Is my house a Craftsman?

Craftsman Style homeCraftsman style homes are abundant in the Portland area, yet many people are unaware of what makes a Craftsman home. In order to understand Craftsman style design we need to first look at the Victorian period.  Victorian style homes where heavily influenced by the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Advances in technology and the use of machinery lead to the ability to produce extremely ornate trim in a short period of time. Victorian homes are known for an overabundance of detail, intricate designs and heavy use of turned stair balusters and newels. In response to the Industrial Revolution and its effect on home design, a new movement gained steam in England called the “Arts and Crafts” movement. The main tenants of the Arts and Crafts design focused on the artisan,stressing craftsmanship and handmade products. In Southern California this movement combined some elements of Asian architecture and became known as the Craftsman style.

Generally speaking, Craftsman interior styles are simple, streamlined and angular. Window and door treatments tend to use dimensional lumber with a simple parting bead and possibly and craftsman cove as a lintel. Bases were often two piece build ups consisting of dimensional lumber with a craftsman style base cap on top. One of the main tenants of Craftsman design was to use local materials. Here in Portland you will find primarily Fir, Hemlock and some White Oak in craftsman homes.

Staircases generally consist of a simple hand rail with square box newels, and square balusters. If extra detail was desired a simple chamfer could be run on the balusters.

Finally, every Craftsman home has a porch of some sort. The porch railing will usually be very similar to any interior railings. A hallmark element on any craftsman porch is the tapered craftsman column. Most often this will consist of square pedestal with a tapered column on top of it.

As always, our showroom offers several great examples of Craftsman moldings and stair parts and several mantels as well. Craftsman columns are also available by special order.

photo credit: <a href=””>j l t</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


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