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The Arts and Crafts and Mission interior design style is making a strong comeback. Learn tips for creating an authentic look for your home or office.

The terms Arts and Crafts and Mission Style are often used identically today.

They refer to styles of home and furnishing designs that emphasize natural materials, especially wood, and feature a pronounced geometry in the design. Their extraordinary resurgence in popularity stems largely from their association with handcrafted elements (although many knock-offs are produced by machines), a rarity in this era of advanced technology. The pieces offer an heirloom and patina quality that deepens with age. Arts and crafts furniture and interiors are also usually very durable and classic with a timeless appeal. They conform to today’s desire to simplify and get back to basics. The arts and crafts interior is an ideal marriage of function and aesthetics; space designed to work for those who live there. In order to create your own Arts and Crafts interior, there are several elements that need to be considered, both in materials and in design.
Arts and Crafts interior materials, while not limited to nature, emphasize wood, stone, glass (made of sand), ceramic tiles (made of mineral / earth), and textiles (using wool, cotton, or linen fibers, and, of course, skin). Most of the visual patterns come from the selected wood grain. Traditionally oak was used, but nowadays natural cherry is often enjoyed. Oaks tend to have a golden brown sheen, while cherries are redder. The two of them darken naturally with age, which is to be expected.

Floors, all architectural trim / molding, doors, stair and stage rails, and open structural supports are all typically wood, oak being the most prevalent. Waxed or oil finishing is applicable. The joints are pegged, or handmade metal hardware is used. Door knobs, cabinet pulls and the like, again handcrafted wrought iron or bronze in black, umber, or verdigris. Many were square or rectangular and hand hammered. For a lighter look, some homeowners today are opting for soft brushed tin or a nickel finish instead. Once you have the guidelines, you can bend them to fit. If an alternative to wooden flooring is desired, tile or slate will be a suitable substitute. The tiles should be large and laid out in a linear pattern, not on a diagonal.

To balance and complement the visual depth of wood, the walls are often treated with textured or plastered paint. (The old bungalows have original plaster.

A good bet is the river stone finish that Ralph Lauren paint provides.

The paint scheme bears an impact from nature with goldenrod yellows, burnt sienna chocolates, Indian oranges and reds, sage and moss greens, and a neutral palette of tans, toast, and beiges. The feeling of the whole has harmony, continuity, with all the elements working together, nothing enhancing the other. It is about creating an organic home, one that works within its environment and takes advantage of its environment both outside and inside.

Fireplaces have wood or stone coats, with stone, ceramic or sometimes brick surrounds. The wood is again oak with a gold stain, usually waxed or scrubbed, not polyurethane. Satin or matte finishes the rules. They are field stones – stacked dry or with mortar, providing great textural visuals. River rocks can be used instead and finely rounded stones provide an accusation for retilinear geometry when absent. Ceramic tile will usually have a motif from nature, perhaps a leaf or seed, or be a colorful finish. Nowadays glass tiles are also used to a great advantage. The brick, when used, is smooth faced and laid out on a clean horizontal band. Again, one of the clear features of the Arts and Crafts interior is a linear quality. The feeling that the home is part of a larger view, part of the horizon, is all the effort to come from and the earth.