July 11, 2017

If you'll be building a custom home in the coming months, one of the first decisions you'll need to make regards the overall architectural style of your home. If you love natural materials and simple, clean lines, a Craftsman home may be perfect for you. This architectural style, first made popular in the late 19th century, is making a comeback in the Houston area. Craftsman homes are becoming especially popular in the Garden Oaks and Oak Forest areas, which are booming neighborhoods for young professionals and families alike.

History of the Craftsman Movement

The Craftsman style is also sometimes called the American Arts and Crafts style. It was born out of the Arts and Crafts Movement that during the late 1800s, and it remained popular through the 1930s. The movement focused on the use of natural materials and emphasized handmade, artisan goods and decor over industrially produced items.

Craftsman architecture was, in many ways, a backlash against the over-decorated, opulent Victorian architectural style that as so popular in the mid to late-1800s. Instead of focusing on quantity, famous Craftsman designers like Frank Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley designed simpler, approachable homes in which the building materials spoke for themselves.

Elements of Craftsman Architecture

There are many elements, both exterior and interior, that are hallmarks of the Craftsman style. Most of these elements are intended to meld form with function.

Natural, Mixed Materials

The wood in Craftsman homes is rarely painted; it's left natural so that its natural beauty can add to the home's appeal. Natural stone and brick are usually combined with the wood to create accent walls, pillars, fireplaces, and other backsplashes. The modern emphasis on green building materials has undoubtedly contributed to the resurgence of the Arts and Crafts style.

Low-Pitched, Gabled Roofs

Most Craftsman homes have roofs with a low slope and multiple gables. These roofs are well-suited to the warm Houston area where snow accumulation is not a concern. The large overhangs on Craftsman roofs are excellent from shedding rain and protecting the home's exterior walls from moisture.

A Front Porch

If you love spending time outside, the Craftsman style is well suited to your needs as these homes almost always have a big front porch. Typically, the porch roof is supported by pillars, which may have a base of stone or brick. The pillars typically taper off towards the top. You can include similar pillars in your home's interior, perhaps in an entryway to the kitchen or great room, giving the home a cohesive look.

Multi-Pane Windows

Most craftsman homes feature double-hung windows. The top panel is typically divided into 4, sometimes 6 segments, while the bottom panel consists of a single pane. Wide trim surrounds the windows, making them stand out against the rest of the home.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans are becoming more and more common in modern architecture since they encourage family interaction and make the home seem more spacious. However, open floor plans may have had their beginnings in the Arts and Crafts Movement. When we're building a custom home in the Craftsman style, we often create large living rooms with conjoined dining rooms and kitchens. This makes it easy for guests to congregate and interact.

Built-In Storage

Akin to the modern minimalist movement, Craftsman homes emphasize a neat, tidy look over clutter. Including plenty of built-in storage in the form of shelves and cabinets makes it easy for you to maintain a tidy home. You often see shelves and cabinets built in next to the fireplace, underneath a window, or along smaller walls in bedrooms.

Wooden Trim

Woodwork abounds in most Craftsman homes and serves as a built-in means of decoration. When building a custom home, you can incorporate ornate crown molding, plate rails, chair rails, and even geometric paneling to add natural character to the space.

In today's busy world, many homeowners are again seeking simplicity. When building a custom home, many people want to create unique spaces with a natural appeal, rather than posh, over-the-top spaces. Partners in Building has designed some lovely Craftsman homes in the Garden Oaks and Oak Forest Areas. Lots are relatively inexpensive in this area, and we've been able to create gorgeous family residences in the $400,000 range. Get in touch with us if you'd like to learn more about Craftsman architecture and how this style can meet your needs.