Standing alone with it's understated elegance and simple appeal, the Craftsman Style Bungalow started today's ongoing shift towards simple, uncluttered interiors. At the turn of the last century,in diligent rejection of severe Victorian standards and pretentious interior design, the Arts & Crafts Movement promoted a return to true craftsmanship. The Craftsman Bungalow reflects understated elegance, simple lines, and form following function. The current trend awareness of environmental issues and "green living" dovetails into this aesthetic has resulting in a resurgence of interest in the Arts and Crafts Style. Typically limited in square footage, the bungalow home is a model of practical design and creative use of space traditionally including built in cabinetry and an open floor plan. Many of today's newer craftsman style homes and bungalows are much larger than at the turn of the century, but still reflect open styling and distinct interior and exterior detailing.
Lot's of windows to bring in natural sunlight help brighten up the typically darker wood details of many original craftsman homes. Choose sheer, simple fabrics for window coverings to allow ample light into the home. A simple embroidered detail along the hemline will add the "craftsman touch." The natural interior colors for your craftsman style home can be easily inspired by nature.
Think of using the colors of a vineyard, the different hues of fall leaves, the muted tones of stones. Nature is anything but boring! It is soothing to the eye to follow your interior colors as they continue outside, as when glancing through a window or an open door. Take your outdoor surroundings into consideration, the colors of the foliage and sky. The exterior colors should also be subtle and natural, think of your craftsman home as "growing" from it's foundation. There are talented artisans reproducing craftsman furniture at many price points. Do your research and look for the best quality you can afford.
Try not to fall for the cheap imitations, take it slow and furnish your home with one or two fabulous pieces at a time. Your beautiful home will be much more reflective of you when doing it this way. Don't be afraid to mix antiques with good quality reproductions.
Simple and sturdy well made pieces will give your home the look you are after. You can easily mix in textural upholstered pieces in a simple shapes to soften the room. Embroidered pillows and tabletop linens also "soften the edges" of the typically masculine forms of mission furniture, adding color and texture to delight the eye. Don't underestimate the effect lighting will have a on the feel of your craftsman home. It can never be said too often, mixing good quality carefully chosen pieces with your antiques is a great way to get the most from your design dollar.
Remember to balance overhead lighting with table lamps and pendants to create flattering light from several heights in the room. Mixing lighting fixtures of various shapes and styles within the movement adds impact to any room. Try a stained glass table lamp, perhaps sconces with hand blown glass shades, or simple pendant lights with clear glass over a kitchen island.
Hand crafted artisan lighting is a great way to add quality to your home and can give the richness of an antique at a fraction of the cost. Rugs can vary from Navajo style to the many beautiful Arts and Crafts patterns produced today. Remember to add your personal touch with accessories made of hand hammered copper, Tile and pieces of Art Pottery to complete the Craftsman Touch.
Jan Davidson is an artist and designer currently focusing her talents on creating products for the Arts and Crafts Lifestyle. http://www.craftsmantouch.com is a great resource dedicated to providing quality Craftsman Style furnishings and accessories with wonderful photographs for ideas and inspiration.