interior design for a craftsman

Craftsman style homes are often noted for their simple and useful design elements. Open floor plans and inviting porches set the stage for family gatherings. Detailed cabinetry, columns and exposed beams showcase the detailed woodwork infused throughout these types of designs. When decorating a craftsman home, it’s important to preserve the natural architectural appeal as you add your distinct style choices.

The Craftsman style of interior design is based on principles of simplicity, fine craftsmanship and a pre-industrial aesthetic. Gustav Stickley, a furniture maker and architect, originated this American style and developed it through his popular design magazine, entitled, The Craftsman.The monthly magazine would feature a home that characterized the craftsman movement with deep, overhanging eaves, large groupings of casement windows, open floor plans, and an abundance of natural materials like wood and stone. During the early twentieth century the craftsman style became popular allowing Americans access to high-quality architecture and design.Craftsman homes are usually built with local materials. The overall design takes into account the site and surrounding landscape.

The ideology of craftsman style is “form follows function,” in other words the function of the design takes precedents over the form. This ideology can be seen throughout a craftsman style interior design. Structural elements and lighting are first made functional and then tailored to add decorative value. Built-in cabinetry, benches, and bookcases add both utility and beauty to the living spaces. Rustic fireplace built of stone and flanked with built-in bookcases create an “inglenook” within the craftsman interior design.

There are several considerations, however. Keep in mind that the whole philosophy revolved around the themes of nature, simplicity and handicraft. Stencils were the A&C response to the heavy, ornate, mass-produced wallpapers found in Victorian homes. Stencils should be beautiful in their simplicity and its colors should be based on tones and hues found in nature — not necessarily muted, but they should be soothing to look at and not call attention to themselves. And, just as home decor was meant to be uncomplicated and uncluttered, do not go crazy with your stenciling. A simple repeated pattern using a palette of no more than 4 or 5 colors should suffice. And it is my own recommendation not to stencil everything in sight. Stenciling your walls and beams and furniture and floors will be assaulting to the eye, which is exactly the opposite of what hand-stenciling was supposed to achieve. Pick two at most: one near the ceiling and one nearer the floor (walls/floor, beams/floor, walls/furniture, beams/furniture).

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