The Arts and Crafts movement was sparked by a large population of British who opposed the mass production that took place during the Industrial Revolution. Machines were replacing people and the artisanal touch seemed to be fading. When Americans embraced this movement many years later, they found a way to incorporate modern ways with craftsmanship.
The Craftsman style of architecture reflected the American passion for craftsmanship coupled with efficiency. The style was enthusiastically welcomed. Today, Craftsman style homes are the most popular—but is supply keeping up with demand? Depending on where you live in the United States, your choices might be very slim if you have your heart set on a Craftsman home. Areas of California, Chicago and the Pacific Northwest have a larger number than the rest of the country, where ranch-style homes seem to dominate.
A recent Trulia report showed that Craftsman is the preferred style by 43% of Americans surveyed, with ranch coming in a close second at 41%. In spite of the popularity, the most popular architectural style is a rare find. According to Trulia’s assessment of current listings, the most available homes are ranch, colonial, Cape Cod, Victorian, and mid-century.
“Craftsman homes have a high quality of design and craftsmanship, so they hold their value,” explains architect David Jensen. “They are like the Rolls Royce or Robert Redford of the architecture world.”
The design reflects the love of simplicity. Two of the key values of the Arts & Crafts movement were to create well-designed yet affordable objects and to live simply. Bungalows reflect the traditional Craftsman architectural style. The façade is a combination of stone and wood siding. The wide front porch features columns—often tapered—supported with heavy, masonry piers. The distinctive, low-pitched roof is wide and gabled. Inside, you’ll see built-in cabinets, including drawers, which integrates the idea of function and furnishing into the design.
You might also find arched doorways, another sign that a skilled craftsman built the home. After World War II, returning servicemen needed affordable housing, so ranch houses became the focus of most home builders.
Since the 1990s, the popularity of the Craftsman home regained momentum, and has remained a favorite. It consistently ranks among the top architectural styles for today’s homebuyers. Some Epcon Communities—neighborhoods of single-family and 55+ communities—incorporate design details and values of Craftsman architecture.
The most important thread is the desire for simple living, which combines open interior spaces, ease of movement and the appreciation of detail. The home you choose reflects your lifestyle. Consider Epcon Communities for a home that blends artistry and simplicity.