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Bold forms in new Arts & Crafts Revival-style house

Bold forms and serenity, in a new revival house in Iowa. 

A word about designers, millwork, flooring, etc.

The influence of the Arts & Crafts movement is evident in much of today’s residential construction, whether by design or osmosis! Some elements of the Arts & Crafts movement have become quite 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. All of these are bungalow basics.

Garage doors by Clopay, arts & crafts revival-style

Garage doors by Clopay, finished to match the entry, are recessed under a shallow pergola.

A recent general 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 a part in the pleasing appearance of these homes. On the outside, some of them are near-replica bungalows—not a bad approach when the house is meant to fit into an existing prewar neighborhood. Increasingly, we see architect-designed houses that marry familiar A&C tenets with postmodern design.

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.

Art glass and redwood burl, arts & crafts revival-style

Art glass and redwood burl distinguish the ‘Carmel By the Sea’ entry door by Mendocino Doors.

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.

Art + Craft - this week's picks