Craftsman Kitchen

  • 01 of 07

    Elements of a Craftsman Kitchen

    craftsman style house
    The Gamble House of Pasadena, California. American Craftsman at Its Finest. But Where is the Kitchen?. Licensed Under Creative Commons

    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.

    I haven't even included a picture of the kitchen found in the Gamble house because you would be disappointed at how Spartan and stark it is.

    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

    1. Cabinetry
    2. Colors
    3. Lighting
    4. Flooring
    5. Counters
    6. Backsplash
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  • 02 of 07

    Craftsman Kitchen: Awesome Cabinetry

    arts and crafts cabinets
    Cabinets from Crownpoint. Copyright 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

    Craftsman Kitchen: Muted or Earthen Colors

    craftsman style colors
    Muted Neutrals from Valspar. © Valspar

    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

    Craftsman Kitchen: Drop or Chandelier Lighting

    craftsman lighting
    Alameda Craftsman-Style Lighting from Rejuvenation. 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.

    And I was prepared to write a short diatribe about how the word "chandelier" does not necessarily describe only fancy, brass, faux-candle monstrosities; how, in fact, a chandelier is any kind of branched drop light coming from the ceiling. Then I saw how Rejuvenation says the same thing, yet more eloquently. So, check out their Chandelier section for a great explanation of this, and for the pictured light called Alameda.

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  • 05 of 07

    Craftsman Kitchen Flooring: Wood, Linoleum, or Wood-Look Tile

    brazilian cherry flooring in kitchen
    Jasson Brazilian Cherry Royale 3/4 In. Solid Hardwood Flooring. © Jasson

    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

    Craftsman Kitchen Counters: Wood or Soapstone

    wood countertops mesquite
    Mesquite Wood Countertops from DeVos Custom Woodworking. © DeVos Custom Woodworking

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

    Disappointed? Enthused? Have no feelings on the matter?

    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

    Craftsman Kitchen: Artisan Tile or Tin Backsplash

    artisan tile
    4" Tree of Life in Antique Gold Tile from Terra Firm. © Terra Firma

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

    But isn't this gorgeous tile? It's made by Terra Firm Tile, producing handmade stoneware tile since 1997.

    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.