Tall Cliffs: Contemporary Craftsman Style Home

Southern Shores, NC

Nestled upon a sprawling 45-degree incline, the Tall Cliffs residence stands as a testament to architectural innovation due to lot elevation and handcrafted woodwork. Our new construction, contemporary craftsman-style home design posed distinctive challenges fueling our team’s creativity and technical expertise.

A Steep Slope: The Land Leveling & Grading Challenge

Built along the steep ridge bank near the canals of Southern Shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the project demanded strategic land grading for an even construction lot to accommodate a saltwater pool and the execution of an elevated back deck that seemingly defies gravity. The technical precision required for this feat showcases our commitment to pushing the boundaries of design and construction.

What is a Contemporary Craftsman Home Style?

Architectural evolution often witnesses the emergence of styles building upon and diverging from their predecessors. The Contemporary Craftsman style home is a testament to the dynamic home design evolution. The style draws inspiration from the functional workmanship of early 20th-century craftsman homes and combines them with the clean, sleek lines of modern design. 

The style has garnered favor among homeowners, home builders, and designers worldwide. Many contemporary versions of vintage, bungalow-style homes with natural materials, welcoming porches with custom woodworking, and cozy interiors are prevalent in California and the Midwestern United States. (An important note, since our client and the homeowners are from Southern California!) 

It’s safe to say that craftsman home style is equal to quality design and building, so let’s go through the elements that define the solid Contemporary Craftsman style home through both its exterior and interior design.

The Contemporary Craftsman home design of today pays homage to its exterior roots with expansive porches adorned with square columns, low-pitched rooflines with exposed rafters and beams, a covered front porch, and multi-paned windows. Simultaneously, the interior reflects the present with spacious open floor plans, thoughtfully integrated built-in features, and the use of natural materials throughout the home.

Contemporary Craftsman Home Interior

Contemporary craftsman homes often have a deep visual and physical connection between the interior and the exterior. We rarely design craftsman homes’ interiors without considering a massive porch!

Some other interior elements you may find when designing a contemporary craftsman home include: 

  • Use of Natural Wood Elements
  • Modern & Airy, Yet Neutral Color Palette
  • Vintage Throwbacks mixed with Modern Details
  • Natural Light
  • Open Concept Floor Plan

Craftsman home interiors tie nicely with furniture and decor choices of all styles. Midcentury modern pieces can blend nicely with transitional, traditional, bohemian, and modern interior decor styles.

Foyer with Craftsman Stair Case with Black Trim

Once inside our contemporary craftsman home, you step directly into a welcoming foyer with endless detail. White paint in the foyer lets the architectural detailing stand on its own. Especially contrasting with black trim and strategically embellished wooden elements. 

Immediately you see the central wooden staircase with black trim with the living room immediately to the left. Space along the stairs allows space dedicated for sitting strategically placed off the living room, guest bathroom, and front porch. 

A sliding farm door, also trimmed in black, highlights the natural wooden materials of the craftsman style, along with a more modern take including luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the home.

Natural Materials in the Laundry Room and Bathroom

As you venture through the foyer, you will find a commitment to natural elements and contemporary design extending into both the laundry room and the guest bathroom.

In the laundry room, a wooden Dutch door half opens out to the covered garage breezeway, adorned with cedar shake. an inviting touch that seamlessly connects indoor and outdoor spaces. The integration of natural materials in this space adds an inviting touch by connecting indoor and outdoor creating an overall appeal for the mundane aspect of laundry.

Stepping into the guest bathroom, a walk-in shower takes center stage, adorned with calming green tiles that evoke a sense of serenity. The honey oak cabinets provide a warm and inviting contrast.

Living Room Off Elevated Attached Deck

The visual physical connection of our home continues between the living room and the back deck. Modern double doors lead you to an elevated, screened-in porch perfect for Outer Banks outdoor living, plus the view outside makes you feel as though you’re in a tree house!

Notice the deliberate placement of abundant windows throughout the living room. They transform the space into a serene perch amidst the treetops.

In the tradition of classical craftsman home interiors, the living room stands as the dedicated space for socialization and relaxation. The room often boasts grand hearths and chimneys that dominate the space, contributing to its timeless charm.

The built-in, electric heater is our modern take on a fireplace and is still a key feature point of the living room. The stone facade and wooden mantel are signatures from the past that are ultimately the centerpieces of the room. A modern touch is evident in our built-in gas heater, a contemporary interpretation of the traditional fireplace that remains a focal point in the living room. 

Another feature of today’s contemporary craftsman rendition of living areas and dens, you will often find a television strategically mounted as a focal point of the room, reflecting the evolving needs of modern living, seamlessly blending tradition with convenience.

Custom Eat-In Kitchen with Lots of Natural Light

Craftsman homes are designed with family and function in mind, so it is no surprise that our kitchen caters to social activity! The custom-designed, large, eat-in kitchen features lots of natural light and black trim used throughout the home to further enhance visual appeal in a cohesive and modern aesthetic.

Hand-crafted, white Shaker-style cabinets and a custom-made intake hood enclosure serve as a distinctive focal point for showcasing our commitment to tailored details. Black and brass accents, featured in handles and knobs, harmonize with the trim of the intake hood enclosure and lighting fixtures over the kitchen island. 

In the kitchen, you will also find dedicated dining spaces that ensure every meal is an opportunity for connection, accommodating family meals, and fostering a sense of togetherness when combined with the overall open concept of the home. 

Just off the kitchen, you can find an attached chef’s pantry. This additional storage and preparation area ensures that the kitchen remains organized and efficient, catering to the needs of a modern lifestyle.

Contemporary Craftsman Exterior

The exterior of our new construction build proudly showcases the defining elements of Contemporary Craftsman homes. A few features commonly found on the outside reflective of the style include: 

  • Multiple Low-Pitch Gable Roofs in Triangular Shape
  • Overhanging Eaves with Exposed Rafters and Beams
  • Custom Woodworking along Covered Front Porch’s Columns and Exterior
  • Exposed Natural Wood Elements along the Covered Breezeway connecting the house to the garage

Drawing inspiration from the arts and crafts era of homes, the exterior of our home features many artisan, natural wooden details that define craftsman homes. A covered breezeway serves as a seamless connection between the main house’s front porch and the garage. Beyond its functional purpose, this architectural element adds a touch of grace, ensuring a cohesive and stylish transition between spaces.

Mixed Low-Pitch Roofing with Multiple Gables, Eaves, Exposed Rafters, and Beams

Craftsmanship takes center stage as you explore the intricate details along the roofline of the Tall Cliffs home. A captivating mix of low-pitch roofing, including flat, gable, and shed designs, contributes to a textured and visually engaging exterior. Different roofing materials, such as asphalt, metal, and Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO), reflect our commitment to combining timeless craftsmanship, custom charm, and contemporary resilience.

Commitment to Ecological Cohesiveness with Landscaping & Hardscaping

Moving beyond the roofline, thoughtful outdoor living spaces define the Tall Cliffs residence, reflecting the Craftsman design principle of ecological cohesiveness. 

Despite the lot’s elevation and uneven building ground, we harmonized the space with nature with retaining walls and evened the ground for outdoor living with an elevated stilt deck. These features contribute not only to aesthetic appeal but also reflect a commitment to integrating the residence with its natural surroundings.

The outdoor oasis also features a saltwater pool with a built-in bar, a covered porch overlooking a well-landscaped front yard, and a strategically elevated back deck to provide a luxurious retreat that aligns with both Outer Banks’ contemporary living and craftsman construction principles.

Images by Cory Godwin Productions.