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Arts & Crafts Design Style

What is the Arts and Crafts Movement:

The Arts and Crafts movement originated in the later half of the 19th Century. Much of why it was created was to challenge the previous Victorian Era and Industrial revolution. It's roots steam from the desire to move away from mass production and celebrate and incorporate products and material that are hand crafted and high quality.

The mantra of this movement was and still is:

" For the people and by the people, and a source of pleasure to the maker and the user."

Today we see this trend making a real come back, sites like ETSY and also supporting local themes are becoming more and more prevalent which really is a throw back to the mental shift that happened in the original era of Arts and Crafts.

William Morris

You can't discuss the Arts and Crafts movement without mentioning one of the key figures of this time.

Morris was the keystone to this movement. He was against the industrialism and favored hand crafted items. He, through his company would only hand make or source hand crafted materials for all of there designs.

Morris learned how to design and produce wallpaper, this is one of the items from Morris and this area that most people widely identify with this style. Beyond the architectural details which we cover shortly.

Morris was inspired by English Gardens and Hedgerows, and in order to create these stunning works of art, he learned the traditional methods of printing and dying the materials to create them by hand and not manufactured.

Architecture: The Craftsman House

The craftsman style of architecture emphasizes simplicity in form. Following the theme discussed above the celebration of using local materials and hand crafted design. There are many common features that you see with a craftsman home, that make them very recognizable.

  • Low pitched gable

  • Exposed beams or rafters

  • Decorative elements: brackets, lintels and rafters

  • Over extended eaves

  • Thick tapered columns

  • Porches

  • Open floor plans

The interiors also have a very distinctive style

  • Stained Glass

  • Tapered posts

  • Exposed wood beams

  • Large fireplaces

  • Wood paneling

  • Built in Cabinetry

  • Large window Casings

How to decorate in the Arts and Crafts Style:

The use of bold patterns are a great throw back to this style. Very popular today, but with more modern touch.

What is interesting is we see this trend happening with Biophilic Design, which is really focusing on the well being of the people within the space. However this design style is also reminiscent of Arts and Crafts movement, which is making a strong come back today.

When times are unsettled we feel the need to go back to traditional, healthy, homey... we want to feel safe.

Arts and Crafts is a feeling of simpler times, but it is still big on style and elegance. It is also heavily influenced by sustainable design practices.

The colours of the Arts and Crafts Movement... with a MODERN twist:

Traditionally we saw colours like Hunter Greens, Burnt Oranges, Dark Greys, Sky Blues, Golds, Muted Rose and Burgundy.

We have seen many of these colours become on trend yet again in the last few years, especially with some of the bold shades of greens.

However there is a new version of these colours is also making a appearance and it is a throw back to this traditional style.

Taking in to considerations colours like Mushrooms, Royal Blues and muted Greens.

Accent Items to incorporate

Traditionally the Arts and Crafts movement would have stained glass items within there architectural details.

In order to achieve this look today you can look to incorporate stained glass decorative items, that are more current.

This honey comb piece is stunning and feels much more modern then the traditional floral motifs.


The main thought when creating this style is looking to find hand crafted items. Also searching Antique markets and artisan shops is a good place to start for building your very own Arts and Crafts Interior.

Some of the key elements to think about beyond the manufacturing of the item is to find items mostly made from wood, with clean lines. Also incorporating larger items like built in's ( if possible) cabinets and benches.

Materials and Patterns:

Arts and Crafts is a design style that is very influenced by nature. So consider the use of the following motifs in your selections. Whether it be through wallpaper, fabrics or artwork.

Typically in this style you see a strong presence of:

  • Flowers

  • Vines

  • Leaves

  • Birds

  • Geometric ( repeating patterns)

  • Stripes

Here is a great example of a modern take on the Arts and Crafts Design Style (

I love the warmth that the Arts & Crafts movement brings to interiors. The use of the natural material, large statement items and overall the bold textures and patterns that are inviting and warm.

If you are loving the information covered in this article, the Arts and Crafts style or hints of it may be for you. What I love about this style is that it can add hints of what is on trend, while still being classic enough that it will stand the test of time.

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