Mother Earth Living

Out of the Box: A Space-Saving Prairie Home

A Wisconsin architect uses Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design concepts to create an open, free-flowing and space-saving prairie home.

This cozy geometric home nestles into its snowy landscape.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Barb can move the rotating bookshelves to demarcate a reading room, office space and living room or open them to create an open, flowing space.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Homeowner Barb Wake says her peaceful home feels like a vacation cottage. "This is the kind of feeling people go to their cottages to get," she says. "I feel privileged to have a home that, when I get home from work, gives me that feeling of relief."
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Barb was unsure where to build the house. Architect Chad Cornette spent weeks analyzing the 36-acre site and the sun's movement across it to choose a location.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Cornette says the large, square kitchen island mimics the function of a dining room without requiring a separate space. "When you sit there, you can really have conversations with everyone at the table," he says. "It's the heart of today's home."
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Placing the fireplace in the center of the great room improves efficiency because heat can radiate around it rather than being drawn to a cold wall. "People put them on outside walls because they can get in the way of the space. But that's where a good design comes in," Cornette says.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
A serpentine wall segment and winding staircase add a touch of whimsy to the home's entryway.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Large covered areas expand the usability of the outdoors, Cornette says. "It's an inexpensive way to extend a great living space."
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Homeowner Barb Wake, dog Oscar and architect Chad Cornette.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski
Basement level floorplans for Barb Wake's home.
Illustration By Andrej Galins
Main level floorplans for Barb Wake's home.
Illustration By Andrej Galins
Barb says some people are shocked she chose to build a one-bedroom home, but that's all she needed. Cornette used Frank Lloyd Wright's method of placing windows in corners to deepen the bedroom's connection with the outdoors.
Photo By Mark Sokolowski

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