The beauty and diversity of American Arts and Crafts architecture

For nearly 20 years, the Craftsman Perspective has educated and inspired people interested in architecture and the homes they live in. This site is not connected to any business, nor does it sell anything. It exists purely for education and entertainment purposes. The idea for this site came about as I explored my own passion for the Arts and Crafts style and decided to post the things I discovered along the way. The most popular area of this site is devoted to photographs of houses -- over 300 examples of Craftsman homes, Mission style, bungalows, and many others from 1890 - 1925. But what started out as a virtual picture book has evolved into what I hope is a good foundation for anyone interested in the Arts and Crafts Style.

Discover the fascinating history of the Arts and Crafts style - Learn how the style evolved, how it influenced later design, and why it continues to inspire people today.

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Explore more than 300 photos that highlight the Style's common themes and amazing diversity, including Foresquares, Craftsman, Prarie, and Bungalow styles.

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Check out my personal restorations on a 1912 Foursquare and a 1918 Craftsman bungalow, and get inspired to own and restore your own Arts and Crafts house.

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Learn About the Arts & Crafts Style

Short reviews of events that led to and shaped the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the influential people who turned the Movement into an enduring architectural and decorative style.

Arts and Crafts Architecture in America

How do natural materials, craftsmanship, and a theme of "hearth, home, and family" create a style that transcends time? Begin with a quick primer on Arts and Crafts architecture — the ideas that drove the designs and the styles that define the period — then discover the beauty and diversity of architecture with over 300 photographs of houses taken across the U.S., with a few from Canada for good measure.

The most notable distinction that set Arts and Crafts homes apart from those from other styles is that the architecture was strongly influenced by location.

Bungalows were modeled after the small, airy houses built by the British in colonial India during the 1800's — open, one-story cottages with many windows that allowed air to circulate. As such, it was the perfect design for warmer climates. Although you can find bungalows across America, other styles were designed to better reflect the climate and environment they were in. In the Midwest, Frank Lloyd Wright created the Prairie style. Although this style featured two or more stories, its use of straight, horizontal lines gives the impression of a low house that suggested the flatness of the Midwestern plains and prairies.

Further east, cold weather and hilly terrain made bungalows less practical and prairie homes less popular. Many areas of the eastern U.S. were already populated with Victorian houses and farmsteads that were built with the climate in mind. However, Craftsman Guild founder Gustav Stickley found news ways to express the Arts and Crafts ideals with house plans based on existing Four Square, Colonial, Cottage and Stick styles.

Mission style homes were inspired by the adobe structures built by Spanish missionaries. They were not truly considered part of the Arts and Crafts movement, but their popularity in parts of the Southwest merit mention because the style follows the ideals of the Movement by being made of natural, indiginous materials and fit the character of the environment very well.

A period Arts and Crafts living room