It takes time to figure out what you want your house to look like. It may be easy for one person to make a decision, but two people may offer challenges
We didn't know much about architectural styles in the beginning. Our initial efforts led us to web sites such as The House Designers and ePlans. These websites made it a very easy for the both of us to find features we liked in houses; we looked at thousands of pictures. Fortunately, Steph and I had a lot of the same interests; lots of windows, decorative overhangs, wide exterior trim, open floor plans, built-in shelving, mixed types of exterior materials, stone porch supports, columns, etc.
After further research, we determined that most of the features we liked were offered within Craftsman architecture. As quoted from About.com, "the Arts and Crafts movement, introduced in 1880, initially celebrated handicrafts and encouraged the use of simple forms and natural building materials. In the United States, architects began to design houses that combined Arts and Crafts ideas with a fascination for the simple wooden architecture of China and Japan.
The name 'Craftsman' comes from the title of a popular magazine published by the famous furniture designer, Gustav Stickley, between 1901 and 1916. A true Craftsman house is one that is built according to plans published in Stickley's magazine. But other magazines, pattern books, and mail order house catalogs began to publish plans for houses with Craftsman-like details. Soon the word 'Craftsman' came to mean any house that expressed Arts and Crafts ideals, most especially the simple, economical, and extremely popular Bungalow."
We knew Craftsman architecture was something that we were interested in. We liked the looks, it fit our needs, and the style continues to appeal to the market nearly a century later.