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Get Inspired by A Frank Lloyd Wright Icon

The local Price House serves as inspiration for bright, modern interiors.

By Rebecca L. Rhoades | Photography by Austin Baker

Use sleek silhouettes, brilliant blues and organic materials to emulate one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Arizona designs.

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright never intended for the interior color scheme of Harold and Mary Lou Price’s Paradise Valley home to be an eye-catching shade of cyan. Like many of his other projects, which were rendered in earthen shades of reds, golds, browns and greens, this residence was originally meant be bathed in the reddish-orange hue of the pyracantha berry.

One day, while visiting the construction site, Wright discovered one of his wife’s turquoise rings in his coat pocket. “He was soon observed holding the ring at arm’s length while surveying the property and the surrounding landscape. He insisted that everyone come and see for themselves how this turquoise color brought out a certain bluish tint in the gray concrete blocks and further tied together the natural blue-greens of the desert flora with the newly sculpted and crafted forms,” says Price House historian Sperry Hutchinson.

Built in 1954 as a winter retreat for the Price family of Bartlesville, Oklahoma—who just two years earlier had commissioned the architect to create the now-famous Price Tower in their hometown—it is the largest Wright-designed dwelling in Arizona. Mary Lou Price explicitly asked for a “large enough house so that all the grandchildren can come and stay with me, where they can play in the sun, yet be protected from the desert.” With seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, the abode features 4,500 square feet of indoor space; outdoor living rooms bring the total square footage under roof to 5,500.

Plush armchairs complement Wright’s built-in sofas. Incorporate a single Axis II
Swivel Chair in Jonas Turquoise into your living room for a bold pop of comfy color or surround your coffee table with a matching quartet. 32″H by 40″W by 41″D. $1,498 (

Wright used high-backed chairs to define the dining space. Modern replicas—this seat was designed in 1908 for the Robie House in Chicago—are sure to be the talk of your next banquet. Available through the store at Taliesin West, it can be ordered in a wide range of stains and fabric colorways, including Pitch Petrol (teal) and Charlot 13L196 (pale blue). 52.5″H by 17.9″W by 19.5″D. $1,970 -$2,350. (

Veering from Wright’s ubiquitous Prairie-style stained-glass fixtures, the cascading contemporary brass task lights are a welcome contrast to the straight lines of the architecture and furnishings. The arched arms and vaulted spheres of the Boca chandelier echo these custom creations. 25″H by 31″W. $2,602 (

Steel piping decorated in turquoise blocks—Wright’s interpretation of the Sonoran ocotillo—is seen throughout the house. Carlsbad, California-based artist Rosemary Pierce brings a similarly creative vibe to any wall with her colorful installations comprised of lacquered wood cubes in a rainbow of vivid hues. Prices vary. (

Located on 8.8 acres just off of Tatum Boulevard, the enigmatic home—its expansive red brick driveway is one of the only glimpses afforded to passers-by—is divided into two low-slung, single-story wings, separated by a central atrium with a fountain, fireplace and large, open skylight. The jewel-toned main living space, which includes the kitchen and dining area, demonstrates the beauty that can be created with standard, rather inexpensive materials, such as concrete block, composite acoustic tiles, brass and Philippine mahogany. “Nearly uninterrupted clerestory windows wash the ceiling in indirect, space-unifying light,” says Hutchinson. “Here, comfort and beauty are truly equal.” Custom furnishings and lighting designed by Wright to fit the room underline his philosophy that all of the parts are related to the whole.

Composite wood-fiber-and-cement acoustic tiles lend a natural, twinelike appearance to the home’s ceilings inside and out. Add a similar touch to a powder room or nook with this raw grasscloth wallpaper from York Wallcoverings. 36″W by 24’L. $219 (

Flor’s carpet tiles easily transform the look and feel of any size room. Choose In the Deep in the bold blue-green Surf hue for a stylish, low-maintenance foundation for all of your Wright-inspired decor. 19.7″ square. $24/tile (

The burnished brass stanchions and brown oak of the architectural Verrazano Square Coffee Table offer an updated, sophisticated take on Wright’s simplistic mahogany design. 15″H by 50″ square. $2,625 (

“The house represents the culmination of a genius architect looking back at his life’s work and, at 86 years-old, being given the chance to create an essentially money-is-no-object retrospective in his chosen home state of Arizona,” says Hutchinson. “It is an incomparable work of unification and one of which Wright himself was tremendously proud.”

Following Harold’s death in 1962, Mary Lou sold the property to U-Haul founder L.S. Shoen in 1964, giving rise to its new moniker, the “U-Haul House.” To this day, the company maintains it as a private residence, and it is occasionally opened for corporate and charity events, wedding receptions, and public tours. In 2013, the nonprofit Price House Foundation was formed to conserve and protect this landmark abode.

The variegated pattern of the Cascade pillows reflects the rocky Paradise Valley terrain. Combine both rust and teal for a true Southwest accent. Available in small (20″ square) for $119 and large (24″ square) for $149. (

The long lines and simple forms of the midcentury-influenced Serena Sofa mimic the home’s built-in banquette seating. Seen here in Felt Gray, it will be the jewel of your living space when customized in Vibe Aquatic. 32″H by 87″L by 36″D. $1,949 (


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