Craftsman Style Decorating


Bungalows have been a staple in American neighborhoods for over a century. Often referred to as Mission style, Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, they are identified by their simple lines, wide front porches and attention to details such as carvings, columns and interesting windows. This style of home can be found all across the country. Many young couples, tired of the cookie cutter homes found in the suburbs, are buying these homes and bringing them back to their “glory” through remodeling and refurbishing.

Born out of a desire to bring back the beauty of a hand made item by craftsman (hence the term) and as a rebellion against the mass-produced and “fussiness” of Victorian style, furniture pieces from this era are built for function first. The chairs and tables have straight lines and little ornamentation. Leather upholstery was popular as were fabrics with nature inspired themes such as florals. Colors are soft and earthy. Think of moss greens, sky blues and sandy browns. Add a bit of gold and red and you have a Crafstman color palette.

Let’s take a peek into a room decorated in the Craftsman style. The room will most likely have beautiful built-in cabinetry. If not, you can add bookshelves on either side of your fireplace to create the same effect. The walls will be painted a soft gold, warm tan or a mossy green and may even include a stylized wall paper border or mural. A dark brown leather sofa sits on one side of the fireplace with mission style tables (a matching set) used as a coffee table and end table. There may be a Stickley inspired recliner in the corner upholstered in a typical arts and crafts design fabric. Stickley was a famous designer from this period whose furniture featured wide, wooden arms and slatted sides. Stained glass lamps supply lighting for the room. The floors are wood with an occasional area rug to add warmth and color. Accessories are kept to a minimum but might include brass artifacts, pottery and blown glass in vibrant colors of the period.

This style of decorating offers a comfortable and warm feeling to any home, whether you live in a neighborhood full of bungalows or in the suburbs.

— Diane Haynie

Categories: Design Tips

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