Prairie Style Windows

Prairie Style Windows

Prairie-style architecture created a catalyst for modern, sleek homes. In this article, we take a closer look at the window styles quintessential for this architecture style. Whether you're looking for replacement or new construction windows, choosing windows that suit your home's architectural style will increase curb appeal. The right windows can increase the value of your home and create, or maintain, an authentic look. 

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What is Prairie Style Architecture?

Frank Lloyd Wright founded Prairie architecture in the early 1900s. It came as a response to the showy architectural styles that preceded it and took some inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement. Prairie architecture humbly celebrates simplicity, natural materials, and sleekness. It did away with ornate and flamboyant decorations, preferring hand-carved artistry and refined design. 

Prairie-style homes are from a similar time as Craftsman style homes. Both architectural styles serve to provide a functional and practical space. Craftsman homes still used a traditional approach to home layout, whereas Prairie homes used open-plan living spaces and sleek, smooth, horizontal designs to create a modern, much-loved look. 

Prairie houses add a modern touch while still making the dwelling functional and maintaining the Arts and Crafts Movement's typical aesthetics↗. This architectural style has the following characteristics:

  • Exposed natural materials and motifs (especially oak), locally sourced stone, stucco, brick
  • Open-plan homes with a natural flow between the outdoors and indoors
  • Expansive windows
  • Subtle crafted details, built-in art, and smooth cabinetry
  • Horizontal lines
  • Natural themes
  • Practical for home living by incorporating a lot of natural light, prominent fireplaces, and cozy areas.
  • Asymmetrical designs and floor plans
  • Usually one story, sometimes two
  • Cantilevered wings 
  • Harmony with its setting in nature
  • Low-pitched or flat roof
  • Roofs with broad, overhanging eaves
  • Clerestory↗ windows (collection of small windows above eye level).

The Prairie architectural style originated in Chicago. Its influence remains in the area, but you can also find it in Iowa and the Midwest. While Oak Park, Illinois, houses the most Prairie-style establishments, you can find homes by Frank Lloyd Wright in nearly every state. Many of them are now museums, allowing the public to visit them for inspiration and admiration. 

Windows for Prairie Style Houses

Prairie homes use natural lighting and generally have a large expanse of windows or ribbons of windows in flat bands (clerestory windows). This adds to the horizontal orientation on the Prairie style.

Window Styles

  • Casement Windows
  • Picture Windows
  • Specialty Windows

Casement windows are the archetypal choice for Prairie homes. This window style hinges to open outwards with a crank. Casement windows are favored for Prairie homes due to their large expanse of glass, and the ability to easily incorporate art glass into the design. A Prairie grill/grid design can be used, or the windows can exclude a grille.

Some windows may have fixed glass windows, called picture windows, which cannot be used for ventilation, but serve to increase light in the home. It's normal for windows also to be fitted into small spaces or corners of a Prairie-style home. In this instant, designers can use specialty-shaped windows. Manufacturers can create various fixed glass configurations for your home's unique needs.


The most commonly used colors for windows are rusts, earthy browns, golds, and autumnal reds. A warm tan or beiges of natural stone and leafy greens tones also fit nicely in this nature-embracing home style. Today vinyl windows can mimic wood grain, but offer durability and thermal guarantee. 

Andersen Architectural Collection Windows

Andersen is the perfect partner for architecturally authentic windows and doors.


Featured Property

View any home by Frank Lloyd Wright↗and you'll get a good idea of the Prairie-style grammar and its characteristics. The expanses of windows and double hinged doors create unison between nature and indoor nurture. The Malcolm Willy House↗ is one such perfect example. Built-in 1934, this home broke ground in the architectural realm.

Van Brock's Prairie Modern Home↗ provides a modern interpretation of Prairie architecture. 

Prairie Homes, A Favorite in Modern Architecture

The founder of Prairie architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, once said, "Less is only more where more is no good." This statement typifies the Prairie style. Stay true to minimalism, space, and oneness with nature by embracing natural lighting and expansive windows. This type of authenticity sits effortlessly in a new build or for homeowners who want to replace windows in their Prairie-style residence.


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