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The art behind Nashville’s historic homes: Craftsman-style

We’re handing you the keys to the first part of our newest real estate series unpacking the history of historic architecture styles found in Nashville.

A photo of a grey Craftsman-style home with a small front porch with pillars.

If you stroll through East Nashville, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some homes that look similar to this one.

Photo by NASHtoday

Table of Contents

Shut the front door. If you’re a local history buff and a part-time Zillow surfer, you need to explore Metro’s Old House Series.

The resource dives into five architecture styles Nashvillians might find in Music City, aiming to acquaint owners with basic considerations for rehabilitating historic properties.

In this new series, we’re highlighting the history and characteristics of those five styles — starting a little out of order with the bungalow, or Craftsman. According to this HomeAdvisor study, it’s the most popular style in Tennessee.

🔨 Where did it come from?

Though the Craftsman-style house originated from the British arts and crafts movement, furniture-maker Gustav Stickley introduced it to the US in his interior design magazine, “The Craftsman (1901-1916).” The simpler style was a modest turn from Industrial Revolution-era Victorian homes which were much more ornamental + decorative.

Despite its convenience — you could buy all you needed for a DIY plan in a kit from Sears — it wasn’t considered a “fashionable” design and many architects continued building period style revivals. This slightly altered the look of the Craftsman and Spanish Mission + Colonial bungalows were among the variations that popped up in Nashville.

🔍 Spot that style

To distinguish, the Craftsman is an architectural style derived from the Arts and Crafts movement, whereas the bungalow is a particular form of house. Here are the telltale signs of a Craftsman:

  • Wide, low layouts
  • Low-pitched gabled roof
  • Decorative beams
  • Full or partial open porches with square posts + tapered arched openings
  • Support columns and exposed rafters
  • Wood clapboard or stucco

🏡 Love it? Live it

If you like what you’re reading, check out some Craftsman-style homes on the market today.

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