Frank Lloyd Wright is a celebrated American architect who made the open floor plan the staple architectural design element it is today. Wright believed the home should suit the specific needs of the individual or family that resided in the home, stating simply, “there should be as many (styles) of houses as there are kinds of people and as many differentiations as there are different individuals. A man who has individuality has a right to its expression and his own environment.”
Wright’s architecture was incredibly detail oriented and left nothing to chance. Not only did Wright design the home, he also designed the furniture and at times the clothing that he believed should be worn by the house’s occupants to best reflect the natural spirit of the house.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural philosophies permeate architectural designs today. Far ahead of his time, Wright challenged the status quo and developed an organic architecture that made the home at once livable, modern and transcendental. If you’re looking to revamp your living room, you can’t go wrong looking to Wright.
Here are three ways to design a Wright-inspired living room.
First, There Was Light
It was Wright who said that “more and more, so it seems to me, light is the beautifier of the building.” Wright made the lighting a key piece in his architectural designs. Believing that being one with nature was a gift, Wright worked to make sure the lighting in his designs were unobtrusive and viewed as natural by the home dweller. By incorporating skylights, clerestory windows and vertical banding, Wright was constantly working to bring natural light into the home. However, Wright recognized that homeowners would need electric light too.
To maintain the natural lightness of his architecture, Wright would use geometrically shaped pendant lights and desk lamps that mirrored the looks of the house’s windows. The light fixtures would have glass shades that resembled the stained glass windows found in the home and would be wrapped with iron bands, calling forth Wright’s commitment to industry. You can achieve Wright’s look in your living room lighting with brands like Arroyo and Hubbardton Forge. These lighting designs will complement your built and natural environment.
Natural Materials, Natural Living
As has already been stated, Wright valued natural elements. It was important to Wright that the built space look like it had sprung from the natural landscape surrounding it. One of Wright’s signatures as an architect was using natural materials from around the building and incorporating them into the home. Take for example, perhaps Wright’s most famous design, Fallingwater. Wright built the house cantilevering over the rocks of a waterfall, hence its name. By incorporating the area’s natural materials into the home, Wright was fusing the natural and built environment to create what he called an organic architecture. Do you have an assortment of trees on your property? Cut one down to make a bench to sit before the fireplace. Are their rocks around the landscape? Lay the same type of rock as flooring inside your home. You could even bring a large rock inside for sitting on.
The Color Palette Should Reflect the Surrounding Area
If bringing natural elements inside sounds a little too extreme, there’s an easier route to go to achieve the same look. Wright would often have the houses he designed painted in the color scheme of the surrounding area. Looking at Fallingwater again, you’ll see that the house was painted in only two colors: Cherokee red and light ochre. Wright did not want the built environment to distract from the natural one, and so he had his buildings painted to showcase the rich color scheme of the outside world. You can do this too! All you need to do is snap a picture of the bark or foliage around your home and bring it into a paint supply store. The paint technician will be able to match and mix the color for your living room in little time.
Your home should be a reflection of what you value. For Wright, that was nature. Following the tips above, you’ll have a Wright-inspired space in no time.