The Craftsman Style

Inspired by the British arts and crafts movement of the late 1800s, Craftsman homes celebrated wood, stone, iron, ceramic and glass artistry and craftsmanship. They had their heyday between the early 1900s and 1930s and were glamorized by leading architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Demand for down-to-earth housing arose after the fussy, formal Victorian age. Instead of separate rooms for every purpose, Craftsman homes featured open floor plans with few hallways. Dining rooms with built-in cabinetry replaced butler’s pantries. Storage and furniture solutions evolved, with more built-in bookcases, closets, benches and banquettes, reducing the need for extra furniture.

Practical bungalows became the rage and expanded into mansions. The original Craftsman homes were unpainted and the natural materials left untreated, including stucco. Emphasis was on the design elements of wood, glass, and metal. The Craftsman movement also called for reduced dependency on artificial light, so homes were designed with numerous windows.

How do you spot a Craftsman home? It will often feature inviting bay windows and a front porch with a low-pitched, gabled porch roof held up by tapered stone, wood or brick square columns. The wide overhanging eaves show exposed rafters.

Inside, all-wood trim, beamed ceilings and built-ins are in natural wood tones or stains and embellished with Art Nouveau wallpaper and tiles. Think Tiffany stained glass, Rookwood tiles and William Morris wallpapers with lush post-impressionistic designs in earth tones of woods, mountains and seascapes.

Craftsman houses feel earthy and homey, and are always built to last.

The trend toward multi-generational living

Although your home may have housed a traditional family consisting of mom, dad and two kids, savvy real estate agents will tell you, that in order to attract more buyers, staging your house as one fit for multi-generations is the way to go.

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center states that a record 57 million Americans (18.1% of the U.S. population) were living in multi-generational households.

This trend is coming from all directions. Young adults are moving back home, the elderly are moving in with their middle-age children and middle-aged children are moving back with their elderly parents.

As a result, agents are highlighting features such as finished walkout basements and bonus bedrooms. When it’s being suggested to transform your office or basement into a bedroom, you should be listening. Any home that contains bonus space is a viable candidate for a buyer who might be planning to bring an ill or out-of-work family member back into the fold. A home’s accessibility is important for people who might be living with aging parents who use wheelchairs or walkers. Creating a complete, accessible living space on one level with safety features can make a home attractive to people of all ages.