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Craftsman Style Homes

September 12th, 2014

Craftsman HomeCraftsman Style Homes

We’re going to start a series on different architectures. And we’re going to launch with the Craftsman style which is seen in many older neighborhoods, and was very common until the 1930s. The houses are known for their attention to Arts and Crafts details, found especially in small, economical bungalows. They draw their roots from the British Arts and Crafts movements.  Craftsman came on the heels of Victorian architecture, and so it may look similar, but the Craftsman style was more of a rebellion against the excesses of Victorians (like the gingerbread in the eves). Also Craftsman would often include built-in shelving and seating.  The roofs were lower pitched, and often would include a porch with an overhang and tapered square columns.

You can sum up Craftsman as Simple, Functional, and Natural. Craftsman homes would have unfinished space for an attic, and have lots of windows for natural lighting. Additionally, opening up the windows would invite breezes to cool the home down.

Famous Craftsman Homes

One of the most famous Craftsman Style architects was Frank Lloyd Wright an originator of the Prairie School style, which was a expansion of both the American Craftsman style aesthetics and its philosophy for quality middle-class home design. His most famous Craftsman home was the Robie House in a suburb of Chicago, IL.

From Wikipedia:

In Southern California the firm Greene and Greene are the most renowned practitioners of the original American Craftsman Style, and were based in Pasadena, California. Their projects for Ultimate bungalows include the Gamble House and Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena, and the Thorsen House in Berkeley – with numerous others in California. Other examples in the Los Angeles region include the Lummis House and Journey House located in Pasadena California.

Merrill Hall at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, one of the buildings designed by Julia Morgan. Completed in 1928.

In Northern California the architects Bernard Maybeck, with the Swedenborgian Church; and Julia Morgan, with the Asilomar Conference Grounds and Mills College projects, are renowned for their well planned and detailed projects in the Craftsman style. Many other designers and projects represent the style in the region.

In San Diego, California the style was also popular. Architect David Owen Dryden designed and built many Craftsman California bungalows in the North Park district, now a proposed Dryden Historic District. The 1905 Marston House of George Marston in Balboa Park was designed by local architects Irving Gill and William Hebbard.

Caring For Your Craftsman Home

You will need to care for the hardwood floor by keeping it clean and free from dust which could scratch the surface.  See more suggestions in our blog post on hardwood floors.

You will also want to regularly inspect the masonry around the natural stone or brick to ensure it hasn’t chipped.

Some additional ideas for fixing up your Craftsman Style Home:

  1. Choose a color that highlights the architecture
  2. Add in unique touches like brass handles or a natural bench on the front porch
  3. Adding in stonework around the columns on the front porch can add in a pleasant and unique look

Do you have a Craftsman style home?

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