Some History on the Craftsman Home - Frusterio Design

Driving through lovely, old neighborhoods in Birmingham, Alabama, one cannot help but be captivated by the different types of craftsman bungalows. Neighborhoods such as Crestwood or Avondale are full of these unique artsy homes. Today we want to share with you a little bit of history on this home design concept.

Craftsman homes gained popularity in America from the work of two brothers. California natives Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene designed homes together in Pasadena from 1893-1914.

The brothers were influenced by the arts and crafts movement of the late 1880’s. The movement amongst other things, took a stand against industrialism and encouraged social and economic reform. A social critic named Ruskin had a lot of influence on the movement’s philosophy. “…he thought that a healthy and moral society required independent workers who designed the things they made.”

Craftsman homes are more than unique homes, they are a representation of society moving from industrial dependence and falling in love with local artistic design. These homes became so popular that designs began to spread all over the United States. They quickly became the most popular smaller home design in entire U.S.

Features associated with craftsman style include, but are not limited to:

-Low-pitched gabled roof

-Roof rafters exposed

-Unenclosed eave overhang

-Decorative beams or braces

-Porch with roof supported by tapered columns

Some examples of craftsman style homes.

craftsman home 1 craftsman home 2 craftsman homeDSC_0013


Craftsman characteristics can be found in many modern designs. Designers will incorporate things such as a craftsman butler pantry, porch, and decorative false beams. Many homeowners will purchase original craftsman homes and do remodels that stay true to the tradition of the home. Regardless, of what features are seen, influences from this design style are here to stay.


A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia Savage McAlister


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