1920s Craftsman Homes

Craftsman homes of the 1920s were dwellings built within a broader Craftsman design movement that encompassed even personal lifestyle.


American Craftsman homes trace their genesis back to the British Arts and Crafts movement.American Craftsman homes trace their genesis back to the British Arts and Crafts movement.
Their design cues were primarily British in origin, being taken from the Arts and Crafts movement in that country. Houses created in this style were simple yet also elegant in look. They enjoyed great renown from the early 1900s until the end of the 1920s. Unfortunately, they fell from favor starting in the 1930s.

In America, the Craftsman movement was able to gain strength because of the end of the ornate Victorian style of house building the late 1890s. Craftsman homes first gained wide acceptance in California in the early 1900s. Their designers preferred originality and simplicity when it came to them. In most ways, they were an attempt to improve on the look of the typical middle class dwelling of the era, which was usually basic.


As the movement gained strength, the prevalent design that emerged was the Craftsman bungalow home. Bungalows themselves feature one to one-and-a-half storeys. They also have a veranda or porch at their entrances. American Craftsman-style bungalows of the 1920s all featured low-pitch roof lines with eaves that were deeply overhung. They also made use of exposed or decorative rafters. Additionally, their porches were covered and a gable that extended out from the roof was often included.


American Craftsman designers in the 1920s worked hard to move home design away from the use of excessively gaudy materials. Builders were often instructed to make use of as much locally produced glass, metal and wood work as possible. Builders complied because if was often less expensive and home prices could be made attractive. The end result was an often sturdy, clean-looking product. Plus, even the least expensive of them might come with quality interior wood work.


Most 1920s Craftsman homes came with adequate square footage, especially for the era. For example, many California versions often exceeded 2500 square feet or more. Most examples found in the Midwest or East tended to be a bit smaller, and it's not unusual to find one measuring less than 900 interior square feet. The majority were originally built on a large lot, with a nice front yard and a large backyard.

About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.