How to Decorate a Craftsman Home

Craftsman homes are known for their timeless appeal and unique architectural features. If you own a Craftsman home or are considering decorating one, understanding the charm and characteristics of this style is crucial. Whether it’s the wide front porches, intricate woodwork, or warm earthy tones, there are certain elements that define a Craftsman home and make it truly special.

Craftsman homes emerged during the late 19th century as a response to mass-produced machine-made goods. They embodied simplicity, craftsmanship, and a connection to nature. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, these homes showcase handcrafted details, natural materials, and an emphasis on quality over quantity.

To decorate a Craftsman home in a way that honors its history while adding your personal touch, it is important to embrace natural materials like wood and stone. These organic elements can be incorporated into furniture pieces, flooring choices, or even through exposed ceiling beams. Additionally, choosing an authentic color palette that complements the architectural features is essential in capturing the true essence of this style.

In this article, we will explore various aspects of decorating a Craftsman home. From understanding the history of Craftsman style to embracing natural materials, enhancing the exterior curb appeal to bringing in arts and crafts furniture – we will guide you through each step of the process.

By following these tips and suggestions, you can transform your Craftsman home into a space that exudes charm, character, and reflects your personal taste. So let’s dive in and discover how to decorate a Craftsman home with grace and authenticity.

Understanding the History of Craftsman Style

The Craftsman style, also known as the Arts and Crafts style, originated in the late 19th century and gained popularity in the United States during the early 20th century. This architectural and design movement was inspired by the desire to reconnect with nature and celebrate craftsmanship in response to industrialization. Understanding the history of Craftsman style is crucial in order to truly capture its essence when decorating a Craftsman home.

Craftsman architecture and design can be traced back to British designers such as William Morris and John Ruskin, who advocated for handcrafted items over mass-produced goods. This philosophy was then embraced by American designers like Gustav Stickley, who popularized Craftsman style through his magazine “The Craftsman” and his furniture company.

Craftsman homes are characterized by their low-pitched roofs, wide eaves with exposed rafters, decorative brackets, sturdy construction, and emphasis on simplicity and functionality. These homes often feature natural materials such as wood, stone, and brick, giving them a warm and inviting feel.

When decorating a Craftsman home, it is important to honor its origins by embracing these unique features. Incorporate natural materials into your decor choices – opt for wooden furniture pieces with clean lines and simple designs. Add touches of stone or brick through accent walls or fireplace surrounds.

In terms of color palette, stick to authentic Craftsman colors that complement the architectural features of your home. Earthy tones like browns, greens, reds, and yellows are commonly used in Craftsman interiors. Consider using these colors for your walls or incorporating them into your furniture upholstery or accessories.

Understanding the history of Craftsman style allows you to appreciate its unique aspects and make informed design choices when decorating your home. By incorporating natural materials and choosing an authentic color palette that complements the architectural features of your home, you can create a true Craftsman aesthetic that celebrates craftsmanship and welcomes nature indoors.

Key Points
– Craftsman style originated in the late 19th century in response to industrialization and a desire to reconnect with nature
– British designers like William Morris and John Ruskin influenced American designers such as Gustav Stickley
– Craftsman homes are characterized by their low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, and emphasis on natural materials
– Incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone into your decor choices
– Choose an authentic color palette that complements the architectural features of your home
– Earthy tones like browns, greens, reds, and yellows are commonly used in Craftsman interiors

Embrace Natural Materials

Craftsman homes are known for their unique charm and exceptional craftsmanship, with a focus on natural materials that bring warmth and character to the space. To create an authentic and inviting decor for your Craftsman home, it is essential to embrace these natural materials. Incorporating wood, stone, and other organic elements found in Craftsman homes can enhance the overall aesthetic and create a harmonious environment.

One of the primary materials to incorporate into your Craftsman home decor is wood. Craftsman homes often feature exposed beams, intricate woodwork, and built-in cabinetry, which highlight the beauty of natural wood. When decorating your space, consider using wooden furniture pieces that showcase the craftsmanship associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Choose furniture made from solid wood with rich grain patterns like oak or mahogany for a truly authentic look.

Additionally, stone can be used to add texture and visual interest in a Craftsman home. Stone fireplace surrounds or accent walls can create a focal point in the room while bringing a sense of solidity and earthiness. Consider using natural stone tiles for flooring or backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms to further emphasize the use of organic materials.

To help you incorporate these natural materials into your Craftsman home decor, here are some tips:

  1. Select furniture made from solid wood such as oak, cherry, or mahogany.
  2. Look for handcrafted wooden items with visible grain patterns.
  3. Use stone accents as statement pieces such as fireplace surrounds or feature walls.
  4. Use natural stone tiles for flooring or bathroom surfaces.
  5. Include organic textile elements like wool rugs or linen curtains.

By embracing natural materials such as wood, stone, and textiles in your Craftsman home decor, you can create an authentic and inviting space that showcases the beauty of craftsmanship from this iconic architectural style.

Wood – Choose furniture made from solid wood such as oak, cherry, or mahogany

  • Look for handcrafted wooden items with visible grain patterns
Stone – Use stone accents as statement pieces such as fireplace surrounds or feature walls

  • Use natural stone tiles for flooring or bathroom surfaces
Textiles – Incorporate organic textile elements like wool rugs or linen curtains to add warmth and softness to the space

Classic Craftsman Colors

Choosing the right colors is essential when it comes to decorating a Craftsman home. The authentic color palette for a Craftsman home is crucial in enhancing its architectural features and creating a cohesive and harmonious look. Here are some tips for selecting classic Craftsman colors that will complement the unique characteristics of your home.

Understanding the Color Palette

Craftsman homes typically feature earthy and natural hues that reflect the surrounding environment. The color palette often includes warm tones such as rusty reds, deep browns, rich ochres, olive greens, and muted yellows. These colors draw inspiration from nature and help create a sense of warmth and connection with the outdoors.

Avoiding Bright or Bold Colors

When decorating a Craftsman home, it’s best to avoid bright or bold colors that may overpower or clash with the traditional style of architecture. Stick to more understated shades that evoke a sense of tranquility and simplicity. While vibrant accents can be incorporated through home accessories, it’s important to maintain the overall harmony of color throughout the space.

Considering Historic Details

To ensure authenticity in your color choices, consider any historic details in your home’s architecture. Research about the specific Craftsman style your house belongs to – be it California, American Foursquare, or Prairie School – and find out what color palettes were commonly used during that time period. This will help you create an accurate representation of your home’s original design intent.

Testing Samples before Committing

Before painting entire walls or exteriors, it’s advisable to test paint samples on different surfaces within your home to see how they interact with light at various times of day. Natural lighting can impact how colors appear within spaces, so experimenting with different shades will allow you to make an informed decision.

When choosing classic Craftsman colors for your home, remember that the goal is to complement and enhance the architectural features. By selecting earthy, warm tones, avoiding bold colors, considering historic details, and testing samples before committing, you’ll be well on your way to creating an authentic and visually pleasing Craftsman home.

Enhancing the Exterior

Craftsman homes are known for their charming exterior features that exude a sense of warmth and craftsmanship. Enhancing the exterior of a Craftsman home is essential in creating an inviting and visually appealing curb appeal. By incorporating Craftsman elements such as porch columns and detailed trim, homeowners can elevate the overall aesthetic of their home while staying true to its architectural style.

One key aspect of enhancing the exterior of a Craftsman home is by focusing on the porch area. Craftsmans typically feature deep, covered porches with prominent square or tapered columns. These columns are often made of natural materials such as wood or stone, and they provide both structural support and visual interest to the home. Consider adding or replacing porch columns with authentic Craftsman-style designs to instantly transform the look of your home’s exterior.

In addition to porch columns, paying attention to the trim details is crucial in achieving an authentic Craftsman aesthetic. Craftsman homes often showcase intricate and carefully crafted trim work around windows, doors, and eaves. This attention to detail adds depth and character to the exterior facade.

Installing or restoring detailed trim can make a significant difference in enhancing the overall curb appeal of your Craftsman home. Choose trim designs that are true to the Craftsman style, such as wide bands with simple yet elegant geometric patterns.

To further enhance the exterior, consider incorporating other traditional Craftsman elements such as shingle siding, stone accents, or decorative brackets under eaves. These features not only add depth and texture but also contribute to the overall sense of craftsmanship that defines a true Craftsman home. By embracing these elements and paying careful attention to detail, you can enhance your home’s exterior while celebrating its unique architectural style.

Exterior Enhancement TipsDescription
Focus on Porch AreaReplace or add authentic Craftsman-style porch columns to elevate the exterior.
Pay Attention to Trim DetailsInstall or restore detailed trim around windows, doors, and eaves for added character.
Incorporate Traditional Craftsman ElementsAdd shingle siding, stone accents, and decorative brackets under eaves to enhance the overall aesthetic.

Bringing in Arts and Crafts Furniture

Craftsman homes are known for their beautiful architectural details, but one aspect that truly completes the look is the furniture. Arts and Crafts furniture is the perfect complement to a Craftsman home, as it shares many of the same design principles. Here are some ideas for bringing in Arts and Crafts furniture to showcase its iconic designs and create a cohesive aesthetic in your home.

Understanding Arts and Crafts Furniture

Before selecting furniture for your Craftsman home, it’s important to understand what defines Arts and Crafts style. This movement emerged in the late 19th century as a reaction against mass-produced, overly ornate furnishings. Arts and Crafts furniture celebrates craftsmanship, simplicity, and the use of natural materials. It often features clean lines, exposed joinery, and a focus on functionality.

Furniture Pieces for Your Craftsman Home

There are several classic pieces of Arts and Crafts furniture that can perfectly complement a Craftsman home. One iconic piece is the Morris chair, which is known for its deep seat, adjustable backrest, and wide armrests. Another staple is the Stickley sideboard or buffet table, which showcases clean lines, sturdy construction, and ample storage space.

In addition to these pieces, consider incorporating other Arts and Crafts furniture such as rocking chairs, bookcases with leaded glass doors or open shelving for displaying decorative items like pottery or books. Tables with simple designs made from quality wood are also great choices for adding functional yet stylish pieces to your living spaces.

Mixing Old and New

While it’s ideal to find authentic vintage or antique Arts and Crafts furniture pieces for your home, it can be quite challenging. However, there are many contemporary manufacturers who produce high-quality reproductions that capture the essence of this style. Mixing old and new pieces not only allows you to incorporate vintage finds but also adds a dynamic element to your overall decor.

Be sure to consider the scale and proportion of your furniture when arranging it in your Craftsman home. Typically, Arts and Crafts furniture tends to be solid and substantial, so avoid overcrowding a room with too many large pieces. Instead, select a few key furniture items that stand out and complement each other well.

By bringing in Arts and Crafts furniture, you can truly showcase the iconic designs that perfectly complement a Craftsman home. Remember to understand the principles behind this style, select classic furniture pieces, and mix old and new elements to create a cohesive and inviting space that captures the essence of Craftsman design.

Cozy and Warm Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in creating the cozy and warm ambiance that epitomizes the Craftsman aesthetic. By selecting the right lighting choices, you can enhance the beauty of your Craftsman home and create an inviting atmosphere for both residents and guests. Here are some key considerations and tips to keep in mind when it comes to lighting your Craftsman home:

  1. Choose Warm Bulbs: Opt for warm-toned bulbs with a color temperature of around 2700K to 3000K. This mimics the soft, warm glow of natural light, which is characteristic of Craftsman interiors. Avoid cool-toned bulbs with higher color temperatures as they can create a harsher and less inviting atmosphere.
  2. Embrace Natural Light: Craftsman homes often feature large windows and an emphasis on connecting with nature. Allow ample natural light to fill your space by using sheer curtains or blinds that can be easily pulled back during the day. Natural light not only enhances the overall aesthetic but also helps showcase other decorative elements in your home.
  3. Layer Your Lighting: To achieve a cozy ambiance, incorporate multiple layers of lighting throughout your space. Consider a mix of ambient (general) lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. This combination allows you to create different moods throughout the day while providing functionality for various activities.
  4. Utilize Vintage Fixtures: Opt for fixtures that have a vintage or handmade look to stay true to the Craftsman style. Pendant lights or chandeliers with stained glass shades can add an elegant touch while maintaining authenticity. Wall sconces and table lamps made of bronze or other metals commonly found in Craftsman homes are also great options.
  5. Highlight Architectural Features: Use lighting fixtures strategically to highlight architectural details such as exposed wooden beams, built-in bookcases, or intricate moldings. By directing light towards these features, you draw attention to their craftsmanship and further enhance the overall beauty of your Craftsman home.

Remember, the goal is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that complements the unique characteristics of your Craftsman home. By choosing warm bulbs, embracing natural light, layering your lighting, utilizing vintage fixtures, and highlighting architectural features, you can achieve the cozy and inviting ambiance that embodies the Craftsman aesthetic.

Revealing the Beauty of Stained Glass

The History and Significance of Stained Glass

Stained glass has a rich history that dates back centuries, and it has been used in various architectural styles throughout time. In the context of Craftsman homes, stained glass plays an essential role in preserving the authenticity and charm of these unique interiors. Originally popularized during the Gothic period, stained glass windows were employed to tell stories and create a mesmerizing play of light within cathedrals and churches.

Craftsman style drew inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, which aimed to revive traditional craftsmanship during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result, stained glass became a popular decorative element in Craftsman homes as well. The use of stained glass allows homeowners to introduce vibrant colors and intricate patterns into their interior spaces while maintaining a sense of warmth and coziness.

Showcasing Stained Glass Features

When incorporating stained glass into your Craftsman home, consider several key factors. First, identify the suitable windows or areas where stained glass can be installed. Typically, Craftsman homes feature large windows with divided panels that provide an excellent opportunity to showcase this art form. Consider accentuating prominent windows in living rooms or dining areas to make a statement.

Next, select a design that complements the existing elements of your home. To stay true to the Craftsman style, opt for geometric patterns or nature-inspired motifs commonly found in original Arts and Crafts designs. These patterns often feature bold squares or rectangles with straight lines-a characteristic element of the Craftsman aesthetic.

Finally, choose colors that harmonize with both your interior decor and the overall theme of your home. While vibrant colors can add drama to your space, consider incorporating more earthy tones seen in nature, such as deep greens or warm browns. This will further enhance the cozy atmosphere that is integral to Craftsman interiors.

Creating a Focal Point with Stained Glass

Stained glass can serve as a striking focal point in any room. Consider installing a stained glass panel or window in a prominent area, such as above your fireplace or as the centerpiece of your front door. This will not only enhance the beauty of your Craftsman home but also create a visual centerpiece that captures attention and sparks conversation.

To maximize the impact of stained glass, place it strategically to take advantage of natural light. When sunlight filters through the colorful patterns, it creates an enchanting play of colors and shadows in your space. This captivating display adds depth and dimension to your interior while highlighting the intricate details of the stained glass design.

Uniting Interior and Exterior

Creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces is a key aspect of the Craftsman lifestyle. Craftsman homes often feature open floor plans and large windows that invite natural light and views of the surrounding landscape. By incorporating certain design elements and thoughtful choices, you can further enhance this connection between your interior and exterior spaces.

One way to unite the interior and exterior of your Craftsman home is by extending your living space outdoors. Consider adding a porch or patio area that complements the architectural style of your home. This can be a great space for entertaining guests or simply enjoying a peaceful evening outside. Furnish these outdoor areas with comfortable seating, vibrant cushions, and even some potted plants to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Another idea to enhance the connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces is by using similar design elements in both areas. For example, if your Craftsman home features exposed wooden beams on the interior, consider incorporating similar wood accents in your outdoor space, such as pergolas or trellises. Using natural materials like stone or brick on both indoor and outdoor surfaces can also help create a cohesive flow between spaces.

To further emphasize the seamless transition, choose window treatments that allow for unobstructed views of the outdoors. Opt for sheer curtains or blinds that can be easily pulled aside during the day to let in natural light and provide uninterrupted views. Additionally, consider installing French doors or sliding glass doors that open up completely to blur the line between indoors and outdoors.

By implementing these ideas, you can create a harmonious connection between your interior and exterior spaces in your Craftsman home. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also provides an opportunity to fully embrace the Craftsman lifestyle by appreciating nature and enjoying a seamless flow throughout your home.

Final Touches and Personalization

To truly make a Craftsman home feel like your own, it’s important to add personal touches while still honoring the unique characteristics of this architectural style. Here are some suggestions for adding your own flair to your Craftsman home:

  1. Create a Custom Gallery Wall: Displaying artwork and photographs on a gallery wall is a great way to showcase your personal taste and experiences. Choose frames that complement the woodwork in your home, such as dark-stained or antique-style frames. Mix different sizes and styles of art for an eclectic look.
  2. Incorporate Vintage Finds: Craftsman style is often associated with vintage and handmade items. Visit flea markets, antique shops, or thrift stores to find one-of-a-kind pieces that add character to your space. Look for items like vintage lamps, pottery, or unique textiles that reflect your personal style.
  3. Add Personal Collections: Showcasing collections is another way to personalize your Craftsman home. Whether it’s vintage cameras, books, or ceramics, find a designated spot to display these items prominently. Consider installing built-in shelves with glass doors to protect fragile pieces while still allowing them to be admired.
  4. Introduce Plant Life: Bring nature indoors by incorporating plants into your décor. Craftsman homes often feature large windows that allow plenty of natural light, creating the perfect environment for houseplants. Choose plants that thrive in lower light conditions such as spider plants or pothos vines.
  5. Display Family Heirlooms: Incorporating family heirlooms is a wonderful way to honor your heritage while personalizing your Craftsman home. Whether it’s a quilt passed down through generations or a collection of antique china, find creative ways to incorporate these treasured items into your décor.

Remember, when adding personal touches to your Craftsman home, it’s important to do so thoughtfully and in moderation. The key is to strike a balance between showcasing your personal style and staying true to the Craftsman aesthetic. By following these suggestions, you can create a home that not only reflects your own individuality but also celebrates the timeless charm of the Craftsman style.


In conclusion, decorating a Craftsman home is all about embracing its unique charm and characteristics. By understanding the history of Craftsman style, incorporating natural materials, choosing a classic color palette, enhancing the exterior, bringing in Arts and Crafts furniture, utilizing cozy lighting choices, featuring stained glass, creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, and adding personal touches, homeowners can confidently decorate their Craftsman homes.

Craftsman homes have a rich history rooted in the Arts and Crafts movement. By considering the origins and evolution of Craftsman architecture and design, decorators can gain a deeper appreciation for this style. Incorporating natural materials such as wood and stone is essential to maintaining the authentic character of these homes. These materials can be showcased through furniture pieces or even in architectural details like exposed beams or columns.

Choosing a classic color palette that complements the architectural features of a Craftsman home is crucial. Earthy tones like greens, browns, and deep blues often evoke the cozy warmth associated with this style. Enhancing the exterior by adding traditional Craftsman elements like porch columns or detailed trim can significantly boost curb appeal.

Bringing in Arts and Crafts furniture designs will perfectly complement any Craftsman home. These iconic pieces often feature simple lines and natural materials that beautifully showcase craftsmanship. Warm and inviting lighting choices are essential to enhancing the overall aesthetic of a Craftsman home. Soft ambience created by warm lighting can make any space feel cozy.

Stained glass is another element that adds elegance and color to any Craftsman interior. It can be featured in windows or as accent pieces throughout the home. Creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces through thoughtful design choices fosters an authentic Craftsman lifestyle.

Lastly, incorporating personal touches while staying true to the Craftsman style allows homeowners to make their spaces uniquely theirs. Whether it be through artwork or cherished heirlooms passed down through generations, these final touches add character and personality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of furniture goes with a Craftsman-style house?

Craftsman-style houses often feature furniture that complements the warm, cozy, and natural aesthetic of the architectural style. The furniture should reflect the craftsmanship and attention to detail typically associated with Craftsman design. Pieces with clean lines and simple designs are a good fit for this style, such as solid wood frames, tapered legs, and minimal ornamentation.

Furniture made of oak or other hardwoods can enhance the natural feel of a Craftsman home. Earthy colors like brown, green, or beige can be used for upholstery fabrics, while leather can also add a touch of texture and durability. Additionally, incorporating handcrafted elements like stained glass lamps or hand-carved wooden accents can further enhance the Craftsman aesthetic.

How to modernize a Craftsman-style house?

To modernize a Craftsman-style house while still maintaining its inherent charm and character requires striking a delicate balance between old and new. Start by focusing on preserving the original architectural features when possible, such as wood detailing, trim work, or built-in cabinetry. Updating paint colors can create a fresh look while still respecting the original style; consider using neutral tones or muted shades that complement the warmth of wood accents.

Introducing contemporary furniture with clean lines can juxtapose nicely against traditional architectural elements. Incorporating modern artwork or light fixtures can lend an updated feel without clashing with the overall Craftsman aesthetic. Overall, it’s important to strike a harmonious blend between preserving the historical integrity of the house and integrating modern touches seamlessly.

What are the key elements of a Craftsman house?

The key elements of a Craftsman house revolve around its distinctive architectural characteristics that emphasize simplicity, functionality, and craftsmanship. One crucial element is its low-pitched roofline featuring exposed rafter tails or eaves brackets that add visual interest to the exterior design. Another significant aspect is the use of natural materials such as stone or brick for exterior siding paired with wooden shingles or clapboard in some cases.

Large front porches supported by massive tapered columns provide an inviting entryway and create a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Additionally, interior features often include open floor plans with spacious common areas, prominent fireplaces with built-in cabinetry or bookshelves, and extensive use of wood, such as exposed beams or paneling. Overall, Craftsman houses focus on handcrafted details, high-quality materials, and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that reflects the simplicity of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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