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Contemporary Craftsman Style

Contemporary Craftsman Style
Exposed beams and rustic stone add to the hand-crafted character
A recent Wall Street Journal article by Katy McLaughlin reports on the burgeoning interest in an updated Craftsman style for homes. She writes: "Many buyers and home builders want certain aspects of craftsman style—stone and woodwork, decorative rafters and beams, built-in cabinetry—but not others, such as low ceilings, dark colors and closed-off rooms. So they are picking and choosing between styles... and describing the results as “modern craftsman” or “contemporary craftsman.” She also quotes our very own CEO James Roche who explains that about two-thirds of's designs labeled “Craftsman” have contemporary interiors. He says: “Homeowners want it to look like a Craftsman on the outside, but they want the new floor plan for the way we live now."

Though some style purists might object to the term "Contemporary Craftsman," I think it's a useful way of describing modern houses with Craftsman character, like Plan 908-1 by Summit Studio shown at the top of the post. This design is Craftsman in the way it expresses the hand-crafted character of the wood rafter tails

under the eaves and the wood and stone posts defining the entry porch. Inside, "contemporary" begins to

dominate, with an open kitchen-dining area organized around a food prep and buffet island. The floor plan

shows how open the main public areas are -- with the free-standing fireplace at the center. Another term for this design would be Mountain style, since rugged mountain materials like wood and stone dominate.

Alcoves and nooks are a key Craftsman feature as in the famous inglenook fireplace of the landmark Gamble

house in Pasadena by Greene & Greene of 1908, shown here. Similar built-in elements express a Craftsman esthetic in the work of architect and best-selling author Sarah Susanka. For example in the breakfast alcove

of her Plan 454-11. Her Plan 454-14 
includes a slatted wood soffit over the buffet counter to create a 
more intimate space between the kitchen and the great room. The built-in window seat in the same home 

s another good Craftsman-inspired example. Indeed, the interest in expressing the qualities of wood are

an overriding characteristic of Craftsman style and are what link it to Japanese and other joinery traditions. 
Thus you can have your Craftsman and Contemporary, too! To see a collection of Craftsman style floor plans click here.

Contemporary Craftsman Style Inspiration

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