Kitchens, Baths & Tile

Arts and Crafts Homes - - CONTENTS - —Pa­tri­cia Poore

Cab­i­nets in­spired by the bun­ga­low pe­riod and Arts & Crafts de­sign­ers, with a se­lec­tion of spe­cialty items and art­ful tile.

bY NOW YOU MAY BE AWARE that orig­i­nal kitchens of the Arts & Crafts pe­riod (1901–1925) were very util­i­tar­ian: small­ish spa­ces out­fit­ted with white tile and painted cab­i­nets. Many of to­day’s own­ers have taken to heart the ad­vice to “keep it sim­ple” when re­mod­el­ing, es­pe­cially if the kitchen re­mains in the orig­i­nal foot­print. It’s also the thrifty ap­proach.

Other ren­o­va­tors pre­fer not to re­pro­duce a pe­riod kitchen. It makes sense: The room is no longer a util­ity space be­hind closed doors, but rather the heart of the home, a place to wel­come guests. To­day’s kitchens may have a sec­ond prep area, a wet bar, a house­hold of­fice or mud­room, a break­fast al­cove, even a TV room. “We say we want a ‘vin­tage kitchen,’” says dec­o­ra­tive-arts his­to­rian Dan Cooper, “but we’d be trau­ma­tized by ice de­liv­er­ies and a coal stove.”

So, if you are adding on or ex­ten­sively re­mod­el­ing—or build­ing a re­vival house—you may choose to de­sign a more “fin­ished” kitchen. Arts & Crafts re­vival kitchens of­ten have fur­ni­ture-qual­ity cab­i­nets ac­cented by art tile, hand­some light fix­tures, forged and cast hard­ware, and dec­o­ra­tive tex­tiles.

“To­day’s pe­riod-style kitchens can be lit­eral, or they can be in­ter­pre­tive,” Cooper ex­plains. “The for­mer camp tries to dis­guise as much 21st-cen­tury tech­nol­ogy as pos­si­ble.” Dish­wash­ers and fridges hide be­hind cus­tom cab­i­nets; the mi­crowave oven is tucked into a pantry; the stove has retro styling. Cooper ex­plains that a more in­ter­pre­tive ap­proach ac­knowl­edges the pres­ence of mod­ern ap­pli­ances and light-

ing, but within a room that in­cor­po­rates pe­riod ma­te­ri­als (Dou­glas fir, soap­stone) and de­tail­ing (win­dow trim, brack­ets). There’s a fair amount of crossover; you might in­stall a mod­ern cook­top in a gran­ite counter, but di­min­ish the moder­nity by adding a hand-ham­mered cop­per vent hood right out of the pe­riod.

Watch the scale; be­fore you as­sume you need to add on, try bor­row­ing space from a back hall or pantry and keep to the orig­i­nal foot­print. Any ad­di­tions should be pro­por­tion­ate to the house; some­times just a bump-out of a few feet, with win­dows for ex­tra light, is enough.

The room will have a more time­less look if de­tails are bor­rowed from other his­toric kitchens, or from the pantry or back hall—rather than copied from high-style el­e­ments in the din­ing room. (Re­mem­ber, too, that a sim­ple kitchen is eas­ier to clean!) Con­sider us­ing sev­eral dif­fer­ent counter sur­faces, which is his­tor­i­cal as well as prac­ti­cal. All of th­ese tips work for bun­ga­lows, Amer­i­can Foursquares, Tu­dors, and the era’s Colo­nial Re­vival homes.

Lewellen’s orig­i­nal ce­ramic tiles fea­ture such mo­tifs as drag­on­flies and ginkgo leaves.

This “san­i­tary” white bath­room de­signed by Carisa Mahnken edges to­ward COt­tAGE styLE wItH A wOOD wAIN­sCOt, Ex­trA COLOr, AND A wHIM­sI­CAL wAvE BOr­DEr IN tHE tILE flOOr.

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