Craftsman-Style Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about craftsman-style kitchen cabinets and see how their quality and craftsmanship brings warmth and elegance to your home.
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By: Amy McEvoy

Craftsman-style kitchen cabinets are often defined by simple straight lines, quality construction and minimal ornamentation. They originated with the Arts and Crafts movement, which began in the end of the 19th century in England.

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The movement was a reaction in response to the overly ornate mass-produced furniture of that era. It was born out of the desire for quality design and craftsmanship by individual artists or woodworkers.

As was the case in their historical era, craftsman-style kitchen cabinets in contemporary times are characterized by a functional and sturdy build. They are most often made from heavy woods such as quartersawn oak, hickory, cherry or maple. True Arts and Crafts cabinets are always made of wood, rather than artificial materials.

In order to achieve the quality construction expected of Arts and Crafts design, custom cabinetmakers are usually employed. Therefore the costs of Arts and Crafts cabinet installation can be high. An important consideration for homeowners when bringing this design style into the kitchen is that between costs of high-quality wood and the labor it is difficult to create an authentic Arts and Crafts kitchen on a tight budget.

Due to the inherent beauty of the woods used in Arts and Crafts cabinetry, usually cabinets are not painted but rather left in their natural wood state. Staining the cabinets can enhance the rich tones of the wood and complementary colors can be used in kitchen accents to also further accentuate the quality of the cabinets.

Arts and Crafts cabinets lend themselves nicely to a more traditional or antique-style kitchen. Because wood is abundant in this style of cabinetry, homeowners may want to consider antique accessories and hardware as well as accentuating tiles made of stone to break up all the woodwork.

Despite the high cost of the custom cabinetry usually seen in an Arts and Crafts kitchen, the popularity of this style of kitchen has made it possible for homeowners to incorporate this look in their home by using available stock and semi-stock versions of these cabinets, enabling more homeowners to feature this classic and high-quality look for less.

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