Born in Southern California, an architecture style from the turn of the 20th century is the perfect complement to Orange County’s sunny skies and beach breezes.
Craftsman-style architecture is characterized by low-pitched roofs and wide eaves that offer protection from the hot summer sun. Materials indicative of this style exposed roof rafters, wood shingles and stone chimneys, porches and column bases—can be easily updated for a more contemporary aesthetic, according to Amy Creager, principal architect with Brion Jeannette Architecture.
For one home she worked on in Dana Point, Creager was asked to borrow from Craftsman influences to design a one-story residence with open-volume ceilings and ocean views from almost every room. The generous wide lots and terraced neighborhoods that can be found in much of coastal Orange County allow local designers to add creative updates to this traditional architectural style.
“Cleaner, more modern lines and lighter colors are typical client requests today,” Creager says. She explains that exterior woodwork can be painted or finished with a light stain instead of the more traditional dark browns and forest greens, and using siding in favor of shingles and more uniform rectilinear stone creates a crisper look. Finally, a standing seam metal roof also adds a contemporary flair while still allowing a Craftsman-style home to maintain its authenticity.
If you’re a fan of the Craftsman style but aren’t ready for a full home makeover, try these three quick updates for an architectural refresh.
Replace your front door.
Opt for a partially paned version featuring glass panes in the upper third with a thick piece of trim immediately below.
Borrow from nature.
Incorporate stone details to the exterior of your foundation and reach for browns and greens, with a contrasting color for the trim.
Build exposed beams.
These key characteristics of the style don’t require much reconstruction, as they’re decorative and can be attached below any roof eave.
PICTURED: Designed by Brion Jeanette Architecture, this Dana Point remodel fuses classic Craftsman with contemporary updates like a lighter paint palette and reinvented front porch.
Originally published in Design OC Fall/Winter 2016 – from the publishers of Orange Coast magazine
Photography by Eric Figge