Tour a Craftsman treasure

Authentic elements and inspired details revive a forgotten gem

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  • Tree motif wallpaper and richly hued board-and-batten redwood paneling add color to the living and dining rooms.

    Craftsman treasure

    Thomas J. Story

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Elements of Craftsman style

What it is: Simple structures that celebrate the essence of natural material like wood and stone define Craftsman style. For example, red-wood boards and battens on an interior wall are usually left unpainted so you can see the wood grain. Signature elements include built-in seats beside windows and fireplaces, and hand-crafted details like ceramic tiles, art glass lampshades, and wrought ironwork.

History: Popular during the first two decades of the 20th century, the style took its inspiration from the English Arts and Crafts Movement, Japanese design, and the landmark houses of Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, two architect brothers based in Pasadena in the early 1900s. The Craftsman, a magazine dedicated to the style, was published by furniture designer Gustav Stickley from 1901 to 1916.

Recommended reading: Julia Morgan, Architect (Abbeville Press, 1995; $45) by Sara Holmes Boutelle; American Bungalow Style (Simon & Schuster, 1996; $40) by Robert Winter and Alex Vertikoff; and Building with Nature (Gibbs Smith, 2005; $45) by Leslie Freudenheim.

More: Tour a classic Craftsman

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