color design trends interior design

Frank Lloyd Wright Colors

When it came to interior colors, Frank Lloyd Wright, organic restraint, formed his aesthetic vision.   Inspired by the colors produced in nature, Wright’s leading philosophy in architecture and design was the integration of the inside and outside world.

PPG Pittsburgh Paints has produced two distinct color palettes celebrating two of Wright’s most famous residences:  Fallingwater and Taliesin West

Completed in 1939, Fallingwater was designed by Wright for the Kaufmann family as vacation home.  Built partly over a waterfall in the mountains of Pennsylvania, it became an instant architectural icon after is was built.

Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright
Fallingwater House. Image © Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

At Fallingwater, Wright used a limited palette of restful yet intense colors.

Fallingwater PPG colors

Christopher Little, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Taliesin West was Wright’s winter home and school in Scottsdale, Arizona from 1937 until his death in 1959.  This sprawling National Historic Landmark is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

The original 1955 color palette that Wright created for commercial distribution, was inspired by the desert that surrounds this architectural complex.

Taliesin West PPG colors

Taliesin West interior view Frank Lloyd Wright

Taliesin West interior Frank Lloyd Wright

Mr. H says: (channeling FLW) “Form and function are one.”-Enjoy!

design history travel

Fantastic Frank Lloyd Wright

On a recent trip to Greenville, South Carolina, members of the ASID Carolinas Chapter had the rare privilege of visiting a privately held Frank Lloyd Wright residence.   Designed in 1951 and completed in 1954, the house is a striking example of Wright’s natural or “Usonian” style.  Commissioned by two sisters, Gabrielle and Charlcy Austin, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


Wright named the property, Broad Margin,  which comes from Thoreau’s Walden in which he states, “I love a broad margin to my life.”  The house is built into the slope of a two acre heavily wooded lot bound by two creeks.  Wright positioned the house so that it would not be visible from the street.  Featuring 12 inch thick concrete walls, a massive roof line, broad overhangs and corner windows, all of which are classic Frank Lloyd Wright architectural elements.

Broad Margin Greenville South Carolina

Cypress wood paneling was used extensively throughout including on the ceiling.

Broad Margin Window Detail

The house has polished Cherokee Red concrete floors with copper tubes, carrying hot water, embedded in the floors to heat the house.  Original built in seating are featured in the sitting area.


The kitchen was updated a few years ago, due to a fire, combining Wright’s aesthetic with modern conveniences.

Broad Margin Kitchen

A massive stone and concrete fireplace dominates the sitting area

Gabrielle and Charlcey Austin House, Broad Margin, Greenville, South Carolina, 1951. Fireplace in living area.

In the dining area, a copy of the original dining table, is on display

Frank Lloyd Wright Greenville

Sleeping and bathing areas are compact

Broad Margin Bedroom

Frank Lloyd Wright South Carolina

This house exemplifies Wright’s appreciation for natural materials, his penchant for open floor plans and his awareness of the natural surroundings.  Blurring the lines between interior and exterior spaces, Broad Margin is a case study for Wright’s declaration that “Shelter should be the essential look of any dwelling.”   Mr. H could not agree more-Enjoy!

architecture design history furniture interior design

Design School: Arts & Crafts

No.  It’s not like those activities you did at summer camp way back when.  Rather, the Arts & Craft movement (1860-1910) in design was a rebellion to the mass-produced, machine-made products that were so prevalent in the Victorian Era.  One of the  movements biggest proponent was art critic and theorist John Ruskin, who believed, that industrialization created a dehumanizing effect between the designer and manufacture.

Another leader in the Arts and Crafts movement, designer William Morris, sought to unite all the arts with in the home basing his designs on medieval, natural and folk motifs by means of traditional craftsmanship.  His company created wallpaper, textiles, furniture and stained glass to be used in the home.

William Morris Golden Lily Minor wallpaper

William Morris Apple wallpaper William Morris Pimpernel wallpaper

Furniture maker Gustav Stickley constructed his pieces with integrity and pride marking his items with the Flemish phrase: Als Ik Kan – “to the best of my ability”

Syracuse Arts and Crafts Exhibition dining room

Interior colors were developed around the true color and texture of natural materials.  Interior color schemes were harmonious with little contrast.  Hunter green was originally created by Dard Hunter, an important Arts and Crafts designer.

Sherwin Williams Arts and Crafts colors

Craftsman, Mission, and Prairie Styles all morphed from the Arts & Crafts Movement with the likes of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene & Greene, and Julia Morgan on the leading edge.Frank Lloyd Wright Frederick C. Robie House

A precursor to modernism and contemporary design, elements of the Arts and Crafts movement is seen in many of today’s interiors.

Photo by Carpenter & MacNeille 

A modern Arts & Crafts kitchen

Photo by Mari Woods Kitchen Bath Home, LLC 

Mr. H says: Have nothing in your home that is not either useful or beautiful-Enjoy!