Among the wide range of home styles, there's one that stands out from the rest due to its rich history and character: the craftsman home. Popularized by American furniture manufacturer Gustav Stickley and the Gamble brothers, who are known for the iconic Gamble House, craftsman-style houses first garnered attention in the late 1800s and early 1900s during the Arts & Crafts Movement. It was a time when people started to lose interest in the eclectic nature of Victorian homes, choosing, instead, to favor the simplicity of craftsman homes.
The exterior of a craftsman home typically features low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, heavy, tapered columns, patterned window panes, and a covered front porch. Its exterior colors are reflective of nature. Think muted earth tones, including green, brown, and taupe shades. Common exterior building materials range from brick and stone to stucco and wood siding. "The craftsman style is for the person who tends to like a natural style of home that's not so ornate," says Joe Berkowitz of . "And as the name suggests, it showcases fine craftsmanship.
Like its exterior, the interior of a craftsman home is fairly understated. "The interiors showcase fine craftsmanship and custom details, and most are open floor plans," Berkowitz says. Enter a typical craftsman home and you'll find charming stone accents and impressive custom millwork. For instance, built-in shelving, window seats, reading nooks, mixed metals, and a large fireplace with hand-carved details, are just a few characteristics. "In many ways, the house is the decor," says Berkowitz.
Because craftsman homes feature such rich wood details, Berkowitz suggests balancing neutrals with pops of color when decorating. "I prefer pale, neutral tones like soft grays with a splash of color and bright patterns in the form of pillows and drapery," he says. "This works well against the medium-brown wood tones of craftsman-style homes."
When decorating, the goal should be to highlight what makes craftsman homes unique. "Try a cocktail or dining table made of glass or zinc top, or for a refined look, an upholstered sofa with metal legs rather than wood."
Regardless of whether a craftsman-style home is for you, there's no debating that this unique architecture style deserves its spot in design history.