Elements of Craftsman Style

The first home I ever purchased was an incredibly cute craftsman style Sears catalog home. Back in the early 20th century you could order an entire home out of the catalog and the components were delivered to your lot for someone to piece together.  I clearly remember the day the realtor took us to see the house. I took one step inside, saw all the natural woodwork and built-ins and said, “this is it!” We wrote an offer and a few days later the deal was done. There are so many elements of craftsman style that I adore.

This beautiful kitchen sports a craftsman style island with pendant lighting. American craftsman style grew out of the British Arts and Crafts movement and lasted from the late 1800’s through the 1930’s.

Photo from Houzz


Craftsman style has clean lines and many homes are being renovated with a modern vibe by using brighter colors. This bathroom wears a beautiful blue and includes a fun polka dot back splash.

Bathroom by Austin Design-Build Firms CG&S Design-Build


Built-ins are a common feature, like the coat rack and storage area. You’ll also find bead board ceilings in natural wood.

Photo by Fluidesign Studio


Banquette seating is common in craftsman kitchens, making the most of a small space.

Craftsman Kitchen by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Tim Andersen Architect


Big porches with chunky columns are a wonderful feature of the arts and crafts movement. Our little Sears kit home had an enclosed porch with plenty of windows. I should scan my photos of that house so I can share them with you.

Craftsman Exterior


Mission style furniture is an easy way to add craftsman style to your home.

Photo from Houzz


Exposed beams like you see in this entry way are another element of craftsman style. I like that this space has a mix of warm wood paired with white painted surfaces.

Entry by Bozeman Architects & Building Designers Locati Architects


This house exudes the passionate and artistic handicraft that’s a basic staple of craftsman style.

Craftsman Exterior by Delta Design-Build Firms Kenorah Design + Build Ltd.


The Arts and Crafts style incorporated locally handcrafted wood, metal, and glass creating elements that were simple and elegant, like the front door of this charming home.

Craftsman Entry by Seattle Design-Build Firms RW Anderson Homes


Natural woodwork is a common staple seen in craftsman homes across America.

Photo by Houzz

You just don’t see this beautiful craftsmanship in most homes built today. Whether you like the style or not, you can’t deny the artistry poured into Arts and Crafts homes.

For more information, visit the Arts and Crafts Style website.


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  1. Craftsman style was my first love too and I still have a few old Mission/ Morris style furniture pieces – sofa and desk. I would enjoy seeing pics of the house you owned so yes please – scan and share – thanks!

  2. Love the craftsman style homes. We have a few of them in our little town.

  3. Some very nice photographs of contemporary Craftsman updates. I have always had a love of Craftsman style architecture, having grown up in an area where they were quite popular in their day, but have never been fortunate enough to acquire one to live in! Would love to see the photographs of your Sears home. Do you know what model home it is? Were you able to identify it from any Sears catalog plans and photographs?

    Just as a matter of detail, I’m sure you meant to say early 20th century at the top of this article ~ not early 19th, which would have put the time frame in the early 1800’s instead of 1900’s, which is when the kit home industry really took off. Plan books had actually been around for a couple of centuries in one form or another, as architects kept records of their designs to use as examples to help people decide what kind of house they wanted built.

  4. Craftsman style speaks to lots of people. When you think about the actual “craftsman” who created these homes and furniture, it is remarkable. We modeled a bathroom a couple of years ago and the cabinetry has a craftsman flair. There many Craftsman homes here in Indianapolis and many have been restored and are quite beautiful.

  5. I have spent 18 years restoring a 1915 Craftsman in a historic district. We stripped painted woodwork, we restored bathrooms with 1915 period toilet,sinks, tubs. It took us 15 years to find a kitchen countertop closest to the small piece of the original left in the kitchen. We found all old lighting and even a 1920’s O Keefe & Merritt commercial stove. Not the easiest house to live in, the dogs drool on the wood floors, the kitchen has no place for a refrigerator ( we have undercounted refrigerators in the back porch) it is a dust collector with all the wood, no air conditioning and 1915 gravity furnace, only a clawfoot tub with a shower round. I want to add air conditioning ( a challenge with lath & plaster and 2 story airplane bungalow) another shower bath, inside laundry and more insulation. It is a remarkable house that deserved to be restored. As we age-it may become a challenge-but we will never live in a new house-old homes have a soul…craftsman give comfort. Maybe not so warm in the winter and cool in the summer though. Our home looks just like it did when built in 1915 ( except for the hidden tiny bosch dish washer)
    We are a bit crazy…but also serve as an example to the community for restoration-not renovation.
    My kids were not thrilled-but they all appreciate and love historic homes. ( They are adults now) We look at other houses thinking we should downsize or get a one story-but always come home to our old pain in the neck home. Nothing like a craftsman.

  6. Marlene Stephenson says:

    These were great examples of craftsman style and i would love to see your house where you use to live.

  7. Nancy Griffiths says:

    Our craftsman style home was built around 1905…we have lived here for 37 years and it is still my favorite style of architecture…
    When we moved in all the trim had been painted white…however, I loved the look and have chosen to keep it that way…we added central air to the downstairs but being we have no attic (only crawlspaces) we have wall units in the bedrooms…We love our home and although we do intend to downsize one day soon, my hope is to find a small cottage with craftsman touches!

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