A craftsman style house is characterized by careful craftsmanship. Craftsman houses are generally modest in size and expense. This style was developed in the United States and emphasizes quality work to make a basic home well designed and affordable for "the masses". The style grew out of the British Arts and Crafts movement started by William Morris, John Ruskin, Philip Webb, and others in the late 1800s. (The style is also called Arts and Crafts.) Then U.S. designer and furniture maker, Gustav Stickley popularized the style in America with a magazine called Craftsman where he published home plans in the style. Frank Lloyd Wright was also a noted designer of craftsman style homes.
A common layout for a Craftsman house is 3 or 4 rooms on the first floor: a kitchen in the back, a living room in front, a dining room, sometimes a bathroom, den or office. Bedrooms are upstairs -- usually 2 or 3, one large and one or 2 small and a bathroom. If there is a garage it is usually detached in a classic Craftsman house.
The front of the house is normally symmetric, with a simple triangular roof sloping down to both sides and a porch in front. The yards are often small, narrow and larger in back. The combination of the porch and shorter front yard, especially in a neighborhoods with many Craftsman style homes that tend to have sidewalks feel very neighborhood friendly. These characteristics encourage neighbors to walk and to sit out facing the pedestrian traffic, stopping to talk or catch-up on the neighborhood news.
Other common characteristics of a Craftsman house are the use of local, natural materials (local stone and wood), grouped windows, exposed beams, detailed woodwork or ceramic tiles. The decorative elements tend to be labor intensive, but made of inexpensive materials. Simple, repeated patterns using wood, glass or tile, including things like stained glass are often used.
Originally craftsman homes were good homes for someone who might be a first generation home owner in the U.S. and willing to put much work and pride into home care. Nowadays, some larger homes are created using this style. Periodically it becomes popular again. The homes tend to be sturdy and many older craftsman homes have held up well over time.
Other home styles:
- Split Level
- the related Mission style