How the Arts and Crafts Movement of the Early 1900’s Changed Interior Design

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At the turn of the twentieth century, the Arts and Crafts movement changed the face of art and design. Largely influenced by the artist William Morris, art and architecture began to reject the overly-decorative and factory-produced aesthetic of the Victorian era.

This influence spread to interior design, and homes began to take on different looks soon after. There are a few defining interior design characteristics that can be picked out as results of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Furniture and Flooring
The first characteristic of Arts and Crafts-influenced interior design is sturdy, practical furniture. Unlike the ornate furniture of the Victorian era, furniture was produced to be functional and last a long time, and was built with quality materials and produced with great attention to detail.

Flooring also moved away from the fancy, ornate style of the Victorian era. In its place, floors were produced with hardwood, slate, and stones that were sturdy and durable. The functionality and comfortability of Arts and Crafts era furniture and flooring changed the interior design of homes.

Color and Detail
Arts and Crafts era design left homes with subtle color schemes. Homes that once had bright, vibrant walls were now painted in natural tones. Taken from stones, woods, and grasses, interiors were painted with browns, greys, and greens that provided a comfortable, natural aesthetic.

In the Victorian era, wallpapers and decorative details were produced with mass-market designs. When the Arts and Crafts movement began, these details were replaced with hand-painted and stenciled designs. The Arts and Crafts movement replaced bright, mass-produced color and details with subtle, handcrafted appeal.

Metal Complements
The Arts and Crafts movement moved away from chrome and steel complements. Instead, finishing and accessorizing were done with oil-rubbed brass, copper, and bronze. This was done to celebrate craftsmanship, which was a huge element that allowed the Arts and Craft movement to explode in popularity.

The biggest identifying element of the Arts and Crafts movement regarding interior design is wood decor. The increased emphasis on natural beauty rejected the idea of painting wood. Instead, natural woodgrain was embraced as a mark of beauty. Popular woods used for this style of interior design include oak, maple, and pine.

Tables, furniture, walls, and floors were left as bare, natural wood during the Arts and Craft era. This approach to interior design is still largely utilized today. If you want to identify the interior design influence of the Arts and Craft movement, the easiest way to do so is to look for exposed wood.

The Arts and Crafts movement left a lasting influence on the world of interior design. Victorian era mass-production and flashiness was replaced with durability and craftsmanship. Furniture and flooring relied on functional and comfortable design. Colors and details were subtle and earthy. Wood became a defining design element. The stylistic and design influence of the Arts and Crafts movement changed the interiors of homes, and is still utilized in many homes today.