The English Arts & Crafts style emerged as a reaction to the negative aspects of the rapid industrialization in England and encompassed artistic, ideological and political ideas. Architecturally, it was inspired by the look of the country cottage and manor house. Leading proponents included William Morris, who commissioned architect Philip Webb to design a house for him and his wife. The Red House, near London, is considered the first building of the Arts & Crafts style. In Vancouver and Victoria, architect Samuel Maclure was the most accomplished practitioner of the Arts & Crafts style.
The emphasis was on the picturesque form, including asymmetrical massing, steeply pitched hip or gable roofs, with long ridge lines. Compared to the Tudor Revival style, Arts & Crafts houses are more horizontal, with a closer relationship to the garden.
As the entrance symbolized the welcome of the house, it was an important feature of Arts & Crafts houses. Typically there is a discrete entrance with a covered porch that has a close relationship to the garden and leaded glass is often incorporated into the door. Arts & Crafts windows are usually multi-paned in the casement style. Chimneys are often prominent and cast in stone rather than the brick common in Tudor Revival homes. Eave overhangs and dormers are minimal.
The use of local materials was encouraged. In Vancouver, this included wooden shingles, siding and trim, as well as brick, stone and stucco. Many of the homes have smooth stucco surfaces with little applied decoration, though some include ‘Tudor’ half-timbering and medieval detailing.