Set apart by it’s simple elegance and superior quality, the craftsman style home was a precursor of today’s continuing trend towards simple, uncluttered interiors. At the turn of the 20th century, in rigorous rejection of strict Victorian dictates and ostentatious interior design, the Arts and Crafts Movement prompted a return to true craftsmanship. Pioneered by William Morris, this international movement originated out of the fundamental ideal opposed to the mass production of the industrial age and promoted originality in home furnishings.
The craftsman home reflects understated elegance, simple lines, and form following function. The current trend awareness of environmental issues and “green living” dovetails into this aesthetic has resulting in a resurgence of interest in the Arts and Crafts Style.
Typically limited in square footage, the craftsman home is a model of practical design and creative use of space traditionally including built in cabinetry and an open floor plan. Many of today’s newer
craftsman style homes and bungalows are much larger than at the turn of the century, but still reflect open styling and distinct interior and exterior detailing.
Lot’s of windows to bring in natural sunlight help brighten up the typically darker wood details of many original craftsman homes. Choose sheer, simple fabrics for window coverings to allow ample light into the home. A simple embroidered detail along the hemline will add the “craftsman touch.”
The natural interior colors for your craftsman style home can be easily inspired by nature. Think of using the colors of a vineyard, the different hues of fall leaves, the muted tones of stones. Nature is anything but boring! It is soothing to the eye to follow your interior colors as they continue outside, as when glancing through a window or an open door. Take your outdoor surroundings into consideration, the colors of the foliage and sky. The exterior colors should also be subtle and natural, think of your craftsman home as “growing” from it’s foundation.
When furnishing your home, there are many options from antique Stickley, Morris, Limbert and other furniture makers of the day, as well as mission furniture reproductions at many price points. Don’t be afraid to mix antiques with good quality reproductions. Simple and sturdy well made pieces will give your home the look you are after. You can easily mix in textural upholstered pieces in a simple shapes to soften the room. Embroidered pillows and tabletop linens also “soften the edges” of the typically masculine forms of mission furniture, adding color and texture to delight the eye.
Lighting is another key ingredient to your craftsman home. Once again, mixing antiques and quality reproductions is quite effective. Remember to balance overhead lighting with table lamps and pendants to create flattering light from several heights in the room. Combine fixtures of different materials, a stained glass floor light, a hand blown glass shade on a table lamp, perhaps pendant lights over the dining room table or kitchen island. Hand crafted artisan lighting is a great way to add quality to your home and can give the richness of an antique at a fraction of the cost.
Rugs can vary from Navajo style to the many beautiful Arts and Crafts patterns produced today.
Remember to add your personal touch with accessories made of hand hammered copper, Tile and pieces of Art Pottery to complete the Craftsman Touch.
Jan Davidson is a successful artist and designer currently focusing her talents on creating products for the Arts and Crafts Lifestyle. [http://www.craftsmantouch.com] is a great resource dedicated to providing quality Craftsman Style furnishings and accessories with wonderful photographs for ideas and inspiration.
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