Craftsman style home interiors, common in the early part of the twentieth century, represented a significant break with the preceding Victorian tradition of hyper ornamentation and "more is more" decorating. Whereas the Victorian era made full use of the newly invented machines of the day to churn out a panoply of high tech products previously difficult to product such as bentwood chairs, the craftsman philosophy rejected what they considered to be tasteless excess in favor of craftsman decor that was simple, honest, salt of the earth type furnishings that gave the appearance of being hand made by a craftsman, or at least suggested that possibility. In truth, there were plenty of factory made craftsman products, so there was certainly a tinge of hypocrisy, or at least wishful thinking.
The history of craftsman homes and craftsman style home interiors
Most think the early stirrings of the American craftsman movement and craftsman decor started with William Morris in England, who was an unusual character who often dressed like a monk and also owned one of the largest arsenic mines in the world. Another noted European of influence was Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who originated the pacific motif, which features clusters of small squares, usually in the corners of a design. As you peruse our site you'll notice many craftsman decor items that feature that pacific design element including doorbells, vintage doorbell buttons, bronze plaques, rugs, clocks, mission style switch plates, craftsman style mailboxes, porch and other lights, craftsman hardware, door knobs, mail slots, stencils, house numbers, hvac register units, and a lot more.
As the movement spread from the the artistic enclaves of Europe to the craftsman style home interiors of the United States, a number of prominent architects and influencers adopted the philosophy and incorporated their own unique personal touches which resulted in three distinct trends that were exemplified by Gustav Stickley in the eastern part of America, Frank Lloyd Wright in the Chicago area, and the brothers Greene and Greene in the southern California region. Stickley is responsible for many designs of furniture pieces that are usually quite linear and feature mortise and tenon joinery. Frank Lloyd Wright built a reputation with unique architectural designs that blurred the distinctions between the ideas of "outdoors" and "indoors". He is noted for his extensive use of cantilevers, most of which were unfortunately under-engineered. On the west coast Greene and Greene had fine careers designing bungalows that were loaded with amazing joinery, woods, and a generous helping of craftsman decor styling cues from the orient.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in craftsman style home interiors and exteriors. Many of the new construction homes purporting to be in the craftsman style are truly wonderful, and others are making a big stretch. Luckily, we offer a vast array of craftsman decor products that can give a big boost of authenticity and true craftsman flavor to just about any house, even if it is brand new.