The Arts & Crafts style of design sprung out of late Victorian England. At that time much in the realm of home decorating was mass-produced in factories, taking the human element out of the creation of home decorating and design. The resulting reaction to this was the Arts & Crafts movement with its focus on natural forms, quality designs, and handmade goods of the craftsman. The movement was first birthed by A. Pugin, John Ruskin, and William Morris. The Arts and Crafts movement eventually made its way over to North America where it also took hold.
The main factors behind the Arts and Crafts movement are a focus on skilled handcrafting and natural materials. The common materials that Arts and Crafts handiwork is constructed from are pottery, textiles, metal, glass, and wood. The materials are mostly finished in such a way that highlights rather than covers their natural beauty.
What distinguishes an Arts and Crafts style home from so many others is a collection of things. They are often a bungalow style with an open floor plan and a low pitched roof. Many Arts and Crafts homes have beautiful river stone work around their foundations or inside around the fireplace. Many of these homes have entranceways framed by tapered posts from the porch up to the eaves.
The design elements that are indicative of Arts and Crafts style in general are simple lines in furniture and decorating, earthy materials, and a natural colour palette. Arts and Crafts are often decorated with natural wood and stone construction in the house and furniture as well as metal accents in silver, bronze, iron, and copper.
Some distinctive accents that exemplify the Arts and Crafts movement are copper lamps made by the Dirk Van Erp Studio, Tiffany lamps and glass, Ephraim and Van Briggle pottery. Most of the studios are not still producing now, but there are some original pieces still around and some very good reproduction pieces as well.
As the current trends in home building move to smaller homes with more character and craftsmanship and away from large McMansions there is an increased desire for homes in Arts and Crafts style. This renewed interest in Arts and Crafts style is making it is easier as a result to find accent pieces and building plans for houses like this.
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