January 29, 2018
by Deryl Patterson
When it comes to personality, the Craftsman architectural style ranks among the best of them! This style is confident and bold with unique columns, broad gables, wide overhangs and expansive front porches. There is also an artsy side to this style that creates a sense of individualism. The Craftsman style can be unique from house to house, but it is always bold – no spindle columns here!
This is an American style rooted in the English Arts and Crafts movement. The style spread throughout the country in the form of small to medium size bungalows in the early 1900s. It has since had a resurgence with buyers of all ages, probably due to its timeless, yet non-traditional individualistic appeal.
So what are the elements that make up its style and give it its unique personality?
With its charming front porches, the Craftsman style extends the home to the outdoors, creating additional living space while contributing to a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape.
The columns, whether they are narrow double columns or heavy tapered ones, sit atop masonry piers, and support the covered front porch.
The windows styles are a departure from traditional. The three patterns include three vertical panes over one pane; four over one; or prairie style. Windows occur in multiple combinations of two, three and even four – always with structure in between them. Adding a color (I love red here) to the window is in keeping with the confidence of the style.
Trim and Accents
The trim around door and windows is reflective of the arts & craft roots of this style. The headers are expressive – overshooting the side trim with 2” or more of reveal and often beveled. Shutters aren’t the norm with this style but when they are used, board and batten shutters are reminiscent of the arts & craft origins.
Historically building materials varied by region but typically included a mix of materials: masonry at column piers, foundation and chimneys; multiple cladding profiles including lap siding on lower levels and shakes on upper levels or gables. The wide pallet of building materials further enhances the styles sense of individualism. You can find an abundance of Craftsman style building components readily available including the window pattern, front door and tapered columns.
For masonry choices, both brick and stone are used – though not together. The stone profile I select depends on the size of the area. For larger areas, I like a broader profile. But if I’m simply adding stone to the column piers, I prefer a narrower profile – just remember to carry the masonry on the piers all the way to grade as opposed to stopping at the porch floor!
Saturated earth tones work best – derived from its Arts & Crafts origin and reflective of the self-assurance of the style.
This classic style is far from traditional. Its inviting personality make it a sought-out home in today’s communities. Go bold, go Craftsman!