Craftsman style homes were built in America in the early 1900’s during the American Arts and Craft movement. This was a time when the industrial revolution was at its peak and America was witnessing a rapid rise in its middle class population.
These homes are attributed to designers such as Gustav Stickley, Henry Mather Greene, and Charles Sumner Greene. They were all a part of the American Arts and Craft movement, and the Craftsman home became a natural extension to the art and furniture that they then created.
The style of these homes borrows heavily from the bungalow style home which has its origins in India. The British are attributed with designing bungalows in colonial India.
These homes can be recognized by their unique and typical shape. They are usually 1 to 2 stories high and very simple in construction, lacking all the fanciful ornamentation that would be found in other home styles such as Victorian homes.
Typical characters include:
— Front, side, or cross-gabled, low-pitched roofs
— Decorative braces / beams under gables
— Simple doors and small windows grouped into 4 or more
— Wide overhanging eaves with exposed roof rafters under them
— Huge front porch with thick square pedestal-like tapered columns supporting them
— Built with a mixture of locally available materials such as wood and stone
— Heavy use of wood for building the home and furniture
— Cross-members and roof beams usually exposed inside the home
A Craftsman style home is usually built for an entire family and is designed as per the requirements and tastes of that particular family.
Almost all the raw materials used during construction (internal and external) are available locally. Wood that is locally available is used for the home construction, and used internally for staircases, cupboards, furniture, beds, and cabinets. These homes are very strong and require practically no maintenance.
Since this kind of home is uncomplicated and easy to envision, draw, and construct in a short period of time using locally available material, there is a huge cost advantage.
Elements of these Homes
— Porches – usually full-width with street-side facing gable within its roof line
— Roof planes – usually gable, hip, and shed configurations
— Roof-overhangs – usually 2 feet or more, supported by triangulated brackets, supported by exposed beams and rafters
— Trimwork – usually of almost similar width for rake, and exterior casings
— Exterior clads – usually of similar or different natural materials that are available locally
— Columns – thick and heavy, right-angled corners, usually flared downward
— Foundations – usually masonry used and flared downward
— Windows – usually small and grouped in numbers of 4 or more
— Steps and staircases – usually of solid wood
From the Inside
The inside of any Craftsman style home will have a square appearance. Rooms are usually uncluttered and spacious. Ornamentation is either missing or to its bare minimum.
The fireplace is in the living room and usually made of brick and tiles, and framed with symmetric benches or bookshelves. Windows are small and in groups of 4 or more and are made of wood and plain glass or stain-work, allowing the entire home to be well illuminated. Heavy ceiling beams are visible throughout the home.
In a maximum number of these homes, the living room with a fireplace, kitchen, dining area, and storeroom are on the first story, and the bedrooms are located on the second story, connected by an internal wooden staircase.