Life in a Craftsman


Beginning in the early 1900s, an architectural firm dedicated to the Arts and Crafts movement designed what would be considered later Craftsman style, their name was Greene and Green from Pasadena, California. Considered to be a revolt from stuffy Victorian homes.

In Portland Craftsman homes are treasured and coveted. Typically of wood construction and natural materials with low-pitch gabled roofs and simple design elements made of wood, brick and stone. The open layouts make the most of often limited square footage. They don’t have wide open rooms like Ranch style homes but the prevalence of a number of windows paired with high ceilings and two-level living makes these homes feel spacious.

Known for a higher degree of craftsmanship and less ornate styling, these homes were considered architect designed and artisan constructed. It was eventually adapted to the bungalow style as a simpler version for a wider audience. Using techniques like pre-cut home kits and books with building plans the design style grew. It is common for a Craftsman to have a separate living and dining room, kitchen, bathroom and one to two bedrooms on the main floor with additional bedrooms on the upper level.

If there is a garage it’s often set back behind the home and detached.

The four main styles are:

  • Bungalow: This is the traditional style of Craftsman. However, although most Craftsman homes are bungalows, not all bungalows are Craftsman style.

  • Prairie Style: Frank Lloyd Wright is the father of the Prairie Style where homes are low slung with strong horizontal lines and are most commonly found in the Midwest.

  • Mission Revival: Similar to the Prairie Style Craftsman, the exterior is typically covered in stucco.

  • FourSquare: Named because the two-story house “box” was comprised of four rooms on the first floor, and four rooms on the second with an internal staircase. These are common in Portland, hence the other commonly used name ‘Old Portland’.

Learn more about the Craftsman style here.


  • Typically 1-2 stories 

  • Emphasis on natural materials, wood, stone and brick

  • Cabinetry that has been built in, including around fireplaces

  • Low pitched roofs, may be complex and cross gabled

  • Broad eaves and knee braces

  • Dormers: shed, gabled, hipped

  • Exposed Beams

  • Front doors with window panes in upper third

  • Covered porches with tapered columns

  • Double hung window, multi pane lights over single pane below

  • Colors in muted earth tones

  • Siding may be shingles, lap or stucco

  • Fireplace of brick or native stone

  • Handcrafted built-in cabinets, buffets, bookcases

  • Handsomely designed hardware, lights and tile work

Years Built

1905-1920s, style is often replicated in contemporary homes

I live in a Craftsman from 1908 and love all the character and charm it holds. I like to spend the evening sitting out on the porch and visit with my neighbors as they walk by.

Craftsman homes are prevalent on the Eastside of Portland and you can find a number of them in these neighborhoods.

Overview of Craftsman Homes for Sale in Portland, Oregon


Craftsman Homes for Sale in Portland, Oregon

These latest homes on the market were built before the 1930s and are priced at $400,000 or more.

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