Reforms- English Arts and Crafts


History of Architecture and Interior Design from the 19th Century

Chapter 17- English Arts and Crafts  1860-1910

  • Movement was based on the principles and theories of Pugin and Ruskin
  • Promotes intelligent space planning, allowances for human needs, design unity, harmony with the natural environment, and honesty in materials
  • Return of the hand craftsmanship


William Morris:  one of the MOST influential people during the arts and crafts movement.  He was influenced by Ruskin.  Calls for unity between fine and decorative arts and advances the idea of an individual craftsman conceiving and executing an object.    After Morris dies, society loses interest in the movement, and it slowly disappears.




Design Characteristics:

  • Architecture, Interiors, and furnishings all relate to each other
  • Relate to environment, place, or region
  • Simple
  • Revealed structure
  • truth in materials
  • excellent craftsmanship




  • sun flowers
  • lilies
  • birds
  • images or letters (manuscript)
  • gothic details
  • oriental images


Architecture:  Most architects believed in freedom of expression and experimented with materials and form.  The visual language of forms from the arts and crafts movement symbolize elements of family, home, refuge, and shelter.  Emphasis on texture, color, and pattern, harmony with nature, and catching light and casting shadows reflects the architect’s delight in materials and the overall process of design.




Interiors:  Arts and crafts architecture, interiors, and furnishings integrate into a unified whole.  Meticulous attention to detail and hand crafted work are key.  The overall interior space emulates ans portrays an intimate scale, free flowing space, asymmetrical organization, horizontal movement, rectangular shapes, and straight lines.  Colors include brown, ochre, buff, and off white.  Accent colors are blue green, olives, grey, rose, and black.  Natural light fills most interior rooms, and candle sticks, wall brackets, and hanging lamps illuminate the space.  Wood is stained lightly or left untouched for a natural appearance.








Furniture and Decorative Arts:







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