This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (2024)

A Craftsman house is a popular American home style that emerged from the American Craftsman movement of the turn of the 20th century. It spanned everything from architecture to interior and landscape design, in addition to applied and decorative arts.

Key Characteristics of Craftsman Houses

  • Low-pitched roofs with protruding single or double gables and overhanging eaves
  • Exteriors feature intentionally exposed beams, brackets, and/or rafters
  • Wide, open front porches are held up by signature thick tapered columns
  • Typical Craftsman homes are one to one-and-a-half stories tall
  • Home design may be symmetrical or asymmetrical
  • Large bay or picture windows include a small overhanging roof ledge positioned over the window, with rafter tails
  • Exteriors are typically painted wood siding, traditionally cedar shaker shingles
  • Often includes stone or stucco accents on both the interior and exterior
  • Sash windows on original Craftsman homes may feature iconic Frank Lloyd Wright leaded glasswork

This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (1)

History of Craftsman Architecture

Craftsman homes emerged in the U.S. primarily between 1900 and 1929. The style was a backlash against the mass-produced, Industrial Revolution-fueled Victorian architecture boom. It focused anew on the beauty of natural materials and handcrafted forms.

American Craftsman style was inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement, which itself was a backlash to Europe’s Industrial Revolution. Particularly popular in California and the Midwest, Craftsman architecture spread across the country in part thanks to American furniture designer Gustav Stickley, an Arts and Crafts movement booster who helped popularize the style (and coin the name) with his early 20th-century monthly magazine "The Craftsman."

Unlike the McMansions that would emerge a century later, Craftsman-style homes were small- to medium-sized single-family homes that showed the beauty of simplicity and modesty in architecture.

Craftsman-style homes remain one of the most popular home styles in the United States. Original Craftsman houses are still widely sought after, and the core elements of Craftsman style continue to influence architects to this day.

Craftsman Interior Design Style

Craftsman houses remain one of the most popular American architecture styles because they reflect timeless aesthetics and values that never go out of style.

A Craftsman home is solidly made with natural materials and nature-inspired colors and motifs, with a focus on the beauty of artisanal craftsmanship.

While Craftsman designs were focused on simplicity and functionality, they nonetheless feature more attention to detail and built-in character than today’s minimalist contemporary interior designs.

Smaller Distinct Spaces

Craftsman interiors are built to be cozy, homey, unpretentious, and warm. Unlike today’s typical open-plan spaces, they feature distinct living and dining spaces; small eat-in kitchen nooks; and a traditional, human-scaled space plan. Living and dining rooms are typically anchored by one or two fireplaces as central room features, which may be clad in brick or tile.

Extensive Use of Woodwork

One of the elements that makes Craftsman homes feel inviting to live in is the extensive use of woodwork. This includes thick wood framed windows and doors; built-in bookshelves, window seats, and other custom millwork; beamed ceilings; and hardwood floors.

Using medium to dark-stained wood on the interiors lends Craftsman interiors a traditionally masculine feel.

While Craftsman homes feature large bay or picture windows to let in natural light, they can feel somewhat dark by contemporary standards. While purists would never dream of painting out the wood in a traditional Craftsman home, many people choose to lighten up some of the natural woodwork, usually with neutral shades of white, taupe, gray, and beige paint.

This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (3)

Types of Craftsman Homes


This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (4)

Craftsman bungalows are popular in California. These typically one-story homes are recognizable due to their modest size and cozy features like overhanging eaves and wide open front porches.

Original Craftsman homes were generally painted in earth tones such as brown and green, but today can be found in a rainbow of colors.

While Craftsman-style houses such as the popular California Craftsman homes are bungalows, not every bungalow is a Craftsman-style home.

Prairie Style

This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (5)

A notable style that emerged from the American Craftsman movement was the much-celebrated Prairie School of architecture founded by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who went on to design some of the world’s masterpieces of midcentury modern architecture.

The architect designed the Arthur B. Heurtley House above. Located in Oak Park, IL, it is considered one of the first examples of a home designed in full Prairie style.

Built in 1902, and restored in 1997, it has a concrete base, no basem*nt or attic, and an emphasis on horizontal lines and a ribbon of art glass windows.

Mission Revival

This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (6)

Mission Revival homes are a Southwestern variation on Craftsman homes that swap wood siding for stucco. They borrow Craftsman-style elements like overhanging eaves but may include clay roof tiles.

This Popular Home Style Features Wide Porches, Low-Pitched Roofs, and Lots of Charm (2024)
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