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An Introduction to Craftsman Style Homes in New Jersey

Craftsman style homes aren’t going anywhere, especially in New Jersey. Historical or period-based residential additions and renovations are a particular specialty of Seth A. Leeb Architect, and we have worked on several in Mountain Lakes. No matter the project, we ensure our work fits seamlessly into a building’s character and surroundings. Our firm also designs new Craftsman style home plans, incorporating Craftsman aesthetics such as detailing and cabinetry. The designs easily blend into a community of older, traditional homes, so they won’t look out of place whether you are located in the bustling city of Montclair to the rural town of Newton. In this article, our team will share more about this coveted home design and how we can help achieve this dream for you. 

What Is a Craftsman Style Home?    

What is a Craftsman-style home exactly? Craftsman, Prairie, and Spanish Mission styles are part of Arts and Crafts architecture. It includes homes and bungalows designed in a free architectural style with an open floor plan. The style has distinguishing characteristics that we’ll discuss a little bit later, but Craftsman’s ultimate purpose is to display the skills of local artisans.  

The Craftsman architectural style was popular in the Midwest and California, and spread across the country in part through a monthly magazine published from 1901 to 1916 called “The Craftsman.” As we briefly touched on earlier, it’s still one of the most popular home styles today in New Jersey and beyond. 

Unveiling the Rich History of Craftsman Homes   

The history of Craftsman homes is rich as it emerged from the American Craftsman movement covering architecture, interior design, landscape design and the arts. The American Craftsman style was inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, aiming to re-establish craftsmanship skills threatened by industrialization. They required Arts and Crafts architecture to be free of any imposed style and use local materials and traditional building crafts. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Boston, MA, is one of the many American examples of the Arts and Crafts movement. 

Seth A. Leeb designs custom Craftsman home plans inspired by English Country, French Country and Dutch Colonial styles.

The Distinguishing Characteristics of Craftsman Style Homes   

The characteristics of Craftsman style homes are easy to point out. They can be one to two stories high and are usually designed with a hipped and gabled low-pitched roof. Roof lines may be complex and cross-gabled. Craftsman homes have shed, gable and hipped dormers. Thick, tapered columns hold up large covered porches with overhangs, while shingle, lapped, and stucco siding is customary.   

They have an open floor plan concept and only use natural materials specific to a location. Each home will always have a fireplace made from brick or native stone and handcrafted wooden built-in cabinetry, including buffets and bookcases with colonnades. Craftsman houses are also known for their inglenooks and window seats.

The Charm of Decorating a Craftsman Style Home in NJ   

The Met highlights several American Arts and Crafts décor items, including chandeliers, vases, furniture, jewelry, and stained glass windows. Decorating a Craftsman style home means working with a lot of wood. It can make the house feel inviting, but also dark and masculine. Unless you lighten some of the woodwork with neutral paint shades, which we are seeing more of. Although Craftsman homes are open plan, they feature distinct dining and living spaces often anchored by fireplaces as central room features.  

If you have questions about other Arts and Crafts architectural styles or want more information on our work with Craftsman style homes in New Jersey, please contact our team at Seth A. Leeb Architect or visit our website at: https://leeb-architecture.com/

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