements into the plans as a way to increase the square footage of the home and in response to challenging property lots. Just as Prairie house plans can incorporate different styles of homes, they are also able to offer a wide range of square footage while maintaining their most important style features. America’s Best House Plans is proud to offer an exciting and varying array of exterior facades as well as square footage plans that can range from close to 2,000 square feet to in excess of 7,000 square feet with the mid-range hovering around the 2,500 to 3,500 mark.

Simple, yet complex, Prairie house plans continue to intrigue the housing market with their ability to beautifully blend comfort, utility and elegance. No longer found just in the native Midwest, these homes have been introduced nationwide and have come to be loved no matter the natural or urban environment they have been cast in with their compelling measure of patterns and movement.