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Debbie Hayes

Finding Myself in Romantic Prairie Style

Romantic Prarie Style by Fifi O'Neill

Romantic Prairie Style 

How do you define your decorating style? I have been seeking words to define my style for so long that I recently created my own. It’s called Blue Sky Style, named after my blog/business My Patch of Blue Sky. What is Blue Sky Style? It is cozy contemporary with touches of primitive/rustic/travel collections/abstract artwork and naturally, select painted and stenciled projects. Whites and neutral walls with pops of color as accents. Why Blue Sky? Clean, simple, and easily changed I suppose.

What helped me define my own style after many years of seeking it?

I stumbled upon my dear friend Barb’s book by Fifi O’Neill called Romantic Prairie Style. Romantic? Prairie? What even tempted me to pick up the book? The cover. Clean, simple, and pretty. Neutral walls. Check! A re-purposed fireplace mantel. Check! A chandelier and a huge treatment-less window. Check! A bonus, upon opening Fifi’s book I was so thrilled to find beautifully photographed images and a simple formula for a decorating style my current self can relate to.


Romantic Prairie Style Living Rooms

Airy spaces, natural light, lots of white, wide plank floors, rustic accents plush upholstery and funky up-cycled chairs combine to make livable spaces in Romantic Prairie Style


Within her introduction, Ms. O’Neill acknowledges that she is “a city girl but a prairie girl at heart.” Her lovely lifestyle/design book is a compilation of prairie homes and various prairie styles discovered as she traveled thousands of miles on her quest for all things that say “home.”

I know nothing about prairies. Born in urban Massachusetts, and living in the city in central North Carolina, prairie for me lives within my imagination. However, paging through Romantic Prairie Style did make me want to jump in my little white Jeep Wrangler and head out posthaste. I was instantly reminded of picking apples and peaches in the orchards of Massachusetts and roaming far and wide in an ancient truck over acres of fields at a family cattle ranch. Maybe there is a bit of prairie in me after all.


Romantic Prairie Style Bedrooms and Kitchens

Repurposed vintage architecture and cozy white down bedding makes me dream of long mornings in bed.
Kitchen and dining spaces feature open storage and an eclectic mix of old and new


Within the book’s three distinct categories of Traditional, Romantic and Vintage Prairie are chapters depicting styles such as Elegant Prairie, Prairie Chic and Rustic Prairie. There a wonderful old painted cupboards and chandeliers. Old doors, wire accessories and homespun fabrics. Chalky colors and Scandanavian farmhouse touches. I believe the only thing missing is the smell of apple pie cooling on the windowsill and gentle breezes drying the swaying wash on the clothesline.

Am I purely a Romantic Prairie Style girl? Not really. Do I love this book? Wholeheartedly! In every photo I can see something that whispers – me. A bonus –  there is more of me within these pages than I have begun to imagine. What grabs me are the clean, uncluttered rooms with texture and clever uses of everyday objects.

If these most lovely photos have piqued your interest, by all means pick up this book and savor it with steaming coffee and a gooey homemade cookie. If you love this decorating style as much as I do, you’ll be thrilled to know that Romantic Prairie Style – the Magazine will be on newsstands mid-March.






  1. Deb

    Oh you know what, being in Illinois the Prairie State (at least outside of Chicago area) this does look like the comfy farm/prairie vintage style. Very pretty!

  2. Debbie Hayes

    Hi Deb, jealous you can really relate to this style! Not too many prairies around the South, but I can emulate most everything else I loved in this book!

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