What are Craftsman Style Entry Doors?

What are Craftsman Style Entry Doors?

Some homeowners choose home improvement products based on the architecture of their homes and others based on personal preferences. Whichever camp you fall into is perfectly fine! There are plenty of ways to make our homes feel unique even though the architecture of houses old and new are influenced by art movements. In this post we want to talk about Craftsman style architecture and specifically craftsman style doors. What are craftsman style entry doors? Keep reading to learn more about the history of craftsman style architecture and the defining features of craftsman style entry doors.

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The history of Craftsman style homes

Craftsman style homes are also known as arts and crafts houses. According to Stillwater Architecture, the American Craftsman style developed out of a British Arts and Crafts movement dating back to the 1860s. The British’s design was developed by British officers returning from colonized India. The porches and overhung roofs feature the British adopted from Indian architecture. “The Craftsman home was modest and affordable to a rapidly expanding American middle class” (Stillwater Architecture↗).

Defining characteristics of Craftsman style homes

Craftsman style homes have several defining characteristics↗, but one of the most recognizable is the doors of the home. Other features include:

  • Gabled roof
  • Large or wrapped porches
  • Wide door and window casings
  • Triangular knee brace supports
  • Exposed rafters.

Craftsman style door features

The craftsman style door is perhaps one of the most beautiful and artistically done pieces to a house in this style. There are characteristics that set them apart from any other door design on the market.

#1 - Types of Wood

The first and most striking is the wood that manufacturers use to make these doors. Traditionally↗, they craft them with hardwoods that have a dark, yet soft look. These can include mahogany, oak, and cherry. Some people may choose to use stained steel or fiberglass with a woodgrain finish instead to keep the door low maintenance.

#2 - Glass

A craftsman style door cannot simply be a wooden door. Instead, it incorporates decorative glass panels along the top of the door. They can have a beveled design around the edges, use stained glass in the design, or be opaque. 

#3 - Design

The design of the door↗ is the most iconic part of this type of entryway door. The number of glass panels can vary widely at the top, and sometimes they extend downwards to the middle of the door. More traditionally, though, there is a set of glass panels at the top and a design of multiple wooden panels underneath. All of this is encased by a solid trim of the same wood around the outside of the design.

One of the more traditional ways of creating the design is to include a dentil shelf↗ under the set of glass panels. The shelf would be of the same wood as the rest of the door and jut out slightly.

#4 - Sidelites

Finally, sidelites are also a common addition to craftsman style entry doors. These are the strips on either side of a door that is detached from it. They have narrow windows running the length of the entire door, or perhaps part of it. In this case, they are often flanked by the same wood that the door is made with.

Are craftsman style doors only for craftsman homes?

Craftsmen style doors are not only meant for craftsman style homes. You can use these doors↗ in a wide variety of homes with a down-to-earth aesthetic. These could include cottages, bungalows, or prairie-style homes. They each have a similar aesthetic and a cozy, artsy feeling to them that lends itself well to the wood and glass design that a craftsman style door incorporates.

The door meant for your entryway makes a significant statement for the rest of your home. It becomes part of the first impression and is important if you are working towards a specific aesthetic. 

If you have a home or are designing one that models after those designs inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, choosing a craftsman style door could be the way to go.