6 characteristics of a craftsman house to preserve guide, Masterful home carpentry, Crafted architectural features
6 timeless characteristics of a craftsman house you should preserve
27 Oct 2022
When updating a craftsman-style home, you should be careful not to remove the architectural details that give it its unique character. After all, these details are the reason craftsman-style homes are popular and well-loved among homeowners and building designers alike.
In this guide, we’ll share some of the key features of a craftsman house that you should preserve during a home renovation. When you maintain these elements, you can update your home while ensuring that it doesn’t lose its unique charm.
What’s a craftsman house?
Craftsman-style homes gained popularity during the 19th and 20th century. The architectural style puts emphasis on adding handcrafted elements like decorative trim and built-in furniture. Its goal was to promote human craftsmanship and reject mass-produced and factory-made elements in homes.
In modern times, many of these craftsman-style homes still exist but require extensive renovation due to their age. When updating one, you can modernise and repair some parts of the structure while restoring the iconic details. That way, you can pay homage to the house’s history while making it more comfortable and liveable.
Key architectural features of a craftsman house
1. Craftsman exterior
Every craftsman-style home can be identified just by looking at the facade. They typically come with low-pitched roofs with single or double gables. You may also see eaves with exposed beams and rafters, together with a fully covered front porch with a vertical column on each side. Some craftsman homes may also feature mansard lofts or dormer windows.
2. Bay windows
Craftsman-style homes typically feature one or two bay windows that let in plenty of natural light. These windows typically have custom details that showcase the expertise and craftsmanship of the builder.
When restoring a craftsman-style home, you can upgrade to double-pane or triple-pane windows but maintain the beauty of the window frame. Re-stain them to make them look brand-new.
3. Built-in storage
As mentioned, craftsman homes aim to celebrate masterful carpentry and craftsmanship. That’s why they often come with lots of built-in wooden cabinets.
Many people feel tempted to remove the built-ins, especially when the wood has started to rot, or the stain has faded. However, doing so will leave you with little to no storage inside the house, so it’s important to save as much as you can and replace the rotten wood.
If you want to change the layout of your craftsman house while maintaining the placement of built-ins, it’s good to seek help from a drafting professional. They can help you draw new floor plans for the home without robbing it of its original character.
4. Prominent fireplaces
Many craftsman-style homes come with traditional wood-burning fireplaces. This is a major selling point, especially if the house is located in a place with harsh winters.
When restoring a craftsman-style house, try to maintain the original appearance of the natural stone and wood mantle while making it functional again. Make the mantel the focal point of the living room, flanked by several built-ins like bookshelves and cabinets.
5. Wood trim and beams
Wood mouldings and accents are the hallmarks of a true craftsman-style house. When restoring these wood elements, sand them down and maintain their natural matt finish instead of painting them or putting a high-gloss finish.
In some cases, you may have to have baseboards specially milled to match the ones found in your home. It’s also important to look for decorative crown mouldings that match the ones in your house.
If you want to make your home feel even more traditionally craftsman, you can ask your builder to add reclaimed wood beams to the ceiling or create a coffered ceiling. These will highlight the stunning woodwork inside your house.
6. Stark light or dark interior paint colour
Sticking with a paint colour that matches the dark wood tones is essential. That’s why most craftsman-style homes are painted in dark blue, white, or light grey. Stay away from beige or warm reddish colours that would not highlight the beauty of the wooden accents.
Keep the original look and charm of your craftsman house
Having an original craftsman-style house is a dream for many people. If you happen to own one, be careful not to remove its best architectural features when doing a home renovation project. That way, you can maintain the house’s distinctive characteristics while bringing it to the modern era.
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