If late-19th century Victorian homes were built to show off the advances of American manufacturing and the innovation of industry (with their over-the-top details in every direction), then the Craftsman movement that followed was a direct counter response to that, emphasizing hand-worked goods and buildings over the mass-produced. At the turn of the 20th century, the American Craftsman architectural movement spun out of the British Arts and Crafts movement, a similar response to the Industrial Revolution in Europe, which proponents felt devalued human labor.

According to Grant Marani, a partner at New York’s Robert A.M. Stern Architects, a considerable amount of credit for the popularity of the Craftsman movement must be given to Gustav Stickley, a “furniture maker turned promoter of the English Arts and Crafts movement in America who popularized the style through his influential magazine The Craftsman in the early twentieth century.”

Stickley’s furniture—and the magazine—emphasized simplicity in form, use of local materials, and honesty in construction. The Craftsman began publishing and selling house plans that embodied these characteristics, which made what Stickley considered to be superior home design available to the masses. Initially, the specific home plans in Stickley’s magazine were called “Craftsman homes,” but eventually, the moniker was given to the increasingly popular style at large.

What makes Craftsman homes so popular?

Craftsman homes have several common features that make them recognizable and just as popular today as they were more than 100 years ago. In stark contrast to the verticality of Victorians, Craftsman homes emphasize horizontal lines, with low-pitched gable (triangular) roofs that extend far out past the home’s exterior walls, often with exposed beams or rafters. Craftsman homes “showcase hand-worked local materials with decorative elements such as brackets, lintels, and rafters,” Grant says, “and display an artisanal approach to surface decoration.”

Read more: https://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/a25227127/craftsman-style-houses/


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