Design, Build & Remodel in the Arts & Crafts Style

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Multiple cladding materials lend scale to a new house designed by Shawn Leatherwood. Photo: Roger Wade

Multiple cladding materials lend scale to a new house designed by Shawn Leatherwood. Photo: Roger Wade

Houses of the Arts & Crafts revival incorporate historical details in an interpretive and contemporary way. Today’s designers and builders are embracing new technology, universal design, and more environmentally responsible building practices. Reassuringly familiar, these houses are appreciated from coast to coast—whether it’s a bungalow court of starter homes, or a 6,000-square-foot Craftsman Tudor.

The pergola with classical columns on stone bases is by FineHouse, Ltd.

The pergola with classical columns on stone bases is by FineHouse, Ltd.

It may be hard to define what’s “Arts & Crafts” about these houses, just as it was during the original movement (ca. 1910). Vernacular and regional sub-styles exist today as before: the East Coast shingled house with classical allusions, the horizontal Prairie house, the cubic Kansas City shirtwaist, the hacienda or Mission Revival house—and, of course, artistic bungalow variants built from Pasadena to Vancouver.

The influence of the Arts & Crafts movement is evident. Some elements have become very familiar: enveloping rooflines, battered porch columns and over-scaled brackets, the use of river rock and shingles. Inside, half-walls and colonnades define different rooms in a generally open plan; cozy fireplace inglenooks, built-in window seats, and bungalow-era kitchen nooks have come back. Another trend is toward smaller, more naturalistic, more site-specific designs for houses. In many cases, the sensibility, materials, and construction details of the Arts & Crafts period play an important part in design.