Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Craftsman House Series: Interiors

In last month’s post, we took a look at defining exterior features of Craftsman homes. This month, let’s step inside the front door. These adorable homes share some commonalities sure to warm your heart.

Walls: Often wood-paneled to chair-rail or plate-rail height, stained to a golden oak or oak brown. Painted softwood seen in bedrooms, initially white but other colors later in the period. Stencils above plate rails were popular, using a nature or abstract geometric design in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. Murals and frescoes. Kitchens and bathrooms feature tongue-and-groove paneling. Generous baseboards and window trim. Plain walls painted in earth tones and hues of vegetables and stones or originally covered with burlap, grass cloth, or nature-inspired wallpaper.

Ceilings: Trimmed with angled or boxed beams and crown moldings.

Doors: Five panels, horizontal and recessed, most common. Pocket doors. French doors with Prairie grid panes.

Bathroom: Lots of white. Hand-crafted, glazed (often green!) or hexagonal tiles. Pedestal sinks and free-standing tubs. Wood trim stained dark, including the mirror-surround. Shaker-style cabinets.

Kitchen: Early sinks were wall-hung or on legs, but starting in the 1920s, some homes employed scalloped half-doors to hide plumbing. Natural oak cabinets with flat-panel doors, some with glass. Pendant lights with mica. Hand-crafted tiles or natural stone as backsplash. Hardware and fixtures with warm finishes, like bronze, antique brass, and copper. Eating nooks with built-in benches.

Special features: Expect to see many practical amenities built into the Craftsman home. Murphy beds, built-in cupboards, telephone nooks, window seats, mud rooms, and ironing boards. Front doors may include surrounds featuring beveled or stained glass in geometric or nature-themed patterns. Colonnades were room-dividing sets of pillars atop pedestal bases rising knee- to chest-high, often joined by a beam or arch; bookcases, bench seats, or glass-fronted china cupboards may be built in.

In my novel, Fall Flip, releasing this September with Candlelight Romance, one of the first disagreements between interior designer Shelby Dodson and contractor Scott Matthews occurs the minute they step inside the 1920s Craftsman bungalow they’re renovating for their retired clients. Leave the rich woodwork natural like preservation-driven Scott suggests, or paint it white like modernist Shelby insists? The bigger question … can Shelby work with a man 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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See also: Craftsman Perspective, Arts and Crafts Questions, Interior Decorating. Old House Online, “Bungalows of the Arts & Crafts Movement,” Patricia Poore, November 24, 2010. Arts & Crafts Homes and the Revival, “Woodwork & Finishes for the Craftsman Home,” Patricia Poore, December 3, 2013. Arts & Crafts Homes, “Design Elements of the Craftsman House.” Houzz, “Bathroom Workbook: 7 Elements of Craftsman Style,” Mitchell Parker, June 23, 2014. Houzz, “Kitchen Workbook: 8 Elements of a Craftsman Kitchen,” Lisa Frederick, April 3, 2012. The Argyle Sears Home: Home library: {{Wikipedia|}}. Home interior: {{Wikipedia|}}


  1. Thanks for highlighting this beautiful style of architecture!

  2. A year ago I bought a 1927 Colonial Revival bungalow. It's a sweet little house that I adore. Since buying it, I'm in love with all Craftsman homes! Thanks for highlighting their adorable features!

    1. Karen, I love this! We have some beautiful ones here in Houston, but the price of them now is out of sight. They're prime real estate close to downtown in one area and close to the medical center in another.

  3. My pleasure, ladies! I get to enjoy some Craftsman touches in my modern home, but Karen, I'd dearly love to see your bungalow! :)

  4. I love the old Craftsman houses. We have a historic section in Houston that has a lot of them. In fact, my step-aunt Susie lived in one exactly like the one you have pictured. I couldn't see the exact floor plan of the one here, but the outside looked the same. It was built in the late 20's or early 30's. The kitchen had glass cabinets and tile counter tops. It had a formal dining room as well as a breakfast nook. The historical society has worked hard to keep those homes looking exactly like they did when new. The interiors may be updated, but the original flavor is still there. Thanks for giving more information about these homes.

  5. Denise and Martha, if I can figure out how to upload a photo of my bungalow, I'll do that for you. Do you know if there is a way? My house has arched doorways, hardwood floors throughout, a telephone nook (how interesting!) and painted trims. It's 2 bedroom, 1 bath, but all the rooms are oversized and has lots of built-in storage galore, and a nice basement for storage and storm shelter. My husband passed 18 months ago, so I sold our farm house and found the bungalow. Have a great day everyone!

  6. Thank you for sharing, Martha and Karen. Karen, the bungalow sounds perfect. I sure wish I knew a way to upload a photo without creating a whole new post, but I don't. If we connect on Facebook, you could add a photo onto my post about the blog article there. I'll see if I can find you to send you a friend invite. :)

  7. Denise, I think I found you already on FB; I'm pretty sure, anyway. Thank you! Karen