Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Craftsman Home Series: Exteriors

Many of you will be familiar with Craftsman architectural style due to its revival in the last fifteen years. Some of you might even live in a Craftsman home. Lucky you! But even if you could write a book on bungalows, a peek at all this architectural cuteness would never hurt anyone.

According to Architectural Styles of America and Europe: Craftsman Bungalow, “‘craftsman’ refers generally to the Arts and Crafts movement and is considered an architectural or interior style, whereas ‘bungalow’ is a particular form of house or building.” The term “bungalow” derived from India’s bangla, or low house with porches around it.

During the early 1900s, the architectural firm of Greene and Greene in California responded to the Arts & Crafts movement in America by launching Craftsman-style architecture. The popularity of the style endured until roughly 1929.

Some common features of Craftsman style include:

  • Low, spreading style (one or one-and-a-half stories), with porches, pergolas, and patios tying in the outdoors. Wooden pergolas were common with vines or climbing flowers.
  • Use of indigenous building materials like rock, stone, shingles, and stucco.
  • Square or chunky porch columns that widen at the bottom (battered).
  • Exaggerated eaves, lintels, and rafters. Decorative brackets.
  • Wide, paneled doors.
  • Double-hung windows with multiple lights in the upper window and a single pane in the lower (6-over-1 sash).
  • Large front dormer common.
  • Natural wood. Stained cedar shingles. Clapboard painted earthy brown, green, red-brown, gray, blue. Contrast between wood and brick. Trim that adds a third color. Brick can be plain or painted.
  • Native landscaping, although there was some interest in exotic plants during the period.

Do you live in a Craftsman? Share some of your home’s unique exterior features below.

In my upcoming novel, Fall Flip, releasing in September with Candlelight Romance, interior designer Shelby Dodson and contractor Scott Matthews renovate a Craftsman bungalow for a retired couple in the quaint river town of Augusta, Georgia. Their disagreements about the house flip reveal the baggage they’ve accumulated since high school—back when Shelby was an honor student cheerleader and Scott was, well … “shop boy.” Will recent widow Shelby open her heart to someone so different from her late husband?

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for Smitten Historical Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. Her historical romance, The Witness Tree, is also releasing in September with Smitten. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

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For more info: Craftsman Perspective, Arts and Crafts Questions, Interior Decorating. Old House Online, “Bungalows of the Arts & Crafts Movement,” Patricia Poore, November 24, 2010. Antique Home, “Craftsman-style Bungalows.” The Elsmore Sears Home:

The Argyle Sears Home:

Craftsman house: {{Wikipedia|}} 


  1. Thank you for explaining just what constitutes Craftsman architecture. What I love most are the porches. I have a serious penchant for porches. In all the homes we've lived in I've been lucky enough to have one wonderful porch. I used to sit out there when it was raining and listen to the sound. It's almost as soothing as living beside a brook in the country! Thanks for the post. And congrats on your book baby.

  2. Thank you, Connie! I'm jealous of your porch. In our current home, we don't have one. Just a stoop. Porches can be so fun to decorate seasonally and make a home so inviting. Enjoy. :)