What is Craftsman Style?Craftsman homes were primarily inspired by the work of two architect brothers — Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene — who worked together in Pasadena, California, at the turn of the 20th century. The Greene brothers were influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement (a reaction against the Industrial Revolution in an effort to promote the work of craftsmen and the handmade over the machine made), as well as by Oriental wooden architecture.
Where to find Craftsman homes
The earliest examples are in Southern California, but thanks to popularization of the style through national periodicals like House Beautiful and Ladies' Home Journal and the subsequent availability of pattern books and kit homes, Craftsman bungalows became the most popular style of small house throughout the country from about 1905 through the 1920s.
Why you'll love this style
What Makes It Craftsman
A low-pitched, gabled roof. The low-slung rooflines reflect the influence of Oriental architecture on the style. These roofs typically have a wide, unenclosed eave overhang with decorative supports.
Roofs with a low pitch are typically better suited to warmer climates, where snow and ice are not likely to accumulate. They do require routine maintenance to make sure debris such as leaves does not build up over time.
Porches are a great investment — they extend the livable space of small homes and make it possible to spend time outside.
Borrowing the very recognizable porch supports from the Craftsman style is a great way to get a touch of the look without rebuilding your home from scratch.
Swapping out your door for a Craftsman one is another way to incorporate a little of the style into your home. There are lots of great sources for new Craftsman-style doors.
This window style is a great traditional or historical style for homes with a view, as the single-pane lower sash has no mullion obstructions.
Put your best foot forward. Regardless of the style of your home, painting architecture features a contrasting color is a great way to highlight your home's best features.
Dormers, especially wide ones, can transform unused attics into livable space by adding square footage (sometimes a whole room's worth) and ushering in natural light.
Take a page from the Craftsman stylebook and mix materials freely. Consider cladding a small addition in stone or brick, even if your home has clapboard siding.
Adding exposed rafter tails and beams does not have to involve reconstructing your house, let alone replacing your roof. These details are often decorative and can be added underneath any deep roof eave.
Knee braces.These triangular supports are a structural alternative to exposed rafter tails and roof beams. Like beams and rafter tails, they are often decorative and can be added underneath any deep roof eave.
Tell us: Do you appreciate the visible craftsmanship of these homes? Or does it feel like overkill, especially when you now know that so much of the distinguishing characteristics are decorative and only made to look like engineering revealed?
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