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The California bungalow, for all its warmth and casual sense of Americana, has never fallen out of favor with homebuyers. Despite a more popular movement towards minimal and contemporary styles in recent years, the bungalow—commonly associated with Craftsman style—is still appealing to those who want a sense of history, nostalgia and artistic authenticity in their home. Craftsman style was primarily inspired by two architect brothers — Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene — who worked together in Pasadena, California, at the turn of the 20th century. Greene and Greene, as their firm was eventually called, was heavily influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement, which was essentially a reaction against the Industrial Revolution. The central philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement embraced the work of craftsmen and the handmade as opposed to the machine-made.

Although the earliest examples of Craftsman bungalows are typically found in Southern California, the style swept across the nation from 1905 through the 1920s, thanks in no small part to coverage in publications like House Beautiful and Ladies’ Home Journal, plus the availability of pattern books and kit homes.

Draw: “Like all things that come out of California, there is something distinctively American about this style,” according to  Those who appreciate attention to detail typically love Craftsman homes. The homes also tend to accommodate contemporary family living with a simple, wide-open layout. Many owners of Craftsman style homes mix in earthy colors, warm woods and contemporary furniture to give it a modern touch.

Architects: In Southern California, Greene and Greene are the most renowned practitioners of the original American Craftsman Style. In San Diego, California architect David Owen Dryden designed and built many Craftsman California bungalows in the North Park district, now a proposed Dryden Historic District. In Northern California, Bernard Maybeck built many Craftsman homes in the Berkeley area, but was perhaps best known for the 1910 First Church of Christ, Scientist, a National Historic Landmark.

Elements to Look for: A low-pitched and gabled roof, front porch, tapered columns, partially paned doors, multi-paned windows, earthy colors, single dormers, stone details, exposed rafter tails and beams under deep roof eaves.

Neighborhoods: Currently, there over a 100 Craftsman style properties listed for sale by Coldwell Banker, ranging from a $3,650,000  five-bedroom property in Pacific Palisades to a $99,000 one-bedroom property in Vallejo. In Southern California, you will typically find Craftsman homes in neighborhoods like Pasadena, Long Beach, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, the North Park district of San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas. In Northern California, Craftsman homes are typically found in neighborhoods like Berkley, Menlo Park, Cupertino and Los Gatos.

Tell us: Which of these Craftsman homes on do you like the best?  

P.S. One of these was actually designed by Greene & Greene and built in 1906 by Swedish Master wood craftsmen Peter & John Hall!


370 West Del Mar Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105


3063 East 1st Street
Long Beach, CA 90803