Arts & Crafts Houses Part II:Arts & Crafts Interiors

Other rooms such as bedrooms and kitchens are rarely illustrated in publications of the day. Included here for information is painting hints for interiors from 1912, which includes specifications for bedrooms. Also included is a bathroom photograph from 1912.

These 1912 painting instructions for the inside of Bungalows were standard specifications for the time. It is interesting to note that natural woodwork was planned for the main rooms of the house – including the kitchen, while bedrooms were treated with a lighter touch, with white woodwork.

A 1912 Bathroom (called “A convenient feature”!) was indeed a new addition to most homes after 1900. The claw-footed tubs were very comfortable, and the tiled floors and enameled woodwork were planned with a view to sanitary design. A single light bulb with a reflector shade illuminates the room.

The wainscot may have been tile, or a popular feature of dense plaster scored to simulate tile, and then painted with shiny paint. This ‘faux-tile’ finish was found in both kitchens and bathrooms of the period. The hot water radiator in the corner was another nod to modern services that were now common.

After studying original photographs of early Arts & Crafts and Bungalow interiors, one realizes that there was a great variety of personal preferences in the rooms of those homes. They were not all ‘pure’ Arts & Crafts design, though the simplicity of the architectural design continues to shine through and affect the choices that homeowners made at the time.

So, a good approach to use in dealing with an original Arts & Crafts interior is to respect the architecture of your home, do not paint the woodwork, or change the original light fixtures or hardware. After that, enjoy yourself. Natural colours – soft golds and greens, off-whites, tans and brick, raspberry and burgundy – all look good in Arts & crafts interiors, and go well with wood paneling.

After all, these homes were designed to be “cozy and artistic” and meant to be enjoyed

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