Arts and Crafts

An example of space decorated creatively with craft items that bring out elegance and style in a simple yet elegant way.

Cambridge Plan by Victory Homes of Wisconsin in Pewaukee, Wis.

The Arts and Craft style focuses largely on organic designs and the natural beauty of the great outdoors. Traditional craftsmanship and handmade features characterize the true essence of this style and its celebration of natural influences. Arts and Crafts emerged in the 20th Century, when people became tired of the stuffy and overwrought characteristics of the style of the Victorian era. 

Arts and Crafts is heavily influenced by the use of wood. While oak is the style’s iconic wood of choice, pine, maple and other indigenous woods are often used. The woods used are almost never painted, but rather are accented with rich stains to emphasize the wood’s natural, organic beauty and variety in the grain. It is not uncommon for wood to be beautifully decorated with handmade designs and placed on display to show its handiwork. Colors used in Arts and Crafts can be found in nature, including greens, browns and grays. Other colors, such as yellow or blue, typically have a muted feel to them and pastels are not used. Warm, rich colors and hand-painted details are often used to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood used in the home’s architecture and furniture. 

Handmade, unadorned wooden furniture is iconic of the style. Though mass-produced furniture is more often used in present times, the real emphasis is in the attention to detail. The wood is complemented by natural floors made commonly of slate or wood (carpet is almost never used). Metals used include copper, bronze and brass to accent the wood’s warm features. Common accessories used in Arts and Crafts include Mica or Tiffany lighting fixtures and art glass with linear, geometric motifs. 

Distinguishing Elements:

  • Stone or wood flooring, preferably slate or something similar
  • Heavy use of wood in architecture and design
  • Handmade furniture, preferably made of wood, with attention to detail
  • Natural colors; colors should be found in nature
  • Tiffany or Mica lighting fixtures
  • Warm metals like brass, copper, bronze

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