Romantic Prairie Style embraces simple pleasures, comfort and the long-cherished ideals of natural beauty, simplicity and harmony with the earth. It's a style that says 'home' wherever you may be because, more than anything else, it's a mindset: gentle but strong, welcoming and lasting, durable yet sophisticated and, above all, real. Over the centuries, the humble dwellings built by European immigrants to the US in the 1880s have evolved into sturdier, more comfortable homes, which, depending on their geographic location, took on a variety of designs, be it a ranch, cabin, farmhouse, cottage or adobe. Each of these styles plays a role in prairie style and its enduring aura of romance and nostalgia. Here interiors bear the influence of European settlers and the poetry of the heart-warming authenticity of simple, natural textures, hand-hewn beams, bleached wood, weathered planks, woven blankets, cow-hide and Navajo rugs. It's a style inspired by the honesty of homespun materials of the past wedded to a flair for the present. It's flower-sprigged brocade, tawny leather, crisp eyelet and soft linen, corduroy with crochet trims, woolen plaids, cosy flannel and wispy organza. It's history retold and all about the enduring connection between people and places and the nostalgia we feel for a rural country life, a yearning for a simpler life, as embodied in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie.
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Fifi O'Neill is an editor, writer and photo stylist. She has produced numerous features on home decorating, food and gardening for American and European magazines, such as Coastal Living, Country Living (USA), Casa Romantica, Casa Antichi (Italy) and many more. Though she now lives in Florida and her work takes her from coast to coast and across Europe, her heart belongs to the prairie with its enduring aura of romance and nostalgia.
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