Craftsman Front Door Styles

Charmingly classic Craftsman style has become a staple in American design — and front doors are no exception. This guide offers a quick rundown on what defines a Craftsman-style entry door.

Photo by: Ross Chandler www.chandlerphoto.

Ross Chandler www.chandlerphoto.

Often found on the porches of adorable bungalows and cottages, Craftsman-style exterior doors seem to elicit an all-American, handmade feel. Perhaps this is due in part to their wood construction or wood-like appearance as well as the timeless details of the design, both of which were influenced by England’s Arts and Crafts movement and implemented in California’s first Craftsman-style homes. Read on for more information about Craftsman front doors. 


If accompanying a true Craftsman-style house, it’s likely the front door is placed squarely on a charming porch — perhaps a wraparound or a just a long expanse that runs parallel to the home’s façade. The design of the door itself is iconic once you come to recognize its main features, which include panes of either clear or stained glass on the upper third of the door complemented by panels on the lower two-thirds of the door. Craftsman-style doors may also feature a small ledge with molding detail just below the glass panes. Three or six panes of glass along the top are the most common numbers. If you find a door with three panes, they will run as three vertical rectangles, whereas the options that feature six panes of glass are in a grid format. Of course, other options are available including doors that have a full pane of glass, which is typically outlined with molding to create the a similar grid-like design with the largest of the panes in the center. 


As for palette, again the doors tend to follow the lead of the homes. Muted earth tones are prevalent on Craftsman-style homes. This may include a range of colors from dusky blue and aloe green to warmer selections such as a reddish brown or a rich, stained wood mahogany. The most iconic versions of the doors feature stained wood; however, this earthy palette and neutral colors are also popular choices.  


Wood is the material of choice for most Craftsman exterior doors. This could be due in part to the architecture of the home — which often features wood railing, shingles, or other elements. It could also have to do with the fact that wood elicits the idea of a handcrafted piece — which is true of the doors on the original Craftsman homes in the early 1900s as well as many of the ones that are produced now. Today, there are also numerous options available in fiberglass and steel construction. These doors are generally painted or coated in the hues mentioned above and have a wood grain texture that can be seen on closer inspection. 


Deep finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze are commonly seen on the hardware that accompanies Craftsman front doors. This follows and complements the rich, earthy palette. Handlesets that feature a deadbolt and a keyed entry are the most common type of hardware found on the doors; and they appear to be a good match for the home’s — and door’s — overall style.

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