The Arts & Crafts Movement flourished between 1880 and 1910, developing first in the British Isles and then spreading internationally. One of the most influential design movements of modern times it quickly spread across America and Europe and Japan. Led by the artist and writer William Morris, the movement was a reaction against the decorative arts at the time and industrialism.
The ethos of the movement pioneered reform and turned the home into a work of art.
More than a style of decoration, the Arts and Crafts Movement was based on simple design, beautiful materials and honest, traditional craftmanship. Decorative forms often included medieval, romantic or folk detailing.
Natural motifs were used, such as flowers and wildlife. Fireplaces were created as dominant features within a room. Patterned tiles in blues, green and reds were popular. Wood was used extensively – whether as handcrafted furniture, panelling on walls or on floors, with oak being the most used wood. Colours such as Morris Blue, Pale Oak, Porcelain Blue and Soft Green were favourites of the time.
Examples of great architecture of the time include the Prairie School of Frank Lloyd Wright, the bungalow style of houses popularised by Greene & Greene, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, Holy Trinity in Sloane Street, London and Red House in Kent, built as a home for William Morris.
With styles to suit a broad range of tastes and homes, designers such as William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and CFA Voysey created the styles and ethos associated with the Movement today.