With a rich character and many attractive features, the Craftsman architectural style is a traditional American invention that has become very popular since its inception. It typically refers to homes designed in this style but the Craftsman design can be found in decorative arts or interior remodeling as well. What makes this home building style so popular?
There are many great architectural styles and influences that are used in the United States but Craftsman homes stand out because their elegant simplicity felt refreshing in a time when intricately designed Victorian homes were the norm. The Arts & Crafts movement had a significant contribution in popularizing Craftsman design. One important element that makes the Craftsman home more appealing compared to others is the embrace of organic forms and connection to nature.
Craftsman houses were designed with the working man in mind. The focus wasn’t so much on aesthetics but on an architectural style that was more functional without losing its sense of charm. Some of the typical details that help to identify a Craftsman home include the low-pitched roofs, exposed beams or rafters, relatively wide front porches, and double hanging windows. A building designed in this style will typically rely on more prominent horizontal lines and artisanal decorative elements while showcasing local materials.
Craftsman architectural style has a long history that’s successfully continued today. Homes built using this design approach still enjoy great popularity today despite some modern touches like a greater variety of colors. The origins of this style can be traced back to the early 1900s when Craftsman appeared as a response to the eclectic Victorian style. The name is taken from ‘The Craftsman’ magazine that showed off various design elements typical in 1901.
Craftsman home popularity began to spread more in the States during the 1920s when it took inspiration from the Arts & Crafts movement. Gustav Stickley was the furniture designer that helped the Craftsman style to emerge across the entire country. He considered this style to be the ideal home design for the masses and plans including the characteristic architectural elements have been sold using The Craftsman magazine. Although they began as homes from the magazine, Craftsman later evolved as a distinctive design style that’s been further popularized by itself.
Interior Design Style
The simplest explanation for the persistence of the Craftsman style in the preferences of American homeowners today is that it relies on efficient aesthetics with timeless qualities. Craftsman homes show off attractive and practical exteriors but the interiors are also notable because they follow the same nature-inspired patterns and motifs. Artisanal craftsmanship concepts are masterfully used when designing a Craftsman home to make it as cozy and inviting to live in as possible.
Compared to ostentatious mansions with pretentious space plans, Craftsman homes are designed to be warm and homey while maximizing the use of the available area. Each interior space seems to have its distinctive purpose. Some traditional elements can include fireplaces made out of brick or tile. Although dining rooms are usually featured in Craftsman homes, there are often little eat-in kitchen nooks as well. As opposed to other interior design styles, the Craftsman aesthetic boasts a classic masculine feel by embracing woodwork for lots of elements such as framed windows, bookshelves, millwork, and hardwood floors.
The Craftsman architectural style is a rich source of inspiration for many people planning to build a simple, cozy home. If you’re interested in this hardworking design style, take a look at the following examples of Craftsman homes that feature the timeless characteristics that helped to attract so much attention to the aesthetic. Many small and efficiently designed bungalows can often be referred to as Craftsman homes so there are some important common elements. Check out the traditional beauty of Craftsman-style homes.
1. Dormer Windows
Lots of Craftsman houses include dormer windows that make it easier to use the upper level. The windows extend outward and allow the homeowner to go beyond the limitation of the home’s low-pitched roof. Not all Craftsman homes have this feature but dormer windows are quite popular especially when combined with thick trim.
2. Detailed Garden
Staying close in touch with the beauty of nature is an important theme that lots of Craftsman house designs follow. This cozy house looks more attractive thanks to the charming garden touches that complement the exterior of the structure. Colorful flowers and neutral-toned containers match the look of a classic Craftsman house very well. This home’s decorative windowpanes also contribute to the traditional appearance of this architectural style. Notice the use of wood for the door and the porch railing to ensure a harmonious look.
3. Grand Fireplace
When it comes to the interior of a Craftsman house, few elements stand out more effectively than the fireplace. The typical design rule here is “the bigger the better” as you can observe from the imposing presence of this grand fireplace. Its stone construction adds natural beauty to the interior of this cozy home. It’s an ideal match for other traditional materials preferred in the Craftsman aesthetic, such as wood and leather.
4. Gamble House
One classic example of a Craftsman home is the Gamble House that shows off some iconic characteristics of the style. Located in California, this building is now a National Historic Landmark. It has been built in 1908 for David Gamble from the Procter & Gamble company. There’s a strong influence from Japanese aesthetics but the design draws heavy inspiration from spacious California lands and the typical climate of the area. It’s built with careful attention to detail and crafted in a rustic setting to reflect the Gambles’ great appreciation of nature.
5. Signature Columns
The Craftsman style is defined by some specific elements that are usually featured in traditional designs. Tapered square columns are signature details that can be admired in this beautiful example of a classic Craftsman house. Although the columns by themselves accomplish a solid decorative purpose, this stylish home also boasts visually appealing brackets to make the roof more eye-catching. The façade is also beautified by the intensive use of brick while the overhead lantern improves the coziness of the porch.
6. Wood Trim
Wood trim seems to be omnipresent throughout Craftsman homes. It’s not only allowed to display woodwork anywhere in the architecture of the house but it’s actually highly recommended to highlight the workmanship. For example, this Craftsman interior is beautifully accentuated by the wood trim that has a powerful decorative effect when it covers the ceiling. It seems to creep up in various areas to steal the spotlight as a main feature in the room.
7. Long Covered Front Porch
A narrow and long front porch is another characteristic design element of a Craftsman house. Check out this minimalist home showing off a spacious front porch that’s neatly integrated into the structure’s design. Clean horizontal lines are emphasized while the house gives off an understated vibe through the choice of colors.
8. Extra Window Panes
Homes can take advantage of an authentic Craftsman feel by incorporating extra window panes. Whether it’s a new building or a renovation project, the addition of more windows can be costly but the effect is sure to be rewarding. A traditional Craftsman home is bright and homely. Windows contribute a lot in that regard and make the entire living space feel unique. If you’re undecided about the placement of more window panes, just try to imagine the look without them.
9. Earthy Paint Colors
Bright and flashy colors are not usually the first options chosen when painting the exterior of a Craftsman home. Earthy tones feel right at home in this architectural style. Go for more sophisticated shades of gray and brown but it’s also recommended to explore darker greens, tans, and reds that could accentuate the natural vibe of the structure. Playing around with different colors for the trim and siding has great potential in terms of elevating the look of any Craftsman-style home.
10. Edward Schulmerich House
Another historical building that displays the essential elements of the Craftsman style, this beautiful private residence was built for state senator Edward Schulmerich in 1915. It incorporates airplane bungalow elements with overhanging eaves that resemble an aircraft. The outside is quite impressive looking but the real highlight of this Craftsman house is the large open floor plan interior. It’s decorated with oak paneling, lead glass windows, and features built-in bookcases and wainscoting.
11. Brick Craftsman House
Lots of traditional Craftsman architectural designs rely on brick. Showcasing this rustic element properly will often involve a more innovative approach when it comes to the color scheme of the façade. Check out this Craftsman house that offers beautiful brick columns emphasized through the use of bold trim in shades of white and dusty pink. The olive paint of the house sets the perfect background for the brick elements to stand out even more.
12. Built-in Cabinets or Bookshelves
The interior of the Craftsman home is typically more limited in terms of storage space compared to other home design styles. That’s why you should ideally make the best use of all the square footage you have. Built-in cabinets or bookshelves are very popular for this architectural style, especially when integrated elegantly next to the sides of a fireplace. The result is classy storage space that also draws attention to the fireplace as the centerpiece of the room.
13. Generous Seating
Not all Craftsman houses show off lots of seating options but this architectural style tends to favor the addition of extra armchairs and benches, especially when used to flank the fireplace. This helps to enhance the sense of depth in the room while also covering a functional purpose. It’s the recommended approach for designing a Craftsman-style living room interior to make it welcoming for guests.
14. Artsy Craftsman Home
With the help of color-coordinated plant containers, you will be able to create a very artistic vibe for a Craftsman home. Take a look at this beautiful blend of colors shown here through the pedestal urns that make the entrance to the porch of the house more inviting. There are light-green spheres placed near the flower pots to integrate them properly with the surrounding greenery. The traditional Craftsman door design also contributes to the warm effect created by the porch and decorated stairs.
15. Garage Doors
If you plan for a Craftsman home equipped with a garage, it’s recommended to match the look of its doors to the rest of the house’s exterior. This charming example illustrates this aspect beautifully. The garage doors feature recessed panels and warm wood construction that blend elegantly with the traditional Craftsman-style look of the front door and the home’s windows. It’s definitely an inspirational design to consider for transmitting a pure American Craftsman vibe.