American Craftsman Homes: Origins
Handcrafted elements and cozy proportions are what identify the Craftsman-style houses we call home here at RounTrey. Although Craftsman-style homes have a similar style, the variation in colors and details such as wood or stone siding is what gives each home their own unique identity.
American Craftsman homes originated from the British Arts & Crafts movement of the 1860’s. The movement was a reaction against the Industrial Revolution’s devaluation of the individual worker and human labor, as well as the over-decorated aesthetic of the Victorian design movement. The Arts & Crafts style movement arrived in the US just in time for the decline of the Victorian era.
Craftsman homes emphasized handwork over mass-production, and early Craftsman homes used costly materials and skilled labor, which resulted in a wealthy clientele. Craftsmen were encouraged to take part in the design of these homes and add their own unique touches.
The movement evolved to accommodate the growing middle class. The American Arts & Crafts movement shared the original British philosophy, which involved originality, simplicity, using local materials, and handcrafted details.
The interior design of the first craftsman homes came from changes in the class system—servants quarters in traditional Victorian homes no longer existed, and the housewife of the era would be doing most of the housework herself. From this stemmed a need for the kitchen to be incorporated into the general living space. Breakfast nooks, simplified front porches with tapered columns and lower ceilings all arose in the start of the Craftsman era.
Some of the most renowned practitioners of the original American Craftsman style were based in southern California with some in the northern region. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects of houses in the U.S., played a big part in the development of American craftsman homes. The Craftsman Bungalow became the most popular home in the U.S. from 1905 through the 1920s.
Craftsman homes have survived and evolved through over a century of design movements and are timelessly appreciated for their personality and uniqueness.