Replicate Craftsman Style Architecture in Your Next Renovation or New Build

Posted by James Baldwin on

How to Replicate Craftsman Style Architecture

A guide from Modern Bungalow

So you want to replicate the craftsman style for your next renovation or new home build? In this simple guide, we'll provide some background on craftsman architecture and its roots in the arts and crafts movement, give some details about what exactly makes a home a craftsman style home, and show you a few ways that you can add a touch of craftsman style to your home without starting from scratch! 

The Birth of the Craftsman Style

At the end of the 19th century a movement began in Britain which sought to distance itself from the popular style that had been prevalent throughout the UK and Europe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, builders of homes and furniture alike were wedded to the idea of ornate and traditional styling common in Victorian era designs. 

The movement, which would become known as the arts and crafts movement, desired a return to more functional, high quality design using natural materials and natural design aesthetics. From this movement, the craftsman style - short for craftsmanship - was born. 

In terms of architecture, the craftsman style translated to buildings with more light, more space, and less ornamentation. 

What Makes a Home a Craftsman Home?

There are several different ways to express the craftsman style in architecture, but in general there are a few features that you'll likely find on almost all craftsman homes. In no particular order they are:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • 1-1.5 stories
  • Broad eaves with exposed rafters
  • Large front porch
  • Exposed wooden elements 
  • Earth-tone colors

While this short list provides a basic idea of what makes a home a craftsman home, there are certainly other design details that one can add that fall under the umbrella of craftsman architecture. By implementing these craftsman design techniques, one can easily add the craftsman look without having to start from scratch on an entire new build. These can also be implemented when designing a new build to give your home the all-around craftsman look so prized by homeowners. 

Adding the Craftsman Touch

Whether you're looking to renovate or build from scratch, adding a few simple details can transform any home into a craftsman style home (or at least part of it) with relative simplicity. While some details are more involved than others, utilizing all or any individual concept will undoubtedly transform the character of your home instantly. 

Let's take a look at a few craftsman design options.

Tapered Columns

Tapered columns, though done in vastly different designs, are a characteristic feature of many craftsman homes. The columns, used to support the roof over the front porch, are generally short and rest upon large piers made of stone, or sometimes brick, which extend all the way to the ground.

Borrowing the tapered column look is a great way to add a craftsman touch to your home without having to completely rebuild. 

Partial Paned Door

Almost every original craftsman style house features a front door with glass panes in the upper third of the door. This is another simple step one can take too add a craftsman touch either on their existing home or when building from scratch.

Stone Detailing

A craftsman style home will almost always feature a mix of materials. Typically, the sideboards of a craftsman home will be made of wood although shingled siding is also common. As we somewhat mentioned before, though, stone porch piers and foundations are prototypical of craftsman style homes. 

To add the craftsman touch to your new or renovated home, consider adding a stone or brick addition to a section of the house, and never be afraid to freely mix materials.

Exposed Beams and Rafter Tails Under Roof Eaves

This is one of the most recognizable and distinctive design characteristics found on many craftsman style homes. Reflecting the influence of the arts and crafts movement in its attempt to make visible the handiwork that went into the design, these features can easily be added to any existing roof with deep eaves or added to the design of your new home.

Triangular supports underneath the eaves, also known as knee braces, are another structural option which, similar to the beams and rafter tails, are often decorative and can be added to an existing roof to add that touch of craftsman style to your home. 


So there you have it. A peak into the history and birth of the craftsman style, some distinctive features found on almost all craftsman style homes, and some design options for renovating or building from scratch to give your home that quintessential craftsman touch. 

Now all you need to do is fill that beautiful home with craftsman style furniture and accessories from the arts and crafts movement and your craftsman home will be truly complete. On that front, Modern Bungalow has you more than covered. Come in today or explore our website and check out our amazing selection of furniture from bed frames, dressers, and tables to our variety of hand crafted clocks, lamps, knives, and much more. 



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