The Arts & Crafts Room
Inspired rooms, vintage and new: the subtle allure of textiles, wallpaper, and ornament.
ARTS & CRAFTS INTERIORS have been described as simple and spare, but they are fully decorated by modern standards. Woodwork and trim, wallpaper and paint, rugs and pillows and portieres contribute to the cozy effect. Most woodwork treatments were rather simple. Inexpensive even when machine-cut from Southern pine and cypress, beadboard was ubiquitous in back-of-the-house rooms frequented by servants, like the kitchen and utility areas. (Beadboard is a contemporary favorite in kitchen and bath renovations.)
More formal paneling or wainscoting was reserved for dining room, parlor, or staircase. A board-and-batten wainscot is fairly simple to install. Wide (12") planks of oak, fir, red gum, or cypress are butted together vertically; the joints are covered with narrow battens (2½" to 4" wide strips of wood). Topped with a molded plate rail, it is a straightforward means of creating the look of three-dimensional paneling.
Variations include what was called “skeleton wainscot,” where panels between the battens were not wood but rather covered in leather, faux leathers, embossed wall coverings including Lincrusta and Anaglypta, and the inexpensive classic, burlap.
OPPOSITE In Michigan, an original Aladdin kit home has been restored and decorated with period furnishings and textiles. BELOW The stenciled pillow, table topper, and table runner are by Ann Wallace.