A Piece of American History

What is a Craftsman a style home? Craftsman style homes are a vivid piece of american history and easily recognizable throughout much of the country but did you know this style actually originated in Great Britain in the 1860s? The British Arts and Crafts movement of the 1860’s created the Craftsman homes styles of today. This British movement was started by a man named William Morris. Morris was a bit of a rebel and made a point of taking a stand against the home styles of the time, specifically the Victorian.  He felt the Victorian homes were over-decorated and eclectic and so was invented the Arts and Crafts Movement as an anti-Victorian movement throughout Britain. In addition to an alternative to the Victorian housing style this movement gave way to a style of furniture and décor items that were hand crafted rather than the traditional mass produced items.  

While the Craftsman style was becoming more and more popular across Brittan t it was not until late in the 19th century that popular architect and interior designer, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced the modern Craftsman home to America. The modern Craftsman was to all but replace the traditional Colonial style in much of the country. The Craftsman style quickly became very popular on the West Coast. The Californian firm of Greene and Greene was the most famous Southern California architects to produce these homes along the coast. It did not take long for the Craftsman design to spread across America, became an integral part of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. A well known architectural magazine named “The Craftsman” featured the first Craftsman home, officially naming this design style the American Craftsman. Gustav Stickley, the editor of “The Craftsman” defined a Craftsman home as a house built on “the virtues of beauty, simplicity, utility and organic harmony.” Simply put a Craftsman home was built to be simple, fit the necessities of the life to be lived in the house, make use of locally sourced materials as well as to fit with the natural environment surrounding the home.  

Today with the desire and need for green eco-friendly building within the United States we are seeing a resurgence of the Craftsman style home being built. Designed with a consciousness of the natural environment and a focus on use of locally sourced materials these homes are well suited to the needs of today’s home buyer. They are also drawing a lot of attention from homeowners because of their unique style of peaked front porches, wood floors, wood interior elements as well as natural colors and inlayed stone facades. The fundamental design of the Craftsman is to benefit the homeowner which contributes heavily to the huge popularity of this style in modern America.

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