Grand Columns – A Quintessential Component to Craftsman Home Design
Critics, disenchanted with the inhuman reality of the Industrial Revolution, created the Arts and Crafts movement. This movement evoked a return to handcraftsmanship, and the use of high-quality materials to create utilitarian art, including architecture. One of the style of homes that came out of the Arts and Crafts Movement was the Craftsman home, specifically known as the quentiessential American bungalow. A tell-tale feature of any craftsman home are the columns that bracket the front steps and support the roof of the front porch. Craftsman style posts are typically large, and either tapered (getting smaller as they approach the eave line), or as evenly-hewn squared off beams.
Part of the Arts and Crafts Movement was a belief in a return to nature; therefore, many craftsman homes boasted a natural color palette (greys, tans, browns, and greens). Craftsman columns were frequently painted in the same color as the house itself. For a modern twist, paint columns in a trim color. Another option is to simply clear coat or stain columns, and highlight the color and grain of the natural wood.
Put a Twist in Home Design – Embellish Your Columns
No matter their color, many Craftsman columns were embellished. They were covered, at least on their bases, with brick, stone, and even plants.
Take the look to a new level, and cover the entire surface of the columns with brick (either new or weathered, real or faux), or a kind of rock. Choose from many “stone” surfaces available. Actual solid stone siding is incredibly durable, and looks the most natural. Real rock, however, can be heavy and expensive. Cultured or manufactured stone is cast out of cement to replicate the look of actual rock. Durable manufactured stone is lighter and less costly than real stone. Another manufactured “stone,” faux stone siding, is made from polyurethane foam. This weather-resistant product is incredibly light. All manufactured stone options are available in paneling, which makes it easy to install.
Covering Craftsman columns with real foliage is an obvious way to incorporate nature into the dwelling. Use ivy or vitis coignetiae (grape) for a traditional look. Golden Hops are fast growing and offer a glowing hue. Honeysuckle and Jasmine will greet visitors with delicate whitish flowers and a sweet scent. The seasonal blooms of Clematis, Hydrangea, Lilac, Morning Glory, Trumpet Vine, and Wisteria offer bright colored flowers to contrast the earth tones of the rest of the column and home.