The Joy of Craftsman Moldings

Mission, Arts & Crafts, Prairie Styles

craftsman style

Look for our How to Create Craftsman Style Moldings series starting this year!

This page will grow over time, since I doubt I could ever run out of good things to write about this architectural style.

They’re Big, They’re Affordable, They’re Easy to Install

Craftsman moldings — the kind commonly found in homes labeled “American Bungalow” — are often the simplest, most affordable moldings you can install in your home.

Not that all moldings appearing in American bungalows are simple.  Many of these homes have interior woodwork that required advanced woodworking skills, very expensive materials and extremely good tools.  Those are the kind of Craftsman moldings you’ll find in the homes featured in magazines like American Bungalow.

But I’m not going to focus on those grand examples.

I’m going to draw inspiration from them, yes, but I will try to translate the fundamentals of these Craftsman style moldings into patterns that are easy for you to make, are very affordable yet extremely dramatic — especially when you compare them to the moldings most of us have in our homes right now.

The Kind of Home You’ll Need for Craftsman Moldings

Any home or condo will do.  Most post-WWII homes have no architectural style to speak of, so feel free to create any interior you want.

Moldings First

The most important thing is to first lay a foundation of big, beautiful moldings — baseboards, door and window trim, crown molding and wainscoting.

Remember, your moldings don’t just frame structural elements in your home, they frame the life you live in front of them.  So start with this step and then add successive layers of Craftsman decor as time and budget permit.

High-Resolution Paint Job

Craftsman style moldings can be painted so many different colors, but two stand out as good starting points: A creamy white or dark, almost black.

These two molding colors leave you with virtually infinite wall color possibilities.  I’m of the school that every room in your home should be a different color.  If I want sterile white rooms I’ll go to the hospital, but at home I want color!

See our How to Paint Moldings series if you want to learn how to paint your own moldings and save yourself thousands of dollars at the same time.

Antique Hardware

The next step to creating your Craftsman style dream home is to add more layers of detail with reproduction hardware like door hinges and knobs, light switches and wall plugs.

You can spend years and years digging through antique shops and architectural salvage yards and then restore the items you find to like new condition.

Or you can buy them new and be done with it.  That’s my preferred method.

And it’s easy to do now that there are so many manufacturers making reproduction antique hardware.

Craftsman Tile

Tile is a big part of decorating in the Craftsman style, and not just in your kitchen or bathroom.  Beautiful Craftsman tiles can find a place in your fireplace, door and window surrounds and even your wainscoting.

Your tile is also a great place to include Art Deco/Nouveau flourishes in your Craftsman interior.

Pick a Room and Get Started!

I don’t recommend you start your first Craftsman molding project in senior rooms like your foyer, dining or living room.

I know it’s tempting to start there, but it’s better to develop your skills in an extra bedroom so you can see how the new, larger moldings look in your home.

So go ahead, be the craftsman of your own Craftsman style home!


Craftsman Before & After Pictures

Tall Craftsman Wainscoting in Dining Room

Craftsman or Victorian Style Window Valance Box

Craftsman or Victorian Style Crown Molding

Craftsman Crown Molding Buildup


Craftsman Patterns









Reader’s Craftsman Style Moldings

Donna’s Craftsman Kitchen.  Keep the Moldings, Change the Wall Color!

Donna’s Craftsman Kitchen 2

Create this Art Deco (also Craftsman) Powder Room for $113.49  The crown molding and wainscoting in this half bathroom can be categorized as Craftsman.

Trae’s Tall Craftsman Style Wainscoting

Cara’s Craftsman Style Moldings, Part I

Craftsman Style Wainscoting by Jean-Francois


Historic Craftsman Moldings

Craftsman Moldings & Crepes in Tucson’s Cafe Marcel

Craftsman Style Moldings at Bev’s House in Waterford, Michigan

Historic Door Casing and Baseboards in New Mexico Home

Craftsman style crown molding in kitchen renovation.

Craftsman style moldings are affordable and easy to install.  I’ll show you how!

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