7 Arts & Crafts Period Details for Your Kitchen
The Arts & Crafts movement may be over 100 years old, but its appeal today is as strong now as it ever was. With its emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, natural materials and clean, unfussy designs, Arts & Crafts elements can fit beautifully into any informal, contemporary kitchen.
Most likely as a response to overly ornate Victorian embellishments, Arts & Crafts marked a return to honest artisanal values of handcrafted construction and skilled cabinet making, with ‘back to basics’ designs epitomised by the work of William Morris.
If you are keen to incorporate some of the period’s details into your kitchen design, there are many typical items and design touches that reflect the Arts & Crafts heritage and give your kitchen an authentic vibe.
- Mother Nature
Nature pervades the whole of the Arts & Crafts ethos. The muted medium-toned colour palette – greens, browns, reds, oranges, blues, taupes – reflects the natural environment, while naturalistic motifs depicting the outdoors include flowers, fruits, leaves, grapevines, insects and butterflies. The influence of nature is everywhere: on prints and fabrics, on tiles or stained glass panels, on pottery and decorative items.
- Good Wood
If you would like to inject and Arts & Crafts vibe into your kitchen, start with wood. Oak, mahogany and teak are the most authentic types, but you could add a light paint wash – perhaps in (nearly) white – to brighten up the space if necessary.
Natural light is, of course, important in kitchen and favoured in Arts & Crafts kitchens. If you are redesigning a kitchen from scratch, why not see if you could make your existing window bigger or add an extra one?
- Cabinetry Craft
Keep wood cabinetry as natural as possible without any excessive ornamentation. Handmade and freestanding furniture reflect the simpler aesthetic and fine craftsmanship redolent of the Arts & Crafts period. Use plain framed doors made from English hardwoods, and bespoke detailing such as dovetail joints and wooden pegs.
Wall cabinets could feature leaded or stained glass doors, or even plain glass to show off your display of earthenware perhaps?
- Homely Metalware
Signature metals for and Arts & Craft look include copper and wrought iron. Make a real design statement by incorporating bronze taps, a copper sink or hand forged cabinet handles into your design. A huge cooker hood made from hammered copper would look simply stunning and make a fantastic centrepiece for your kitchen.
- Ceramic Tiles
Character tiles can add interest to an otherwise plain background. Use them for splashbacks or upstands, as decorative panelling or on floors. William de Morgan is the most famous tile designer associated with the Arts & Crafts movement and his designs are still widely available today. There’s a huge range of natural motifs and colours to choose from to brighten any kitchen space.
- Worktop and Floor Surfaces
Again, materials used for worktops and floors should be natural, giving you a result that is beautiful as well as practical. Use slate, limestone, marble, travertine or flagstone for floors. Worktops will look great and perform well with granite, slate, marble or soapstone. Horizontal, flowing patterns that are reminiscent of water will give you a more authentic feel.
- Decorative Accents
For decorative items with an Arts & Crafts feel, your local craft or antiques fair may be your best bet. Homespun fabrics, hand thrown pottery, rustic dinnerware, hand wrought candleholders or stained glass lampshades will all look amazing in your kitchen. If the budget stretches, look for Liberty’s furniture for a wow effect.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with award winning bespoke kitchen designer Artichoke Ltd.