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Custom home with white brackets, green garage door and grid windows.

What is Arts & Crafts?

And no, we’re not talking about the weekend activity you do with your kids. Rather, we’re referring to the architectural design style. Used interchangeably with ‘craftsman’, ‘arts & crafts’ was a design movement of the late 1800s-early 1900s. It was essentially a revival of the decorative arts; an appreciation for traditional craftsmanship and an anti-industrial movement; handwork vs. mass production. It focused on the simple form with applications of romantic or folk style decoration.

Frank Lloyd Wright, an American Architect known for his contributions to craftsman style, believed that a building should be intimately tied to its surroundings and appear as though it naturally grew from its site. ‘Arts & crafts’ is driven by these same ideals.

‘Arts & crafts’ is characterized by low-pitch roof lines on a gabled roof, exaggerated eave overhangs, exposed rafters, tapered columns, multipane windows, decorative brackets, and a predominant front porch. Materials are natural: wood, stone, slate. Colours are earth tone. All of these elements, working together, help to connect the building to the ground and natural environment.

We’ve designed many ‘arts & crafts’ style homes. Here is a small selection of our craftsman designs with explanations as to what identifies these homes as distinctively ‘arts & crafts’.

This is our aptly titled The Craftsman House. The ‘arts & crafts’ elements of this home are the predominant front porch, columns with stone bases and the mix of natural materials.

The Window Box highlights how an earth tone exterior blends a home with its natural surroundings. This connection with the natural environment is emphasized even more by the natural stone on the base of the home, making the home appear as though it naturally grew from its site. Multipane windows, knee braces and, of course, the window box, reinforce the ‘arts & crafts’ style.

Everything about this home identifies it as ‘arts & crafts’: a low-pitched, gabled roofline, tapered columns, the mix of natural materials, the earth tone colour scheme and the notable front porch. Nestled among the mature trees that surround the property, this home went from a basic bungalow to prime example of ‘arts & crafts’. Click here to see the before pictures of Mineola Makeover.

Bracket details, tapered stone columns and a mix of natural colours and materials define this home as ‘arts & crafts’. Click here to see the before images of The Road House.