Weekend Wonders

Happy Monday everyone! (If I don’t hurry up and publish this it will be Tuesday :-)) Hope you had a great weekend!  Yesterday  I got a peek into the world of a man I have always admired—I toured the Oak Park, Illinois home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

It is here, in this Shingle-style house  where it all began for the man called the greatest American architect of all time. Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked here for 20-years, from 1889 to 1909.  He and his first wife Catherine raised six children here and he was forever making modifications and additions to the home to accommodate his growing family.  The addition of a studio workplace allowed Wright to work from home and it is where his creative genius would eventually give birth to a new American architecture: the Prairie Style. Wright incorporated organic principles into his designs early on, not wanting a home to merely sit on a lot, but instead wanting the home to become part of the landscape.   He was a colorful character who put a high premium on privacy and security, despised clutter, and had no tolerance for distractions either in the workplace or at the dinner table. The images below capture many of the design nuances that set him apart from all the rest.

Wright often created a room within a room, like the dining room below.   He designed these high-backed chairs to keep guests attention from wandering away from the table. Comfort was secondary to aesthetics, with Wright himself admitting that sitting in one of his chairs too long left him black and blue. 

When a passageway was built between Wright’s home and studio, the Willow tree below was integrated into the design of the addition instead of being cut down.

Rather than have an entire baby grand piano taking up space in the children’s playroom, Wright cut a hole in the wall and bracketed the piano’s back end onto a wall in the home’s back staircase.  Now that’s what I call de-cluttering a room :)

Casement windows were made even more beautiful with etched and colored glass.

The exterior of the studio workplace additionThe studio interior where Wright met with clients

The drafting room in which he completed a quarter of his life’s work—about 125 buildings.

Mr. Wright’s private office

There are innumerable books about Frank Lloyd Wright and his remarkable 70-year career.  Check out the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright here.  One of my all time favorite FLW novels is Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. I highly recommend it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Make it a great day!

xo–

~M

18 thoughts on “Weekend Wonders

    • I haven’t yet but I’m hoping to travel to Scottsdale sometime soon, and it will definitely be on my list of things to do. Magical is a good word to describe how it felt to stand in his private office and in the drafting room! Just knowing he had been working in those spaces was surreal!

    • Thanks so much, Elisa! I have a setting on my camera that allows me to create that dreamy quality. I use to be such a purist. Now I don’t know what I’d do without all my apps and camera settings:-)

    • Thanks so much! I think Mr. Wright would have approved the Chanel :) A little known fact about Wright is that he also designed dresses, often for his wife. The man definitely had flair!

    • You are welcome! Hanging on the wall in Wright’s Oak Park home is a photograph of his wife Catherine, wearing one of his designs. He evidently was quite the control freak—liked to dress her or at least advise her on what to wear :-)

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