Houses by Chibi Moku

Understanding Craftsman style homes

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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It's not just talented architects that can appreciate the skill and vision that goes into creating perfect Craftsman homes, but what exactly is it about this particular style of architecture that makes it so perpetually popular? Craftsman home design is very specific, not particularly in terms of exterior visual aesthetics, but more pertinently, ethos-wise, as it was an answer to a wider movement in the art and leisure world that put artisan skill at risk of being lost and forgotten forever. 

Now considered to be a staple of American architecture, Craftsman exterior homes are identifiable for a number of reasons, all of which will be discussed and explored in this guide. 

What is the definition of a craftsman house?

 Houses by Chibi Moku
Chibi Moku

Bost Builders—High Country Craftsman—Exterior 7

Chibi Moku

Craftsman house plans are interesting, as they are frequently one-storey bungalow homes with a twist, but the more fascinating element is why the design aesthetic came about in the first place.

Part of the Arts and Crafts movement, which was a rebellion against the industrialization of labor, Craftsman houses were created in a bid to celebrate the individual skills of the artisan experts involved. In a nutshell, the architectural style rose up to prioritize quality over quantity, as mass-produced homes were considered to be of a lesser quality and lacking in the inherent joy that a family home should induce. With these factors in mind, there are some very definitive architectural motifs to look out for in Craftsman houses.

What is a craftsman style home exterior like?

 Houses by Chibi Moku
Chibi Moku

Bost Builders—High Country Craftsman—Exterior 3

Chibi Moku

Craftsman bungalows have a tendency to be modest properties that are defined by attractive gables and dominant dormers. They have the benefit of a simple facade aesthetic and deceptively compact perceived dimensions, but it's the extra detailing that really sets them apart.

Frequently furnished with hand-finished wood and creative stonework, Craftsman homes will often showcase the following features:

- An inviting entrance often secluded underneath a pretty porch. The styling will often feature wood and rustic overtones, as well as square columns that will prop up the porch itself.

- Earthy tones that offer an intrinsic connection to nature. Browns, beiges and pale pastels are very common.

- Rugged stone foundations that offer strength and style.

- Cottage detailing is a personal preference, but many people choose to install items such as wooden window shutters.

- In-keeping accessories, such as exterior lanterns, can often be seen on Craftsman houses.

- Pitched roofs are a must, whether single or double.

Craftsman house interior design styles.

Craftsman houses are just as impressive on the inside as they are enticing, interesting and homey from from the outside, thanks to an immeasurable focus on attention to detail. 

The interiors are supposed to contribute to a sense of family closeness and intimacy, which is why self-contained spaces are frequently interwoven together, by expert designers, to carve out a surprisingly open and cohesive scheme, all sprinkled with a healthy dose of handcrafted details. From inside a warm and welcoming porch, a home should expand and act as an extension of the natural world outside the front door. A particular design feature will be a handmade kitchen that speaks of the creativity and skills of a carpenter. 

Living room particulars.

 Living room by Chibi Moku
Chibi Moku

Bost Builders—High Country Craftsman—Interior 7

Chibi Moku

Living rooms are meant to be the heart of every home, not just Craftsman houses, but there is a special condition in that they should connect to the porch in these properties, allowing for a continuous interaction with nature. This is further supported by large or striking fireplaces.

Large fireplaces tend to be the main focal point in a Craftsman living room, as they offer terrific opportunities for talented artisans to carve, cast or build something special, with their hands, which is the entire ethos that this architectural and design style is founded upon. 

The surprising central feature.

 Corridor & hallway by Chibi Moku
Chibi Moku

Patricia K Emmons—Rural Oregon Craftsman Home—Interior 8

Chibi Moku

Despite most Craftsman homes starting life as one-storey bungalows, dormers are added and second floors are usually installed, to open up extra pockets of space and because of this, the staircase becomes critical, not to mention central feature. 

A piece of striking architecture that will be seen as soon as the front door is opened, a staircase is not an installation to ever be taken lightly in these homes, particularly as a master carpenter will be required to carve and whittle it. Far from just being a transitional space, a staircase will usually be used to store books and collectible as well, making for an even more homey look and feel.

An intrinsic connection to nature.

 Country house by Chibi Moku
Chibi Moku

Patricia K Emmons—Rural Oregon Craftsman Home—Exterior 3

Chibi Moku

It's no secret that a Craftsman home will always have a graceful connection to nature, so outdoor spaces will always be a key consideration, including gardens, patios and terraces. Wood will absolutely always be the main material and it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to stick to relatively rustic motifs, such as shingles and bench seating. It's certainly not hard to understand why these houses are so easy to love.

Could you definitely be tempted to consider a Craftsman house now?
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