Drawing Design Inspiration From Frank Lloyd Wright
“Less is more.” You’ve heard it countless times– and you know there’s truth to it–, but the call of that new arm chair from a late-night Instagram ad or that vintage entryway console from a local store feels irresistible. You find yourself carefully examining your living room, thinking, “what can I move around to make room for that new piece I have to have?”
Our tip to overcome the “gotta-have-it” mindset that can easily lead to furniture dominating your space? Channel your inner Frank Lloyd Wright. Having designed over a thousand pieces of furniture himself in his lifetime, Wright undeniably mastered the art of interior design.
“The space within becomes the reality of the building.”
Over the course of his 70-year career, American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright designed over a thousand spaces, spearheading over half of them from inception to completion– furnishings included. Adamant that “the space within becomes the reality of the building,” Wright’s interior designs– from furniture, to lighting, to decorative embellishments like artwork and stained glass– were notably characterized by simplicity, functionality, and modernity, much like his iconic exteriors.
Having heavily inspired the midcentury-modern design movement– and having trained many of its most notable designers–, Wright’s interior style is not only seminal, but also timeless in itself. The aesthetic is widely coveted and consistently popular, with interior brands both big and small unmistakably drawing inspiration.
Summer has put together some team-favorites to inspire your living space a la Frank Lloyd Wright, whether you’re starting from scratch in a new home or have decided to give your interior a refresh.
For the Living Space
We love this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired chair from Inside Weather for its understated clean lines, neutral wood tone, and eye-catching pop of color. The under-seat storage space for books, magazines, or your laptop checks both the functionality and versatility boxes, making the piece practical as a desk chair or living room accent, and eliminating the need for excess space-occupying pieces like magazine racks and side tables.
This sofa from Rove Concepts pays homage tenfold to Wright’s interior aesthetic. Modular, eye-catching, but incredibly simple, we love this sofa for its thoughtful, space-saving and functional design. It eliminates the need for a free-standing side table with its interchangeable built-in one, and stands on understated barely-there legs.
“The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.”
For the Dining Space
A bold, architectural oak piece was often Wright’s design choice for the focal point of a dining area. We love this timeless and functional dining table from AllModern for smaller dining rooms and eat-in kitchens. The unique design of the intersecting angular legs lends just the right amount of noticeable creativity, with a natural wood finish in keeping with Wright’s lifelong consideration of incorporating natural elements into each and every one of his designs. Pair it with a set of minimal, curved-back dining chairs, like this classic, affordable design from Target.
For larger, more formal dining spaces, we love this solid 86” table from West Elm, paired with a set of vintage high-back chairs from your local vintage shop, or sites like AptDeco.
For the Bedroom
This bed from Article caught our eye for its functionality– built-in storage and an out-of-the-way landing pad for decor–, and we can only imagine that Frank Lloyd Wright would have been the first to dream up such a convenient phone-charging setup. The chevron-like wood pattern lends a natural element, and you can expect variation in each piece, making it uniquely yours.
Widely known for his love of stained glass, it’s common to find light fixtures that incorporate color throughout Wright’s existing homes. Hang a vintage stained glass pendant light– like this one from Chairish– above your bed.
"Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art."
Remember: less really is more! Find pieces that will last you a lifetime– or close to it–, and that you are really in love with. Whether you’re working from home for the foreseeable future and have decided it’s time to finally make your home an oasis, or taking steps to make an investment property more appealing to short-term renters, it’s important to remember not to be impulsive when it comes to purchasing furniture for your home. Don’t settle; timeless, thoughtfully-designed, functional, and unique pieces are key– and they’re out there!
Cover photo courtesy of Andrew Pielage, an Arizona-based photographer on an ambitious mission to photograph each and every remaining Frank Lloyd Wright design.