Country Decorating Ideas

Pure Craftsmanship
A plain sideboard with a separate wall shelf for plates helps elevate everyday necessities to the realm of art. The dining chairs wear the characteristic Stickley curve along the seat; the table's sections are held with butterfly pegs used since ancient days.

When the Industrial Revolution made ornate traditional furnishings affordable to people outside the upper classes, a counter-movement arose protesting the shoddy, overly ornamented pieces flooding the market. The fresh country style of the Arts and Crafts movement celebrated the simple elegance of handmade furnishings, from sideboards to the serving bowls displayed upon them.

One of the most important practitioners of this movement was Gustav Stickley, whose original designs are being produced by the family firm for a whole new era of consumers. Simply styled of solid wood, with only a few geometric flourishes as ornamentation, Craftsman-style furniture appeals to those who love natural materials as well as those who love clean-lined modernity.

A simple, pencil-post bed in Craftsman style recalls the pristine qualities of even earlier Shaker style. The fretwork on the oak armoire is a key Craftsman characteristic, as is the geometric form of the bedside lamp.

Craftsman style has become so popular that it's easy to find accessories as well as furniture and fabrics in this style. Many are reproductions of the original artists' works, and they look as fresh and free as they did when they were new.

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