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Design Elements of Craftsman Style House Plans | Don Gardner

Exterior view of Craftsman House Plans 1235 - The Park Ridge

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Design Elements of the Craftsman Style House

The Craftsman Style House grew out of the Arts and Crafts Movement in New York via Gustav Stickley, and in California via the Greene Brothers. These design influences informed the development of “a house kit of Architectural parts" and became the early examples of the classic Craftsman Style House.

Craftsman Style Home Plans the Wexler - #1248

These houses were put together by local craftsmen, and their modest cost allowed the average homeowner to experience true Architecture. The basic forms of the house were simple, and their skills were reflected in the intricate details that were employed. Low pitched roofs with gables, or intersecting gables, and wide dormers characterized the façade of these homes. The wide front porch was the first welcoming element greeting visitors at the entrance to a comfortable, warm and cozy home.


Craftsman Columns from the paark Ridge - House Plan 1235

The Craftsman house is full of surprising creative elements once past the basic low slope house form. Horizontal siding accented with cedar shakes form a typical backdrop for large tapered columns set on elevated piers of stone or brick.

Front Porch of the Markham - Craftsman House Plan #1299

Exterior color is an integral part of the Craftsman style, using contrasting light and dark earthy browns and greens. Colors varied greatly depending on location across the country. These colors are now driven largely by personal choice, and tend to be bolder and more dramatic. This boldness is expressed in the color selections for window sashes and doors, often contrasting dramatically with the color of trim and siding.

Craftsman Home Plan the Willaimette - House Plan #1203



7 Exterior Elements that define the Craftsman Style House.

Front Porch of the Wexler - Home Plan #1248

    1 - Simple low slope gable forms and wide shed or gable dormers.
    2 - Cedar shake or horizontal siding; typically painted with contrasting but complementary colors.
    3 - Exposed rafter tails, knee braces and gable brackets, and trim- with contrasting colors to siding.
    4 - Dark shingle roofs with wide eaves and overhangs.
    5 - Accent color window sash on large multiple unit windows. Accent style and color is expressed on the entrance door.
    6 - Wide functional front porch with bold tapered or double square columns.
      7 - Stacked stone foundation with accent piers at porches. These piers break the horizontal line of the porch floor.


Accent details from Craftsman House Plan 1226 - the Sagecrest


      Dark shingle roofing often covers a gently sloped roofline and shed or gable dormers. Functional roof brackets, knee braces, corbel block details and gable vents add finely crafted details. These details show up on the porches, under the wide eaves and overhangs and in the gables and dormers above.


      Exterior windows from the Amelia - Craftsman Bungalow Home Plan 1360


      Contrasting color window sashes accentuate the wide trim detailing of large multi-unit glass openings with numerous variations of window grid patterns, primarily in the top sash only. Wide flat trim and plain cap details complement the background simplicity.


Garage doors from Craftsman House Plan - the Birchwood #1239



Garage doors might have a carriage door appearance, with tall lower panels and either glass or solid top panels. Door hinge and handle accents are common. Brick or stone foundations were typically used.





      An accent entrance door stained or painted a contrasting color, well-protected under a deep front porch with rocking chairs completes the look.

Front Door from the Chesnee - Craftsman House Plan 1290




7 Interior Elements that define the Craftsman Style House.

Foyer photo of the Markham - Craftsman House Plan #1299

    1 - Contrasting colors for painted plaster walls - now gypsum board, with a tall wainscot utilized in dining and entrance areas.
    2 - Tongue-and-groove wood flooring in 2"-3" widths, sanded, stained and/or finished with polyurethane. There are also products that replicate the old oil-based varnish and tung oil that were used in the past.
    3 - Ceilings of varying height played to the importance of the space. Now, we find taller ceilings and even vaulted ceilings, to bring added interest and excitement to the main living spaces.
    4 - Stained paneled doors and period hardware with cased openings. Simple wide door trim, stained or painted.
    5 - A large fireplace as the focal point in the living area, with stone, brick or colorful tiles utilized as the surround material. The accent materials stop at the bottom of a finely detailed and crafted wood mantle. The fireplace was flanked by low built-in cabinetry or open shelving with windows above.
    6 - Simple kitchen cabinetry with clean lines, paneled doors and open storage shelves. Tile backsplashes, often vibrant with color and detail, and tile counter tops. Natural stone tops are often found in current Craftsman homes, integrating the old craftsman character with new technology.
    7 - Ceilings with wood beam accents, again stained or painted, with wood columns, beams and low bookcases used for space delineation.


Great room photo from the Birchwood - Craftsman Home Plan 1239


Craftsman house interiors tend to be cozy, comfortable and inviting, utilizing complementary colors, wood trim beams and ceiling details, paneled wood doors, simple built-in cabinetry and storage along with the eye-catching tiles and pottery.



Front foyer of the Sandy Creek - Craftsman House Design #1329


Wood floors and inlaid wood details, stained with a matte protective finish, laid the foundation for the Craftsman Style room. Refined, dressed wood is used extensively as an accent material, and can be found in 2"-3" tongue-and-groove flooring, doors, built-up trim ceiling beams, fireplace mantels and cabinetry.



Dining room photo from The Markham - Craftsman House Design 1299


Painted walls with stained or painted door and window, base and ceiling trim, with tall wainscot detailing highlight the dining areas.





Mud room photo from the Carrera - House Plan 1178 Kitchen photo from Craftsman House Plans - The Austin #1409

Resilient tile is frequently used in the kitchen and mudroom areas, with patterned colorful tile backsplash and countertops. Natural stone countertops are often found in current Craftsman homes, integrating the old craftsman character with new technology. Smaller hexagon-shaped tile is found on bathroom floors with intricate border detailing in contrasting color. Beautiful accent tile was often found on fireplace surrounds extending up to the finely detailed and crafted wood mantle.




Advanced building products and everchanging technology have made the current Craftsman house more comfortable and durable, with the interior focus on blending functional creature comforts, technology and new materials with the appearance of handcrafted elements of the original materials and details.


Here are some examples of Craftsman Style homes in the Donald Gardner design portfolio.

      Craftsman Style House Plan #967 - The Satchwell Craftsman Style Home Plan The Ambroise - #1373 Craftsman House Plan the Birchwood - #1239

              Or, click here to see all of our Craftsman Style House plans!

              Below are various links to manufacturers of products and materials you might want to consider for your Craftsman style house.

              Clopay Doors Eldorado Stone Kraftmaid
              Clopay Garage Doors Eldorado Stone Kraftmaid Kitchen Cabinets


              Trustile Certainteed Southernwood
              Trustile Certainteed Southernwood Craft

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