Are you someone who values uniqueness and fine craftsmanship? Do you care about style and functionality? Does a simple, elegant kitchen design appeal to you?
You might need a Craftsman kitchen.
There aren’t many styles in American architecture and design that have held up as long as Craftsman. And it’s easy to see why: Craftsman kitchens are handsome, comfortable, and timeless!
To get an idea of what Craftsman kitchens actually look like, take a peek at a few of our favorites that we’ve done:
What Is Craftsman Style?
The Craftsman movement started during the Industrial Revolution. It was meant to be a rejection of mass-production. It embraced craftsmanship: uniqueness, handiwork, and the value of skilled labor.
It’s not about frills or extravagant features. It’s about simple elegance and the unique details that make your kitchen really feel like yours.
When it comes to Craftsman kitchens, you’re likely to see elements like:
- Finely crafted woodwork
- Custom, handmade pieces
- Elegant cabinets with clean straight lines
- Warm, natural colors
- Artistic details, like sconces and corbels
- Simple lighting (often pendant light fixtures or lanterns)
Note: Bungalow is another popular style that has frequently been adopted by fans of the Craftsman movement. If you hear someone talking about a “Bungalow kitchen” there’s a good chance that kitchen has Craftsmen elements.
Examples of Craftsman Kitchens
The best way to design a beautiful Craftsman kitchen is to look at examples and find elements you love that could work in your own kitchen remodel.
Let’s look at 3 different examples. For each one, I’ll explain:
- What makes it Craftsman
- The materials involved
- The design strategies we used to bring the kitchen to life
1. Classically Craftsman with Rich, Natural Wood
Rich colored natural wood is a common Craftsman feature. The dark, earthy colors in this kitchen feel homey and comforting but also sophisticated. Clean, straight lines throughout the design along with dark, simple cabinet details finish the look.
Countertops & Lighting
You might not guess it at first glance, but the countertops in this kitchen are locally installed concrete! Concrete may not normally come to mind when you think of Craftsman design, but these concrete countertops are efficient, beautifully installed, and virtually indestructible. What could be more Craftsman than this perfect balance of form and function?
The old-worldly pendant lighting is another classic Craftsman feature. These lights are locally sourced from Schoolhouse Electric in Portland, OR.
2. Classic Bungalow with Handmade and Custom Elements
This soft, natural color scheme is so Craftsman! Family heirlooms and antique furnishings were important in this remodel. The SE Portland family also opted for handmade tile and custom French doors that lead out to the patio.
Corbels & Fine Woodworking
Other Craftsman elements in this kitchen include details like these corbels over the stove…
…and the detailing on the island table leg.
3. Portland Bungalow with Clean, Straight-Lined Cabinets
The key Craftsman elements in this kitchen are:
- It’s efficient design
- High-quality craftsmanship
- Locally sourced materials
The stacked Shaker cabinets were custom painted in a soft off-white. Calacatta, which may just be the most sought after natural stone in the world, is also featured tastefully in this kitchen.
Marble & Locally Sourced Elements
The homeowners opted for a Calacatta herringbone mosaic above the range as well as a Calacatta topped island.
In another nod to the Craftsman movement, we kept things local. Both the Rejuvenation Lighting and the Pratt & Larson subway tile are from local Portland companies!
How to Design Your Own Craftsman Kitchen
Are you sold on the simple sophistication and warmth of Craftsman design? If you’re ready to start planning your new Craftsman kitchen, here are some tips.
1. Function Is Key
The appearance of your kitchen is important, but functionality and usability are equally important. Before you get started, think carefully about the most efficient layout for your kitchen and how you can work with your current plumbing and electrical systems to achieve it. You may also:
- Add extra appliances that will make life easier (like a second sink or oven)
- Include plenty of storage — maybe a mix of open shelving and cabinets
- Select quality materials that are made to last
2. Think about Practical Details
Plan ahead for when you’ll actually be using your kitchen. Ask yourself questions like:
- How easy will it be for two people to unload the dishwasher at once?
- Can people easily get to the fridge without getting in the way of someone who’s cooking?
- Will you need more counter space for preparing big meals?
- Do you need a lot of shelf and cabinet space?
3. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Craftsman design is all about high-quality work, not fancy ornamentation. For example, you’re more likely to see simple, but exquisitely executed woodwork than ornate wood carving. Handcrafted pieces from a skilled artisan are a great choice!
4. Be Natural
Go for materials like natural wood, natural stone, and hardware with a natural patina. Oil-rubbed bronze and soft iron work well.
There’s nothing wrong with stainless steel (in fact it can add some balance to other natural materials) but too many shiny, modern surfaces can take away from the overall Craftsman aesthetic.
5. Incorporate Old World Charm
Don’t be afraid to include a few old-fashioned or rustic pieces, if that’s your style. You might incorporate:
- Antique furniture or fixtures
- A big farmhouse-style sink
- Your favorite modern gadgets or appliances
- Whatever else your heart desires!
6. Don’t Worry too Much about Rules
The Craftsman design philosophy embraces individuality and uniqueness. It’s about creating a kitchen that works for you. So if you want something that isn’t traditionally “Craftsman,” just go for it!
Is a Craftsman Kitchen Right for You?
Whether you’re already planning your new kitchen or just beginning to explore your options, Craftsman design is a great choice that will be beautiful and relevant for years to come.