Craftsman-Style Kitchen Cabinets
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.
Meet the Family
Mina Cerny, a nonprofit consultant, and James, a college professor, live with their kids, Rosemary, 5, and Louis, 3. After bouncing around five cities in 12 years, they settled in a 1972 Austin, Texas, ranch home. The details they chose for their kitchen remodel are bright, bold and definitely not intended for resale!
Mina and James considered barstools where the kids could sit and eat, but because stools would block the open-space flow, they went with a table instead. It's attached to the side of the island, a design risk Mina doesn't regret. "I love having a separate dining space, and I'm happy the kids aren't up high."
Big Green Island
The tiles aren't the only star of the room. An oversized island painted bluish green (Arsenic by Farrow & Ball) also adds drama. The eight-foot-long piece is 38 inches high — two inches taller than standard islands — so that James, who is 6'7", doesn’t have to hunch over to prep meals.
To keep the focus on the colorful tiles and paint, the Cernys chose a white oven and dishwasher. But rather than replace the stainless steel refrigerator, which was already in the kitchen and working fine, they built a wood frame around it and painted it white (Linen White by Benjamin Moore).
Marble spells trouble for some homeowners since, unlike granite, it can stain easily. But the Cernys didn't let that stop them. "We chose what we loved over what was practical, and I'm glad we did," Mina says. She cleans the counters with water and dish soap and has them resealed twice a year.
Many people like easy-to-clean tile or engineered wood for a kitchen floor, but the Cernys decided to use wide planks of hickory instead. "There’s a lot of variation in the wood, so when the planks were first put down, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is a crazy floor!’ But now I love all the tones," Mina says.
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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