Republic Home Builders can help you create the perfect Craftsman home to call your own The Craftsman style of home is perhaps the most popular home style in Spotsylvania, Louisa and Orange County, VA. This classic style has been adapted in many ways as it has gone through several revivals since the late 19th century. This American architec-ture style began as a reaction to the perceived devaluation of the worker and human la-bor during the Industrial Revolution and the over-decorated look of Victorian design, giving rise to homes with character, quality workmanship, and function.
If you appreciate an open floor plan, detailed handiwork, and a distinctive American style, a Craftsman style home may be the ideal choice for your new Lake Anna or Louisa home.
Key Features of a Craftsman Style Home
Craftsman homes were created for families and the working class while rebelling against the ornate and formal Victorian homes popular in the 19th century. A Craftsman home is built with function and quality in mind. There are dozens of styles of Craftsman homes today but there are many key features you’ll recognize:
- Low pitched roof or gabled roof with deep overhanging eaves. The low roofline of a Craftsman home reflects the style’s Asian influence.
- Exposed rafters, decorative brackets, elaborate rafter ends, knee braces, and/or roof ridge finials. The Arts & Crafts movement added exposed rafter beams to make the handiwork of the home more apparent.
- Large covered front porch
- Tapered columns. Many Craftsman homes feature distinctive tapered columns that support the porch roof and rest upon stone or brick piers.
- Exposed wood structural elements
- Single dormer. Not all Craftsman homes have a dormer but they usually have a single wide dormer that stands out rather than the paired dormers found in Cape Cod homes. These dormers may be wide enough for two or even three windows.
- Double-hung windows with a partially paned door
- Brick or native stone fireplace
- Handmade built-in cabinetry like bookcases and buffets
- Custom, unique features like window seats
History of the Craftsman Style
The Craftsman style is an American style of home architecture that began at the turn of the 20th century in Southern California, combining Asian architecture with the Arts and Crafts movement in England that started in the 1860s. The original British Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction to the ornate and over-the-top Victorian style. The movement focused on handwork rather than mass production with a style that high-lighted workmanship with built-in furniture, exposed rafters, and native materials.
The American movement was also a response to the popular Victorian style as well as the and Industrial Revolution, which was perceived to devalue human labor and individ-ual craftsmanship. The American Arts and Crafts movement also ennobled modest homes as the middle class began to expand.
In the late 19th century, influential architects and designers in Boston brought the Eng-lish Arts & Crafts movement to the United States with an exhibition. This style of archi-tecture was truly mastered by the Greene brothers with their Southern Californian firm Green and Green. Another early and influential contributor to the style was Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the country’s most prolific home architects who helped originate the Prai-rie School home style which grew out of the Craftsman style and remains popular in Cali-fornia as well as the east coast.
As Craftsman style homes rapidly gained popularity, they were featured in pattern books and even sold as kits with homeowners able to order the kit to be delivered to their building site.
Types of Craftsman Homes
There are many styles of Craftsman or Arts & Crafts homes ranging from the classic Craftsman to the Mission style which is influenced by Southwest adobe structures. Craftsman homes can look very different depending on the region, too, as they are usu-ally made with native materials and can be quite eclectic, especially when they are cus-tom homes. Understanding the style of Craftsman home you want can help when build-ing your new Lake Anna home with Republic Home Builders.
The bungalow is the traditional Craftsman home. These homes, usually modest in size, have a broad and low gabled roof with one or two front dormers, wide eaves with ex-posed rafters, and a very large, open covered porch with tapered columns supported by wood or masonry piers. A bungalow also has distinctive windows with four or six panes in the upper sash of the double-hung windows and a single pane in the lower sash. This type of window is usually called a Craftsman window.
Bungalows were influenced by architecture in India’s Bengal region with the “Bangala” style home becoming popular as English officers traveled back to India. When an article was published about the style in The Craftsman in 1906, it became very popular with ar-chitects and it continues to represent the classic American home today. There are many beautiful examples of Craftsman bungalows throughout Louisa, many of which are cus-tom builds.
The Prairie style home is one of the most recognizable American forms of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright. These homes have very strong horizontal lines and may have two or more stories. The flat, low exterior of a Prairie mimics the flatness of the Midwest and prairie where the home gained popularity. The rooms in a Prairie home are very open and large but divided with low cabinets or glass panels instead of walls. Unlike other Craftsman styles, the Prairie style extended well past the housing boom fol-lowing WWI but it did evolve into the Mid-Century Modern style by the 1940s and 50s.
The Mission style of Craftsman home was inspired by the adobe buildings in the South-west and it’s very related to the Prairie home style. Both have strong low, horizontal lines and large interior spaces but from the outside they look very different.
A Mission Revival Craftsman is usually asymmetrical with stucco and accents in tile, brick, or stone. Doors and windows feature sweeping arches with heavy wood doors and tiled roofs. A Mission home also has an interior courtyard plus an extended roof and a deep porch to extend living space outdoors. Like a traditional Craftsman, a Mission home has a fireplace and plenty of built-ins but it also features curved wall edges and corners.
This style of Craftsman is rarely seen in Spotsylvania and Orange County, VA as it works best in hot climates in the West without snow.
The Four Square home is very close to a bungalow with a more square design. This style has a history that’s hard to trace with thousands of Four Square homes popping up across the United States between 1890 and 1920. This style became popular as WWI ended and people began having large families and needed space. The affordable, inexpensive Craftsman bungalow was adapted with a full second story rather than the typical half story. While it was popular for a time, many designers considered the Four Square home to be chunky and too plain. Many still appreciate the Four Square’s large, open spaces and charming full-size bungalow design with two stories and a dormer.