With its simple lines, beautiful woodwork, and endearing charm, Arts and Crafts is one of my favorite design styles.
The Arts and Crafts movement began in England in the late 1800’s as an alternative to the ornate Victorian style. By 1910, the style had reached America.
The movement, led by William Morris and others, moved away from the mass produced furniture of the Industrial Revolution and returned to the craftsmanship of Gothic style.
Like Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts style is inspired by nature with earthy elements like wood, botanicals, stone, copper, and water symbols being prominent design elements.
In Arts and Crafts, the emphasis is on natural wood with oak a favorite wood type of this style. It is rare to see painted wood in an Arts and Crafts design, but rather the natural beauty of the grain is showcased.
Color choices for a Craftsman style home are also organic and includes browns, yellows, and greens with lighter hues and neutral wall colors. Accent colors incorporate colors found in nature such as golds, blues, and forest green. Fabrics also lean toward the botanical and natural themes with strong textures and geometric shapes.
Lighting is one of the few places where you can add some pizzazz with the iconic Tiffany lamps a favorite accessory. Likewise, it is also common to see stained glass windows in the Arts and Crafts home.
Metals choices are warm and feature bronze, copper, oil rubbed bronze, or antique brass and are often hammered or distressed. Hammered metal is a defining trademark of Mission style, which is often linked with the Arts and Crafts movement.
Chrome and steel are out of place in the Arts and Crafts home, and instead were prominent in the opulent Art Deco style that followed.
The Craftsman home is recognized by its low-pitched gabled roofs with wide overhangs and squared porch posts. Craftsman home kits were available as a mail order item from Sears.
Because of their popularity and solid wood construction, many Craftsman homes are still standing and being restored across the country.
There are a number of Craftsman blog sites with remodeling tips and feature stories for inspiration.
Van Dyke’s Restorers offers a great selection of Arts and Crafts and Mission-inspired hardware and wood items. These include knobs and pulls, door sets, wood corbels and furniture legs, shelf brackets, ceiling medallions, and bath accessories.
Names synonymous with Arts and Crafts include William Morris, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you have an early 1900’s Craftsman home, post pictures on our Facebook page. I would love to see them.