The Craftsman house is the American expression of the international Arts & Crafts Movement.  For the most part, the Arts & Crafts has been a critique of industry, a fealty to tradition, a continuation of handicraft from the Medieval guilds through the Renaissance studios to the independent craftsman and crafty manufacturing companies.  Many societies, schools and community organizations grew from the Arts & Crafts: The Rhode Island School of Design (1877), Stickley’s Craftsman Farms (1905), Cranbrook Academy (1922), Penland (1929), and The Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts, founded 1906.

You will notice that The Craftsman house is devoid of machined doodad and artsy pretense, especially in the houses of Gustav Stickley, publisher of The Craftsman magazine (1901-1916) from which the style gets its name.  After WWI, Stickley’s Atlantic Craftsman style was imitated by the manufactured housing industry and was found in the catalogs of Aladdin, Sears and Roebuck, et cetera.  You will find that Craftsman houses dominate the pages of mail-order catalogs, predominate the streets of many American cities of the Midwest and the Atlantic Coast.  Craftsman houses are so pervasive that some have made a sport of identifying Sears bungalows by catalog, name, and page number.


Craftsman House Plan showing night colors

The Stickley, Craftsman House Plan Color Elevation, Night. M. Curtis, des.


Craftsman houses are informed by openness (avoidance of unnecessary walls and halls), by sound craftsmanship (resistance to wear), by economy of resources, by warmth of materials, by charm in detail, and by those homey touches, the inglenook, the coppice, the handcrafted bowl, lamp, glass.  Porches, pergolas, terraces and open-air dining rooms are sympathetically treated, sparsely decorated, and the whole house is physically illustrated with Nature’s bounty, the tree, the flower, the bush, the vine.

Rather than thwarted, Nature is obeyed in every detail.  Machines are hidden, people are humanized, and Craftsman gardens are contoured to the swells and rests of a gentle landscape.  Machined angles and machined forms are unwelcomed.  Curves, twists, surprises encouraged homeowners to follow Nature into health, into growth, into a full and meaningful life.

For peace of mind, peace of soul, the garden should be a place to wander, to rest, a place of trimmed walks, barbered shrubs, faultless flowerbeds, nature beautiful in the intimate.

Craftsman homes are cozy, familiar, firm, popular these 100 years, suitable to refinement, as New Urbanist architects have found.  In recent decades, Craftsman houses have enjoyed a revival, becoming lighter, prettier, more open and inviting, though less interesting.  Craftsman houses have retained an aesthetic appeal, though they have lost to technology their tradition of handicraft, their reforming spirit.


Craftsman Revival The Stickley Elevation

The Stickley, Craftsman House Plan Elevation. M. Curtis, des.




Low-slung and rectangular, usually one or one-and-a-half stories.

Roof Features
Low-pitched, most often front-gabled, sometimes hipped, gently sloped with heavy, overhanging eaves supported by utilitarian brackets.  A second story is usually admitted by a single dormer.

Arranged in groups of two or three, double-hung sash, the upper half sometimes smaller.

Structure and Materials
A fieldstone base and fieldstone chimney, the walls most often wood, though stucco and brick are common.  Heavy porches with squarish piers that support a weighted, overhanging roof.  Siding might be clapboard, board-and-batten, shingle.

Space and Floor Plan
The basic bungalow shows its short side to the street with rooms aligning one behind the other without the necessity of hallways.

The heavy door will want a heavy yet beautiful handle and hinge, an upper row of window above the typical plinth; the glass might be leaded, and sometimes the whole will have sidelights.

Structural details are the excuse for decoration; hinges, pegs, and joints become practical, aesthetic abstractions.

Natural colors of natural materials, the ochres, browns, and greens of earth, the olives and terra-cottas.

There should be a seamless relationship between house and landscape.  The base of the house might taper up from solid earth as does a hill.

Great and diverse, influenced by numerous traditions, regional habits and local conditions.




This attractive, modest house plan features a large, common family space and the intimacy of private, separated bedrooms.  The Master Suite includes a large, mirrored dressing room, a generous bath, and an accessible laundry.  Childrens bedrooms are on the second floor.  The common Great Room boasts a 16′ high ceiling that shelters the dining room, the kitchen and island, and the family area with its broad, gathering fireplace.  There is an attached garage above which is a rental apartment or home office-studio.  Typical of Craftsman houses, a friendly porch supported by stout piers.  Craftsman House Plan B is affordable to any working family.  The garage and apartment are not included in Plan B yet are easily added as the family matures.


Craftsman House Plan showing two full floors

The Stickley, Craftsman House Plan & Elevation. M. Curtis, des.


25’-3”                       Height
50’-6”                       Width
32’-6”                       Depth
1,742                        GSF
976                           First Floor GSF
766                           Second Floor GSF
16′-0″                       Great Room
9’-0”                         First Floor Ceiling
2                                Levels
4                                Bedrooms
3 1/2                         Bathrooms

Room Size
First Floor
Great Room                24’-6” x 24’-0”
Dining Room              12′-6″ x 6′-0″
Kitchen                       11′-0″ x 9′-0″
Watercloset                3′-0 x 5′-6″
Master Bedroom       12′-0″ x 11′-6″
Mater Bathroom        12′-0″ x 9′-6″
Laundry Closet           6′-0″ x 2′-9″

Second Floor
Bedroom 2                  12′-0″ x 9′-1″
Bedroom 3                  12′-0″ x 9′-6″
Bathroom                     2′-9″ x 11′-0″

Apartment                   12′-0″ x 28′-0″
Garage                         12′-0″ x 28′-0″
Front Porch                  25′-0″ x 6′-0″
Back Deck                    24′-6″ x 8′-0″


Craftsman Revival The Stickley B Plan Elevation

The Stickley, Craftsman House Plan B, Plan & Elevation. M. Curtis, des.


25′-3”                       Height
38’-0”                       Width
32’-6”                       Depth
1,354                        GSF
976                           First Floor GSF
378                           Second Floor GSF
16′-0″                        Great Room
9’-0”                          First Floor Ceiling
2                                 Levels
3                                 Bedrooms
2 1/2                          Bathrooms

*Craftsman House Plan B is identical Plan A, except for the attached garage and apart-
ment which are not included here.


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Featured image: Craftsman House Plan, The Stickley, Color Elevation, M. Curtis, des.

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