Craftsman style, which arose in the early 20th century, was a reaction to the mass-produced fussiness of the Victorian era, and its wholesome simplicity still resonates today. And nowhere is its signature warmth more evident than in the kitchen, the heartbeat of a Craftsman home. It’s impossible to separate form from function in a space done in this style, but Craftsman kitchens are anything but utilitarian — they’re as comforting as a fire on a cold day. Read on for the essential elements you’ll need to create the look.
White or cream cabinetry. Classic kitchens are timeless yet fresh. This is a style that almost everyone feels comfortable in, even some the modernists among us. White kitchens define this style. Vintage accents. Period touches ground the farmhouse look in its old-fashioned roots. Consider pitchers, pottery, lighting and other accessories as nostalgic top notes.
Open shelving. Installed in place of traditional upper cabinetry, open shelving recalls the days when kitchens were more utilitarian than decorative. Not only was cabinetry expensive, but open shelves allowed cooks to retrieve dishes and tools quickly. Today open shelves are as much about aesthetics as about practicality: Their openness helps make a space feel larger, and they often house accessories in addition to kitchen implements.
Balance and harmony. The Asian aesthetic places a strong emphasis on harmony, in terms of materials as well as design. Pay attention to balancing visual elements such as color, form and weight. In this kitchen the dark range hood offsets the island, and the lighter ceiling beams echo the cabinetry.
Glazed and antique cabinet finishes. Traditional kitchens often feature cabinet finishes that are glazed or made to look aged and distressed. Whether you’re using antique white or a color like the island shown, a bit of glazing can add instant age and patina. Be careful, though. Some antique finishes look fake, so make sure your cabinetmaker has samples for you to approve before ordering.
Clean-lined cabinetry. Craftsman style eschews fuss and frills in favor of pure function, and cabinets should follow suit. Straightforward frameless or flat-panel doors, perhaps with simple glass panes, fall in step with the aesthetic. Craftsman cabinets lack carved detailing or other ornamentation but display the joinery proudly — proof of the artisan at work.
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