Neither slavish reproductions nor over-scaled McMansions, houses of the Arts & Crafts revival incorporate historical details in an interpretive and contemporary way. Their designers embrace 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.
It’s hard to pin down what’s “Arts & Crafts” about them, just as it was during the original movement. 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, quirky, artistic bungalow variants from Pasadena to Vancouver and New Jersey.
Common to all is an approach that looks at the site, and also the context of time and place. A majority of the excellent revival houses are the result of a guild-like collaboration among educated client, designer, builder, and carpenter and tradespeople. Certain elements recur, among them enveloping rooflines, exaggerated structural elements (battered columns, stone piers, knee braces), porches and open-roofed pergolas, grouped windows, and strong horizontals. Indoors and outdoors are made to connect.
Inside, half-walls and colonnades define different rooms. Cozy fireplace inglenooks, built-in window seats, and bungalow-era kitchen nooks have come back.