What Defines a Craftsman Style Home Design

Houses built in the craftsman style home design have a distinctive American feel. With rugged, distinct exteriors brimming with stylish options, the interior of these houses, or bungalows, feature an open layout to take advantage of smaller square footage. The versatility of craftsman style home designs makes it a great choice for couples or families looking for a lake home or rural retreat.

Craftsman houses appeared around the turn of the 20th century in California. Brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, both architects in Pasadena, were inspired by England’s Arts and Crafts movement to design houses featuring wood and other natural materials instead of new architectural influences from the Industrial Revolution. After craftsman style home design made a huge splash in House Beautiful and other popular magazines of the day, the craftsman enjoyed its peak of building popularity from about 1905 to 1930.

Craftsman Style Home Design

The All-American craftsman style home leaves many finishing details up to the builder, but there are some key design elements necessary to make it a true craftsman.

Gabled, Low-Pitch Roof

The roof on a craftsman home will have wide, unenclosed eaves in an Oriental style that hang over the structure and require the use of decorative supports. The roof design is best suited to climates where snow buildup is not an issue. It’s best to remove leaf debris periodically to avoid a buildup.


No craftsman style home design is complete without a covered porch. Not only does it look rustic and charming, but it also provides a place to enjoy warm summer evenings and adds valuable square footage to this typically smaller home.

Related: Decorating Ideas For Your Craftsman Style Home

Tapered Columns

A covered porch requires columns to support it, and that’s where tapered columns come in. They are usually short and rest on a sturdy, wide stone base. There’s quite a bit of flexibility in column choices as non-tapered and double columns are frequently used.

Stone Detailing

Although exterior walls can be wood clapboard or shingle siding, an authentic craftsman home must-have stone porch piers and foundations.

Partially Paned Front Doors

A craftsman home always features glass windowpanes in the top third of the door. A heavy piece of wood trim sets it off from the bottom third of sturdy paneled wood.

Neutral Colors

The craftsman style home design uses muted earthy colors so that the house can effortlessly blend into its environment. Brown and green shades are popular with complementary trim colors.

Contact us about designing your craftsman style home today!