People put a lot of items of their wish list for new homes. Maybe they want a large kitchen or extra garage space. The majority of items on people’s list for their dream home are tangible, but not everything is. Charm, it’s a word that means something different to each person, but it’s also something people strongly desire in their homes.
While people don’t always agree on what charm is exactly in a home, they usually agree that Craftsman style homes have a lot of it. The charm comes from the delicate balance these homes create between nature outdoors and the cozy, intimate indoors. Craftsman style homes ooze architectural design details in every room.
Craftsman style homes are born and bred in America. The style was primarily inspirited by the work of two architect brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene. They worked together in Southern California around 1905. The English Arts and Crafts movement at the time, which was a reaction against the Industrial Revolution and placed an emphasis on handmade goods, influenced the Greene brothers. They blended this with Asian woodworking and eclectic California style to create the now iconic Gamble House.
Craftsman style became incredibly popular over the next 30 years. Periodicals and pattern books studied architecture in the homes, and people could even order kits to build their own Craftsman.
Craftsman style homes utilize a variety of natural elements in the exterior. Brick, stone, stucco, and wood siding are popular. While describing the individual elements of Craftsman is difficult, the style is immediately recognizable to most. With a strong front gable and front porches, the homes are inviting and comfortable the moment you see them. Craftsman homes are usually two-story and aim to be vertical rather than horizontal like ranch style homes. Tapered columns are also a key feature and often frame the front door and the porch.
The natural elements continue into the interior of Craftsman homes. Dark warm wood is often a key architectural design feature. The layouts are usually simple, utilizing all the square footage a home has. Rooms are proportional and intimate. Craftsman homes strike the right balance between closed off rooms and open-concept. Built-in elements, like bookshelves, were also a popular feature of Craftsman homes.
By far the most defining feature of most Craftsman homes, particularly older ones, is the intricate woodwork. It’s the standout architectural detail in these homes. While light and bright is the current trend, there is something warm and cozy about the darker wood in these homes. Arches, beams, crown molding, hardwood, and trim are usually all wood. There is a constant heated debate in the architectural and home building community over how to handle this wood. Some are extremely opposed to painting any of it, while others are open to it. Either way, there is no denying that the primary architectural feature of a Craftsman home is the amazing woodwork. You can almost see the initial inspiration the Greene brothers had.
The Craftsman homes came just as the Victoria homes were going out of style. Society and the way homes were managed was shifting. This is all reflected in the layout of Craftsman homes. Housewives no longer had full-time staff and many, if not all, of the home duties, fell on them. The kitchen, once hidden, now became an integrated part of the home. This led to the more open concept style and more sightlines. The breakfast nook, or an eat-in kitchen as it’s often called, was also a new element. It allowed meals to be prepped, eaten, and cleaned up all in the same space.
Craftsman style homes are all about two things, nature and cozy. The natural elements used and the cozy charm that the handcrafted wooden features had all define the Craftsman style. Here are few vital elements to keep in mind if you want your dream custom home to be built in the Craftsman style:
- Low pitched roof lines and gables
- Front porch
- Tapered columns
- Double-hung windows
- Natural elements
- Hand-crafted stone and woodwork
If you’re interested in building a custom Craftsman home, contact us today!