Col­or­ing Out­side the Lines

Arts and Crafts Homes - - EDITOR'S LETTER -

in the in­ward years be­fore arith­metic class, did you feel in your heart that there were good num­bers and bad ones? For me the even num­bers were good, but 3 and 7 gave me the creeps. I think I have that kind of un­ex­am­ined prej­u­dice about ar­chi­tec­tural styles. Iron­i­cally, I fa­vor the “odd” ones—that long asym­met­ri­cal evo­lu­tion run­ning from Gothic to chalet to Queen Anne and Shin­gle Style to Art Deco. The nice, even ones—Ge­or­gian, neo­clas­si­cal—leave me slightly un­nerved. Do I think they de­mand obe­di­ence?

(I also har­bor the con­vic­tion that just liv­ing in a Mod­ern house— say, a Richard Neu­tra as pho­tographed by Julius Shul­man—would cause the in­hab­i­tants to be thin and at­trac­tive.) Arts & Crafts is, in my pri­vate mind, the an­tithe­sis of com­pli­ance. Ar­chi­tects and own­ers are al­ways push­ing the bound­aries. An owner build­ing a new Crafts­man house de­cides to in­cor­po­rate sal­vaged beveled glass, rich with baroque curves. (Or are they Art Nouveau?) Rather than toss­ing the burnt clink­ers, cel­e­brated ar­chi­tects mix the ugly bricks with ar­royo stone and we call it peanut brit­tle. (Doesn’t sound like a course at the ƒcole, now, does it?)

I en­coun­tered Arts & Crafts free spirit in try­ing to write about in­te­rior paint-color schemes. The ad­vice, al­ways good if trite, is to use earthy col­ors. So why do I re­mem­ber fondly the San Ma­teo bun­ga­low with walls in tints of apri­cot and teal, pulled from paint­ings hung on the walls? Ded­i­cated re­stor­ers, the home­own­ers cer­tainly had heard the drill.

I once wrote that Arts & Crafts is the pref­er­ence of wild boys and back-to-the-lan­ders, cud­dlers and artists. Add to that naughty peo­ple who never met a color they didn’t like. Another re­minder that you can find prece­dent for any­thing you re­ally want to do, and that Arts & Crafts is for cre­ativ­ity fore­most. Do great work, color out­side the lines, so gen­er­a­tions to fol­low will have some­thing to copy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.