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1905-1930: Arts and Crafts (Craftsman)

A British Movement Brings New Ideas to American Homes

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From cozy bungalows to sprawling Prairie houses, many American homes were shaped by Craftsman ideas. Find facts below. Want more? See: Craftsman Photo Gallery.
With low roofs and wide eaves, Craftsman houses seem to embrace the earth.

Some Craftsman houses have cobblestone foundations, porch posts, and chimneys.

Photo © Jackie Craven

Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, houses have many of these features:

  • Wood, stone, or stucco siding
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Wide eaves with triangular brackets
  • Exposed roof rafters
  • Porch with thick square or round columns
  • Stone porch supports
  • Exterior chimney made with stone
  • Open floor plans; few hallways
  • Numerous windows
  • Some windows with stained or leaded glass
  • Beamed ceilings
  • Dark wood wainscoting and moldings
  • Built-in cabinets, shelves, and seating

Arts and Crafts History:

During the 1880s, John Ruskin, William Morris, Philip Webb, and other English designers and thinkers launched the Arts and Crafts Movement, which celebrated handicrafts and encouraged the use of simple forms and natural materials. In the United States, two California brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Green, began to design houses that combined Arts and Crafts ideas with a fascination for the simple wooden architecture of China and Japan.

The name "Craftsman" comes from the title of a popular magazine published by the famous furniture designer, Gustav Stickley, between 1901 and 1916. A true Craftsman house is one that is built according to plans published in Stickley's magazine. But other magazines, pattern books, and mail order house catalogs began to publish plans for houses with Craftsman-like details. Soon the word "Craftsman" came to mean any house that expressed Arts and Crafts ideals, most especially the simple, economical, and extremely popular Bungalow.

Craftsman Styles

A Craftsman house is often a Bungalow, but many other styles can have Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, features.

See more photos of Craftsman houses >>

Learn More About Craftsman Houses:

  • Period Lighting for an Arts & Crafts House
  • The Gamble House
    Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Green built this sprawling Craftsman home in 1909. Located in Pasadena, California, the house has wide terraces, open sleeping porches, and custom-designed wooden cabinetry and furniture.
  • Craftsman Perspective
    Find detailed commentary on Arts and Crafts styling and photos of Craftsman house interiors.
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