Chery Kinnick wrote a nice piece, The Rise and Fall of Heartland Farmhouses. She shares a great link to a PBS series.
In her letters, Ella has said that she loved her prairie home. I found the information very helpful in putting together my mental image of Ella and her life. I don't know if she had one of the typical L shaped homes that are described but now, in my imagination, she did.
The heat source for these homes was in the kitchen so that was where people tended to gather. If everyone was in the kitchen together when Ella was trying to write it's no wonder she had trouble concentrating. If the only heat source was in the kitchen it explains how the wash water could freeze on the bedroom floors in the winter and why Ella always had a quilt or two in the works.