Drive through any established neighborhood in the metro-Atlanta area, and you will find beautiful examples of American Craftsman style homes from the 1900s-1930s. And a century later, the clean lines, balanced proportions and quality craftsmanship—hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts movement—continue to find their way into today's architecture, furniture and accessories.
So it isn't surprising that many Atlanta homeowners are drawn to the timeless Craftsman style when they look at ways to add curb appeal to their homes. Jennifer Dreher, Architectural Designer here at EXOVATIONS, works with homeowners to envision exterior renovation projects that meet their practical needs and their stylistic goals.
Because there are so many distinctive Arts and Crafts design details, Jennifer says just about any existing home—ranch, bungalow, or even split-level—can be updated with elements of Craftsman style. If you have been looking for ways to add Craftsman curb appeal to your home, here are some areas she recommends you think about when planning your project.
Material and Color Choices
Study the architectural composition of historic Craftsman exteriors, and you are likely to see a mix of materials and textures, including shake siding, custom glass features, and natural stone or brick. When remodeling a contemporary home, you can introduce some of that Craftsman aesthetic using modern materials that are durable, low-maintenance and which carry a warranty. Luckily, a wide array of top-quality products fit the bill.
When approaching a new project, Jennifer considers the materials used in the current structure, the client's material preferences, and also their budget, and recommends cladding that complement the home's existing siding and details. Her designs often include a combination of board-and-batten and shake siding, or horizontal lap siding and shake siding.
From a color perspective, traditional Craftsman homes are often associated with deep, earthy tones that reflect the natural environment. But those deeper hues are not for everyone, so Jennifer encourages clients to consider other options. "When homeowners decide on the journey of renovation, they want a fresh new look," she says. "Often we suggest lighter neutrals or even soft grays, blues, and greens for a modern take on this classic look."
Roofline and Porch
Low-pitched rooflines and deep eaves with exposed rafter tails are easily identifiable characteristics in historic Craftsman homes. While changing your home's roofline isn't always practical, you can certainly add features like decorative brackets under the eaves that call to mind that distinctive look.
Jennifer says the porch is another great place to add Craftsman charm. Think about replacing porch columns with tapered or square supports with a stone or brick base. This is a relatively simple change that goes a long way toward capturing the special character you are after.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are also an important part of a Craftsman makeover, and this is an area where modern materials perform double duty, delivering the look you want along with the durability and energy-efficiency you need. For Craftsman-style applications, standard double hung windows can be customized with a 4-over-1 or 6-over-1 design that mimics the style of historic windows. And don't forget the shutters! Dress up those windows with new board-and-batten shutters in a wood stain or fun and fresh color.
Since your front door is a feature every guest will focus on, continue the theme with an attractive new entry door. Most homeowners appreciate the classic Craftsman door, which generally has eye-level window panes over a dentil shelf. There are many beautiful reproductions today that really withstand the weather and provide great insulation value.
Another popular trend is to replace aging door and sidelight units with a set of double doors custom-built to fit the existing opening. They create a welcoming entry, and are also practical. "Swapping your dated front door and sidelights for gorgeous custom double doors is a change you will be happy about the next time you have to move oversized furniture or appliances," Jennifer says.
See it All Come Together
At this point you might be thinking, "Sure, it's easy to look at a website or magazine and pick out details I love, but it's really hard to visualize how a Craftsman update would look on my house."
Jennifer hears this frequently. "Most homeowners know what they like, but they aren't sure it can be accomplished with the composition of their existing home," she says. "We provide "EXOVisions"—color architectural sketches that help you visualize what is possible-see your dream home on paper, before you begin the renovation."
"Our EXOVisions help you see what your future home will be like. For many homeowners, this gives them the confidence needed to move forward with the remodel. We can also provide 3D renderings when needed, to paint the most accurate picture of what you can expect."
If you love the American Craftsman style and have been thinking about giving your home an exterior makeover, get in touch. We would love to help you bring your vision to life!