Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Homes



Get Home, Cabin, Cottage and Bungalow Design Inspiration from 1901-1916 issues of The Craftsman magazine.

Get Home, Cabin, Cottage and Bungalow Design Inspiration from 1901-1916 issues of The Craftsman magazine. Download free copies at the University of Wisconsin's Digital Library for the Decorative Arts.

The Craftsman magazine was published by Gustav Stickley between 1901 and 1916. It promoted the American Arts and Crafts style of furniture, homes and home interiors. Over those years, the magazine presented over two hundred home designs and offered blueprints for sale. Craftsman homes featured rectangular rooms, gable and hip roofs with wide overhangs, natural materials and bold shadows cast by recesses, porches, and pergolas. They were refreshingly simple compared to the Victorian homes that preceded them. They were smaller too, and people could afford them.

Stickley popularized using the word "bungalow" for the smallest and least expensive designs. He introduced open-plan layouts and combination dining room/kitchens like we use today. As he put it: "my object has been to develop types of houses and house furnishings that are essential, cheerful, durable and appropriate for the kind of life I believe the intelligent American public desires....we are beginning to realize how important it is to have homes of our own, houses that we like, that we have been instrumental in building, that we will want to have belong to our children. And, of course, this means that the homes must be honest and beautiful dwellings; they must be built to last; they must be so well planned that we want them to last, and yet they must be within our means."  Stickley used the titles of his home designs to tell the story. I love the fact that one of his houses was titled "A Plain House That Will Last for Generations and Need But Few Repairs."

There's not much not to like about ideas like that. It's amazing to think that they were revolutionary in their day.

The Craftsman inspired home builders, architects and designers in its day. Homes and bungalows in the Craftsman style were built everywhere, particularly in newly developing areas of western states. And, unlike most styles that followed, the Craftsman style never completely lost its popularity. Original Craftsman homes are restored, preserved and cherished, and new ones in the Craftsman style are being created by dozens of architects today.

If you want to learn more, you're in luck. All of the original issues of The Craftsman magazine have been scanned and are available free as PDF downloads. They are part of an amazing collection of scanned historic books provided by the University of Wisconsin. Take a look:

The University of Wisconsin's Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture 

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