This is the first of a series of my insights into why we love our houses so much. Every once in a while, you live in a house that’s special. I think most everyone that is passionate about their house can agree on that! The first house I want to highlight is the Craftsman. It’s a popular house style in Southeast Missouri. We have historic Craftsman around us as well as many new versions to appreciate.

What makes ME love a Craftsman style home? It’s the authenticity that comes from the building itself. The home often shows off its rafters with pride. Brackets and lintels are called out with trim paint or stained wooden members. It’s as if the building is saying: “I’m proud of my strength.” A Craftsman bungalow that has a large shaded porch with broad tapered columns provides an undeniable sense of protection. I don’t know why I have that interpretation. It’s nothing that I learned about in design classes. I think it’s a personal feeling that I’ve developed from standing on a solid Craftsman porch looking outward. It’s as if I being embraced by the house while it provides security from weather and the outside world. Maybe you feel it too?

When you step into a classic Craftsman, you’re greeted with built-ins, beautiful fireplaces sometimes flanked by stained glass windows, and almost always an impeccable sense of human scale. Ceilings are lower in these old homes than we are accustomed to today and windows are smaller as well. I think it is admirable to keep the old homes functioning the way they were intended, but for some, I understand the need to revise the floorplans to modern needs. The present-day Craftsman will usually keep some of those accents that make the design so endearing. Tapered columns, stone foundations, contrasting house trim have all become hallmarks of the modern take on the style. Open floorplans, brighter lighting, larger windows all make the house ‘live’ more comfortably for a bustling family.

Anymore, the pieces of Craftsman design that we love have permeated so many other house styles. Many homes are taking the form of ranches, farmhouses, or colonials wearing more updated details that hark to the Craftsman era. To a purist, it hurts a little. But like other things in life, it’s all in how you interpret it. I consider it flattery to imitate those details that are all but lost. Whether it’s built-ins or that beautiful sheltered front porch, let’s celebrate all that is Craftsman.

I encourage you to consider what it is about your house style that evokes a feeling. I’d love to see pictures and read about what makes your house so special!

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