A Principled Synthesis
Old House Journal|October - November 2020
A Principled Synthesis
The new design for a kitchen follows Prairie School doctrine.
Patricia Poore


The luxurious use of red birch with a shellac finish elevates a now-public room, marrying it to the rest of the woodwork-rich house. The vent cutouts were inspired by similar ornament found in the house as well as many other works by Purcell & Elmslie.

A stunning example of Prairie School architecture, the 1910 E.L. Powers House was one of the first commissions by the renowned partnership of William Purcell and George Elmslie. Generally well preserved, the house represents an architectural heritage.

As is so often the case in older houses, the kitchen had been modified in opposition to pedigree. It was problematic from the aesthetic, functional, and historical standpoints. The client asked David Heide Design Studio of Minneapolis to redesign the space—while adhering to the principles of historic preservation.


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October - November 2020