The Elements of a Craftsman Kitchen

  • 01 of 07

    Elements of a Craftsman Kitchen

    Craftsman style home
    akurtz / Getty Images

    Let's get this bit of reality out of the way right now. The Craftsman kitchen never really existed–at least not in the form that we would like to imagine.

    For one, the emphasis of the Craftsman house was more on the exterior and on interior areas other than the kitchen. More importantly, the kitchen in the early 20th century did not occupy the vaunted places that it does today. And in high-style Craftsman houses, such as the pictured Gamble house of Pasadena, CA, the kitchen was a place for the help, not the residents.

    So, what's a 21st-century person--accustomed to lavish kitchens--to do? Solution: fake it with the next best thing. Taking the spirit of the Craftsman house, we present to you--with a liberal creative license--a way to create a Craftsman kitchen.

    Essential Elements

    • Cabinetry
    • Colors
    • Lighting
    • Flooring
    • Counters
    • Backsplash
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  • 02 of 07

    Awesome Cabinetry

    arts and crafts cabinets
    Crownpoint Cabinetry

    Any self-respecting Craftsman kitchen will have amazing cabinetry. We include this as our first step because, if you're going to spend the money, you'd better put it in the cabinets.

    This movement was characterized by fine woodworking and craftsmanship. Are you willing to spend big bucks for custom-built kitchen cabinets? Probably not. But at the very least, you can look for kitchen cabinets that are hardwood or hardwood veneer, rather than thermofoil or soft woods.

    Manufacturers like Crownpoint even have an Arts and Crafts series that allows you to buy into that distinctive geometric look without having to build it from scratch.

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  • 03 of 07

    Muted or Earthen Colors

    craftsman style colors

    The reigning color aesthetic will be muted earthen colors or neutrals. Think grays, creams, rusty reds, muted green, soft browns, and off-whites.

    You can go with any paint manufacturer, but we've chosen a few Valspar colors which Valspar itself says represents an accurate Craftsman palette:

    • Winter Calm
    • Opal Slate
    • Seafoam Storm
    • Sharkfin
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  • 04 of 07

    Drop or Chandelier Lighting

    craftsman lighting
    Copyright Rejuvenation

    Forget the can or track lights of contemporary kitchens. Instead, you'll want drop, pendant, or chandelier lights. Pictured is about the most Mission-y style chandelier light you can find for your kitchen.

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  • 05 of 07

    Wood, Linoleum, or Wood-Look Tile

    Living room wood floor
    Ivan Hunter / Getty Images

    This is easy: Your Craftsman kitchen will have solid hardwood flooring. Stick to darker stains and stay away from ultra-glossy finishes like the so-called piano finish.

    Because hardwood isn't always the best choice for kitchen flooring from a functional standpoint (moisture is the problem), consider laying tile that looks like wood.

    Alternatively, you may care to floor your kitchen in retro-patterned linoleum.

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  • 06 of 07

    Wood or Soapstone Counters

    wood countertops mesquite
    DeVos Custom Woodworking

    In that quintessential Craftsman house, the Gamble House, kitchen counters are made of wood.

    If you go the wood countertop route, you don't need to duplicate Gamble's pine counters. The mesquite counters, pictured here, from DeVos Custom Woodworking will provide an ultra-hard surface for your food preparation.

    Another great idea is soapstone. Soapstone counters are light-gray at first, then take on a charcoal gray color after application of mineral oil, keeping with the muted and neutrals color scheme.

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  • 07 of 07

    Artisan Tile or Tin Backsplash

    artisan tile
    Terra Firma

    Here's where you can really go wild. Okay, we'll come out and say it: Splurge.

    In the Arts and Crafts movement, much emphasis was placed on fine tilemaking. So you can use hand-made artisan tile for the entire backsplash. Where the "splurge" part comes in is the fact that artisan tile costs a pretty penny. In fact, on the Terra Firma Tile site, you need a password just to view the prices.

    Or if cost is an issue, you can use accent tile within less expensive field tile.