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.