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TOH 2018 Idea House: Craftsman Details

Our contemporary Craftsman bungalow combines the best architectural elements of the Arts & Crafts movement with an open floor plan for today’s living.

Craftsman Roots

Photo by Nat Rea

The British Arts & Crafts movement that emerged in the mid-1800s during the Industrial Revolution was a rallying call to revive handcrafted workmanship and return to the use of quality materials and creation of beautiful, useful products by gifted artisans. At the turn of the century, the movement gained widespread popularity in the states, and the Craftsman homes it gave rise to were a refreshing change from the overly ornate, mass-produced, and shoddily constructed Victorians of the day. With their clean, strong lines, natural materials, and handcrafted artisanship throughout, Craftsman homes remain among America’s most popular house styles to this day.

CLAPBOARD/TRIM: LIFESPAN Solid Select

SHINGLE SIDING: SBC Cedar

EXTERIOR STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea

MANUFACTURED STONE VENEER: Eldorado Stone

COMPOSITE ROOF TILES: DaVinci Roofscapes

WINDOWS & PATIO DOORS: Andersen

LAMPPOST: Walpole Outdoors

GARAGE DOORS: Haas Door

LANDSCAPE PLANTS: Sodco, Fast-Growing-Trees.com, and InstantHedge

IRRIGATION: Orbit B-Hyve and Orbit Irrigation

Exterior Elements of a Craftsman Style

Photo by Nat rea

With a great degree of custom handcraft work, no two original Craftsman designs are exactly alike. But common elements typically include:

  • Low-pitched rooflines with hip or gable dormers
  • Deep eaves with exposed rafter tails
  • Covered front porches
  • Beefy tapered or square front porch columns, often resting on stone or brick piers
  • Flared eves
  • Double-hung or casement windows with two or three divided lights on the upper half and a single pane below

SHINGLES: SBC Cedar

CLAPBOARD/TRIM: LIFESPAN Solid Select

RAILINGS AND BRACKETS: Real Cedar

EXTERIOR LIGHTING: Circa Lighting

WALKWAY PAVERS: Unilock

WINDOWS: Andersen

PLANTS: Fast-Growing-Trees.com

MICROCLOVER SOD: Sodco

Craftsman Curb Appeal

Photo by Nat Rea

Our perfectly symmetrical Idea House features a gable dormer centered within a shed dormer. They are both supported by a low-pitched roof with deep overhangs that shelters a full-width porch.

SHINGLES: SBC Cedar

STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea

CLAPBOARD/TRIM: LIFESPAN Solid Select

HEDGES: InstantHedge

RAILINGS & BRACKETS: Real Cedar

LANTERN POST: Walpole Outdoors

WINDOWS: Andersen

Flared Eaves

Photo by Talia Sweenor

“The level of craftsmanship really gets your attention at this house,” says TOH host Kevin O’Connor, who was particularly taken with the swooping roofline. “That curve took extra effort, and it’s a beautiful flared detail.”

ROOF: DaVinci Roofscapes

SHINGLES: SBC Cedar

WINDOWS: Andersen

RAILINGS And PORCH CEILING: Real Cedar

Welcoming Front Porch

Photo by Nat Rea

Climb the front steps, past the stone-clad piers, and the Craftsman-style architectural elements all around give the house a familiar, homey feel. The 6-foot-deep, full-width front porch is a great spot to relax and greet neighbors.

WINDOWS: Andersen

FURNISHINGS: Hayneedle

CEILING, RAILS, AND FLOOR: Real Cedar

STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea (siding), Clear Sealer (ceiling, rails, floor)

LIGHT FIXTURES: Circa Lighting

Details Matter

Photo by Talia Sweenor

Exquisite workmanship is the hallmark of Craftsman style. And attention to detail is evident in the bird's mouth return and dowl joints Sweenor Builders Mill Shop used to create the front porch handrails.

HANDRAILS: Real Cedar

Walls of Windows

Photo by Cynthia Brown Studio

Says Union Studio architect Christina Carlson, “Ganged’ windows are a feature common to the Craftsman style. It is a technique that uses smaller windows to create large areas of glazing. They serve a double purpose—to let in lots of natural light, and to frame views to the exterior.”

WINDOWS: Andersen

FURNISHINGS: Hayneedle

CEILING, RAILS, FLOOR: Real Cedar

STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea (walls), Clear Sealer (ceiling, floor, railings)

Lighting the Way

Photo by Nat Rea

Carriage-house lanterns with strong, clean lines greet visitors at the arched entrance.

WALL SCONES: Circa Lighting

STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea

PORCH CEILING: Real Cedar

Craftsman Style Garage

Photo by Nat Rea

The garage repeats many of the house's Craftsman-style details: a curved roof, a central gable, exposed brackets, and a textural mix of siding materials, with cedar shingles above manufactured-stone veneer.

GARAGE DOORS: Haas Door

COMPOSITE ROOF TILES: DaVinci Roofscapes

STONE VENEER: Eldorado Stone

LIGHTING: Circa Lighting

CEDAR SHINGLES: SBC Cedar

Mixed Materials

Photo by Nat Rea

Materials mix freely in Craftsman homes; here, stone, steel, cedar, and shingles create a unique yet composed look. Custom-built cedar brackets supporting the garage-roof overhang echo the decorative ones adorning the eves of the main house.

BRACKETS: Real Cedar

SHINGLES: SBC Cedar

STONE VENEER: Eldorado Stone

STAIN: Olympic's Steely Sea and Clear Sealer

WALL SCONCES: Circa Lighting

Carriage House Charm

Photo by cynthia brown studio

For our front-facing garage, we opted for the classic beauty of period-appropriate carriage house doors crafted in galvanized steel for durability and insulated for superior thermal performance.

GARAGE DOORS: Haas Door

Sweenor Craftsmanship

Photo by Sweenor Builders

Even our builder's saw horse is a testament to the craftsmanship of his team, their attention to detail, and insistence on quality throughout. We at This Old House couldn't have been prouder to work with Sweenor Builders on this project, and we congratulate Jeff Sweenor on being named Rhode Island Home Builder of the Year by Home Builder Digest.