Based on the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Arts and Crafts movement, Prairie style house plans were especially popular in the Midwest from 1900 to 1930. A vernacular variation is the American Foursquare, which refers to the four-room floor plan and the four window or door openings on the façade. Very common in neighborhoods built in the early 20th century across the country, the American Foursquare is usually distinguished by the hallmark elements of Prairie style.

Prairie home plans were designed to blend in with the landscape. Though many Prairie designs feature multiple stories, their low-slung roofs, horizontal lines, and stone or brick foundations give them the appearance of rising from the earth. Wide overhanging eaves emphasize the horizontality of Prairie designs. Porches are common, often supported by heavy piers crafted from brick or stone. Beneath their low, broad roofs, Prairie floor plans are lit by large windows, sometimes arranged in long ribbons or embellished with small panes or geometric patterns. Open layouts create airy rooms, adding to the contemporary appeal. With some similarities to Craftsman style, Prairie homes are bold and modern, carrying special appeal for homeowners who appreciate distinctive style.