American Craftsman Home Style

By Charles Richardson

When exploring the latest popular trends in the housing industry, homeowners sometimes overlook the style of the house itself. This is unfortunate because the type of home you build will largely set the tone for the type of interior and exterior designs that will be aesthetically optimal. “The style, or type, of house you select is the single most important thing to consider when building a home,” says Chuck Tripp of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc. “It is important to select a style that not only reflects your particular taste, but is also suitable to your lifestyle.” After all, functionality is a key component to effective design.

Today we are going to discuss one of the most versatile house styles: American Craftsman Home style.

The origin of the American Craftsman home

The American conception of the Craftsman home sprang out of the late 19th-Century artistic movement known as “Arts and Crafts,” which itself was spawned from the British reform movement of the mid 1800s—a direct reaction to Victorian formality and ornate design. The Craftsman home style has evolved considerably over the past two hundred years, manifesting itself in a wide array of variations, including cottages, cabins, farmhouses, and bungalows.

Craftsman Home Plan

House Plan #1360 – The Amelia

What are the characteristics of an American Craftsman home?

The over-simplified answer is that the typical American Craftsman home has a big porch, an open floor plan, and features lots of natural materials, especially woodwork. And though that is indeed true, the Craftsman style can often possess quite a bit of variety. Materials often include stone or stucco, in addition to wood, as well as other, rustic-looking materials. Craftsman home features may also include large gables, beams, rafters, shed dormers, decorative brackets, or timber detailing—all emphasizing a simplicity of form and natural components.

Craftsman Home Details

Sagecrest Plan #1226 – Architectural Details

American Craftsmen Features

A Craftsman home today presents homeowners with a broader variety of options and traits than ever before. Although you likely won’t find all of the features below in any one Craftsman style, these are some of the common attributes to look for (as provided by


  • Low-pitched, front or side gabled roofs
  • Dormer windows and multiple roof planes
  • Generously overhanging eves
  • Exposed rafters and beams
  • Extended rafter ends, sometimes decoratively shaped (e.g., oriental flares)
  • Decorative braces and stickwork under the gables
  • Decorative attic vents in front facing gables
  • Wood or stone siding such as horizontal wood slats, wood shingles, cut stone cladding
  • Generous full or partial width front porches
  • Porch support columns often extending to ground level (no break at the porch floor)
  • Tapered porch columns supported by low pedestals made of stone, brick, wood or stucco
  • Sloping foundation walls and porch supports
  • Stone covered foundation walls and porch supports
  • Stone exterior chimneys
  • Additional trellised porches
  • Wide exterior window and door casing
  • Windows with multi-paned top sashes and single-paned bottom sashes
  • Stained glass in exterior windows and doors
Conceptual Plan #1272 - Now In Progress!

Conceptual Design In-Progress #1272


  • Open floor plan
  • Natural materials: wood, stone, brick, glass, tile
  • Exposed rafters, joists and beams
  • Handmade decorative objects
  • Functional, aesthetic furnishings and decoration (i.e., an overall functional beauty in the space itself and the objects in it)
  • Wide door and window casing
  • Natural finishes on wood trim: casing, baseboard and other molding
  • Built-in woodwork: cabinets, bookcases, shelving, storage, window seats, benches
  • Other natural or rustic woodwork: box-beam ceilings, hardwood floors, wall paneling, wainscot
  • Fireplaces, sometimes with an inglenook, centrally located as a focal point for socializing or relaxing
  • Numerous windows for natural light
  • Arts and Crafts stained glass in windows, doors, sidelights and cabinet doors
  • Original and replica decorative finishes: wallpaper, stenciling, textiles
  • Earthy colors and harmonious wood tones (warm, cozy, welcoming)

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To learn more about American Craftsman designs and the possibilities it presents for your family, please contact one of our DAG Representatives to………


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