Architectural Styles

Cotswold Cottage & Prairie Syles

Cotswold Cottage Style

Small, fanciful homes that are part of the Tudor Revival architectural style; based on the medieval architecture and homes found throughout the Cotswold region of England.
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  • Built with stone, brick, or stucco siding
  • The roofs...
- Are often steep and uneven

- Are sometimes made to look like thatch

- Are almost always gabled/cross-gabled

  • Rooms are small and irregular
  • Have at least one decorative stone/brick chimney, with the fireplace usually near the entrance
  • Doorways are low and arched
  • Features small dormers
  • Popularized in America in the 1920's-30's

Prairie Style

Flat, simple homes that are generally very open feeling, and blend well with their local environment.
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  • First built in 1902 by Francis Lloyd Wright
  • The outside is dominated by horizontal lines, inspired by the prairies the style is named after
  • Often have a centralized fireplace and chimney
  • Frequently feature multiple clerestory windows, or windows located at the top of a wall
  • Furniture is usually either built-in or otherwise specialized for the house
  • Known for having very open floor plans
- Divisions inside the house are commonly done with glass

- Prairie style homes often have many windows

  • Blends well with its environment
- Roof overhangs and horizontal lines flow with ground

- Minimalist approach creates overall sense of unity

Common Features

  • Both feature prominent chimneys
  • Both are very popular in the United States
  • Although in different ways, both blend well with their environment
  • Typically, both are two-storied houses


I learned quite a bit researching these architectural styles- what makes a style unique, how simple nuances can change the way a home looks and even functions. One of the most simple divisions I found between the Cotswold Cottage and Prairie styles is based on their overall appearance- Cotswold Cottages have a very classical, fanciful, homey appearance, their traditional materials and design conveying a sense of timelessness and warmth. Prairie style houses, however, feel much more modern. Their intricate designs can evoke many feelings, the most dominant being the sense of openness, and being one with nature. The horizontal design, sleek materials, and unified construction help give this style its signature comfortable yet modern feel. Its hard for me to pick between the two, but I think I prefer the Prairie style, simply because it can have a lot more variation than the Cotswold Cottage style, and I prefer open areas in a home.

Ryan MacMillan