Good Bones: Prairie

If you need one word to sum up Prairie style, go with “Sturdy.” Prairie style is a bold, masculine American style born out of the Midwest and represents a dramatic departure from other nostalgic, European styles.

Prairie Style Architecture

Picture an expansive view of the gentle, yet majestic landscape of the Midwest prairies broken up only by the occasional tree or small creek. This gives you a sense of the inspiration for this aesthetic, an extension of the land that it is built on. The style is characterized by its strong horizontal lines, broad overhangs and low slung roofs punctuated by tall vertical windows, piers and chimneys.

Siding ProfilesThe style is best expressed in masonry – which further reinforces its sturdy nature and strong horizontal lines. This can either be brick or a ledgestone stone profile. If siding is used in conjunction with masonry, consider a narrow profile like triple three. An all siding solution would include a wider profile in a dark color at the base ofShadow Ledgestone the home with a lighter, narrow profile at the top.

I love Shadow Ledgestone or Truestack stone profiles to emphasize the horizontal lines while reminding us of the rugged terrain occasionally found in those open plains.


And don’t forget the windows! Tall casements in warm tones are the perfect complement and contrast to the horizontal lines of the style. Of course, prairie style mullions are essential to complete the look.

window 3

As far as colors go, think again about the prairies of the Midwest which change with the seasons, giving you a variety to choose from. Olive tones for the spring: Mediterranean Palm paired with Sandy Tan. Light brown for the summer: Stone Mountain Clay with Sedona Red. Darker browns for the fall: Teak and Sagebrook.

The prairie style maintains its relationship with the horizontal plane through its rich, earthy colors that appear to rise from the ground.

The post Good Bones: Prairie appeared first on ProTalk Blog.

Deryl Patterson

Author: Deryl Patterson

Deryl Patterson is an award-winning designer with more than 30 years of experience and the president and founder of Housing Design Matters, Inc., specializing in residential architecture. Deryl’s passion is creating better places for people to live and her goal is to constantly improve how people live in and use their homes. Prior to starting Housing Design Matters, she was a partner at BSB Design (Bloodgood Sharp Buster) for 15 years. Deryl is married with three grown children and applies her experience as a working mother to all of her home designs. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Architecture and is a registered architect in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Deryl’s memberships include the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, National Association of Home Builders and serves as a board member with the North East Florida Builder Association. She is a frequent speaker at national and local conventions.

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