The "Arts and Crafts" style of architecture was the result of an early 19th-century movement that promoted traditional craftsmanship and simple forms, and left a lasting impact on homes throughout the United States.
The movement made its way to America at the turn of the century and is reflected in home styles and neighborhoods that were established from 1900 to 1930. Led by well-known furniture maker Gustav Stickley, Chicago architects Frank Lloyd Wright and George Washington Maher, and West Coast architects like Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, Julia Moran and Bernard Maybeck, the intent was to make the hallmarks of the movement--handcrafted artistry and exquisite craftsmanship – available for the working-class.
More closely defined as an intellectual approach to architecture, the movement inspired many influential styles of homes including the bungalow, craftsman, prairie and foursquare, which still remain popular today.
Because "Arts and Crafts" was a broad movement, there are many common factors and variations of key elements.
Bungalows and Craftsman homes are built of natural materials and feature open floors plans and low-pitched roofs, often with wide overhangs. Elements you're likely to find include built-in furniture and light fixtures, fireplaces, exposed beams and porches with thick square or round columns. Both styles are most prevalent in California and on the West Coast.
Prairie and Foursquare styles were first popularized in the Midwest. Prairie-style homes are modest and harmonize with the flat, open spaces by emphasizing horizontal lines and typically feature low-pitched gable roofs, wide eaves, and open interior plans centered on a fireplace. A close relative of the Prairie style, Foursquare feature hipped or pyramid-shaped roofs, overhangs, large porches and square or rectangular floor plans that also emphasize open concepts.