4 Ways to Mimic the Frank Lloyd Wright Aesthetic in Your Home, According an Architect
Growing up in Chicagoland, I’ve had the joy of being surrounded by Frank Lloyd Wright designs my entire life. His iconic Prairie style graces so many things around here, from homes in the neighborhood north of mine, to churches, to office buildings just over the border in Wisconsin. We even have the Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Trail nearby.
And just like many other local residents, I love Wright’s style — and I’ve dreamed of living in a home he designed. While that may be a pipe dream (maybe one day, when I’m super rich…), it’s easy enough to bring elements of his designs into my own home. You can too; here’s what to consider.
Wright’s furniture designs are pretty recognizable, thanks to their clean lines and strong silhouettes. But that doesn’t mean he compromised on style.
“A lot of his furniture had very simple lines, but they were still very elegant pieces,” says Saloni Ingle, interior design architect at Nitido Design.
To repeat that look in your space, pick similarly minimalist pieces. And remember to watch the size, which was another big factor of Wright’s designs.
“Make sure that your furniture fits well into the space,” Ingle says. “Wright tended to use very large pieces of furniture, so be careful about what you choose for your home.”
Wright’s goal with his prairie style architecture was to blend into the surrounding landscape, bringing both the outdoors in and the indoors out. He did what he could to make it a seamless transition, where the lines and materials of the home played along with the natural world. Mimic that experience by using natural materials, Ingle says: “Wood and stone… fit well with his style of architecture.”
Since Wright tried to blend indoors and out with his designs, lighting was particularly important in his homes. Nothing felt dark or closed-in, unless he used it as a design concept of opening up into a larger space. But even then, there was a source of natural light.
“Wright used lots of windows and skylights, so make sure that you take advantage of these features if you have them,” Ingle says. Lighting can “create an airy feeling in your home.”
If you don’t have enough windows or fixtures to light up your space, try adding square and rectangle mirrors to different areas of the house where they can reflect light.
You’ve probably seen a Frank Lloyd Wright window — even if you don’t know it. The stained glass panels highlight clean lines, colors you’ll find in nature, and lots of repeating patterns.
“Use geometric shapes in [your] design,” Ingle says. “Geometry is a major part of his designs, and you can use it to create the same effect in your home.”
Think things like rectangles, circles, squares of various sizes, and symmetrical triangles. You can add them in with your own stained glass panels, or through decorative touches like tea towels, dishes, and curtains.