Discussion of Styles, ie: Craftsman, Mission, Shaker, S. Western, etc.

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Forum topic by Dallas posted 03-31-2012 06:05 PM 1387 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3599 posts in 2485 days

03-31-2012 06:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: furniture style building style furnishings building styles

OK ladies and gentlemen, here is a question that has plagued me for years.

What defines a particular style of building or furniture or basic design?

I grew up in a few houses that were ‘Craftsman’ style when I was young, but as I grow older I’m told they are closer to being Cape Cod Bungalow. Just for information, the houses were built in the 1910’s to 1930’s in Oregon and Western Idaho. Lot’s of crown moulding, shadow details in the mop boards, wainscot, pocket doors, etc. There was usually even a huge fireplace in the parlor/living room that had a massive mantel and a lot of carving and/or molding in the surrounding field.

We had a bunch of furniture that dad had refinished that would have been called late Victorian or Craftsman.

Then there was the Hoosier cabinet…. it had pegs for joints together, but couldn’t be called ‘Shaker’ style, there was just entirely too much embellishment in the raised panels and stiles/rails.

Dad was a master cabinet maker and would never add any embellishments to stuff mom brought home for him to restore so the extra mouldings and fancy stuff had to have been original.

Unfortunately, dad died a few years back so I can’t ask him anymore. I sure miss him.

It’s now up to you to define all this stuff for me, and if you happen to stop by the old homestead, I be happy to fix some chile rellenos to repay you for your efforts.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

4 replies so far

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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 04-01-2012 01:23 PM

Great question Dallas, I’ll be interested in the answer too.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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933 posts in 2691 days

#2 posted 04-01-2012 02:43 PM

I have done research into this subject and you can get alot of answers on Wikipedia on both the furniture and the houses. I grew up in a small craftsman style bungalo and it had the embellisiments you discribe. A differance between Cape Cod and Craftsman is the roof style , Cape Cod has little or no eves where Craftsman has large overhanging eves often supported with several large wooden bracrets. You will probably get caught up in your research as I did. It is very interesting.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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3599 posts in 2485 days

#3 posted 04-02-2012 04:46 PM

I agree Mike,
But then again, I’ve seen Cape Cod’s built with nice eve’s and even some dentals and some gingerbread.

The main question here isn’t just about what defines those two styles, but what defines a style to begin with.

Mission? Is it the square stiles and rails with or without a dowel to hold the tenon?

Western? Does it have to be live edge or pine or have antlers or ranch brands burned into it?

Shaker? I don’t know any more about it than what I’ve seen on NYW or Woodwrights shop.

Victorian? How do you define Victorian? Sears use to sell house kits that were as complete as you wanted from the Victorian days up into the 1920’s and I would have called them all Victorian. They also use to sell Craftsman style and some bungalow styles that didn’t look like either to me.

Come on ladies and gentlemen…. we need some discussion here and maybe we can get a consensus.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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10393 posts in 3646 days

#4 posted 04-02-2012 05:20 PM

Region and period of origin define residential architectural
styles quite a lot.

Mission is named after the Missions on the California coast which
were built by the Spanish when California was part of Mexico.
Mission architecture takes many cues from the style of the
Mission churches and outbuildings.

Stickley was sort of considered “Mission” in its day. Gustav
Stickley had a magazine called “The Craftsman” which popularized
and developed the “Mission” style. Stickley’s promotion of
bungalows with wood siding didn’t match the style of
the California missions, and perhaps he pushed the term
“Craftsman” as he defined the style that mixed together the
Spanish, Medieval, Arts & Crafts and Asian influences that
make up the mature Craftsman style.

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