While the phrase "Arts and Crafts decor" may bring to mind images of hanging handmade quilts on the walls, using hand-knit window treatments and maybe even creating a chandelier out of popsicle sticks, the movement isn't really all about displaying DIY projects. Rather, its focus is mainly on craftsmanship and nature. But how did it begin and how can you incorporate the style into your home?
Also known as mission style in the U.S., the Arts and Crafts style surfaced in the early 1900s as a reaction to the mass-produced, heavily ornamented design schemes of the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution. It embraced natural beauty and traditional craftsmanship, encouraging artisans to take pride in their work rather than churn out just another factory-made chair or table.
Arts and Crafts decor is characterized mainly by simple shapes, lots of wood, exposed joints, minimal embellishments and strong, angular lines. Metals, stained glass, painted tiles and floral fabrics are often used as well.
If you love the outdoors and anything handmade, you might find that Arts and Crafts decor suits your tastes. Here are some of the main elements of the style that you can incorporate into your interiors.
1. Well-crafted woodwork. Wood is a large element of this design style, and it's almost never painted, instead focusing on rich stains that bring out the natural beauty of the material. Oak is a popular choice, but pine, maple and other local woods are also seen often.
2. Natural colors. When you're choosing shades for wall paint or panel curtains, stick with colors that you'd find in nature. Brown, forest green, dust rose, sapphire blue and even gold are all valid options.
3. Brass or copper fixtures. Whether for light fixtures, curtain rods or faucets, Arts and Crafts style relies heavily on hammered copper and burnished brass.
4. No-nonsense furniture. Choose pieces that are more practical than they are decorative. Sturdy, built-to-last items with straightforward designs should also focus heavily on the craftsmanship and materials used to make them. Of course, they should also offer comfort.
5. Natural flooring. Area rugs made of natural materials would work, but carpets are not traditional elements of Arts and Crafts design. Opt for hardwood floors, tiles, stone or cork for your floors instead.