Today’s reveal takes a modern approach to the Arts & Crafts movement. Here I’m sharing photos of our family room, with a fresh new look.
The rest of our home is modern farmhouse, yet I’ve always LOVED the feeling of a room that has aged with grace. Think of a worn leather chair, a slightly threadbare Oriental rug, and lots of beautiful books in stacks around the room. Well, this room is too new for all of that BUT it has the foundation to get there one day after years of love and use.
A Blank slate
The entire home was pulled back to studs during our renovation in 2018. In the process, this room gained a vaulted ceiling, new windows, and a stone fireplace. Keeping things clean, there was simple shiplap rising from the dark walnut mantel to the ceiling leaving so much room to play that I was fortunate to have had a clear vision from the get-go. No decision paralysis with this project!
With walls of windows looking out to a glen of trees on one side and scenic pastures on the other, I knew that the windows were going to be the primary source of vertical color. Hence you won’t see panels of curtains.
An Arts & Crafts Refresher
I like this simple definition of the Arts & Crafts movement that I found online:
The core characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movementUniversity of Maryland
are a belief in craftsmanship, which stresses the inherent beauty of the material,
the importance of nature as inspiration,
and the value of simplicity, utility, and beauty.
Most Arts & Crafts style decor is also accompanied by paneled walls, stained glass, and an overall dark feel to the space. I don’t like dark, yet I LOVE the appreciation of the natural elements, craftsmanship, and simplicity. That’s why I consider this room a modern take on Arts & Crafts.
simplicity to let quality take front-stage
The room has generous proportions so there is a lot of pattern but not a lot of pieces. Two identical leather couches, a reading chair, and a Harvey Ellis chest make up the main section. There are accents of two poofs for extra seating and a place to rest feet yet aside from that the space is occupied by patterns not furniture.
We enjoy sitting in this room to watch Netflix in the evening so we have a large television. It sits upon a VERY long bench with display space on the side and underneath. I choose not to center the TV as I wanted the basket on one end to add a little texture and display on the other side. Eventually, I want to get a vase with height to add to this display of goodies. The accents are simple glass and pottery.
While it isn’t used often, there is a side door off of the room. It goes to a small patio and our side yard. I look forward to planting a flower garden off of this space one day. I can just imagine our grandchildren running in and out bringing freshly picked flowers inside.
Once inside, they can be propped up on this uber practical gathering island. It’s such a smart piece (actually the second of this concept that we own). Tucked behind the couch with it’s end exposed because it’s just that pretty. When you’re seated, you have an uninterrupted view over the couch to the TV so it’s perfect for entertaining, or when you just want to eat dinner in front of the TV. A HUGE improvement to the ol’ TV stands of my childhood.
Arts & Crafts architectural details first
The Arts & Crafts movement emphasized an appreciation of materials and craftsmanship over having more … yes, I mean MORE! The details are important and a variety of textures is part of these details.
A must for the foundation of the room is wood. We choose white oak in a wide 5″ width. They’re the perfect shade to hide dust and dirt. White oak has a very subtle grain that’s there yet not overpowering, which is why I love it. Good thing as we have it all over the house! lol.
The fireplace is exposed stone. Admittedly, we opted for cultured stone because we found a selection that looked so real it seemed foolish to pay extra for the real thing.
Big windows with modern farmhouse lights are a connection to the other rooms of the home. We designed all of the rooms to have abundant natural light. With the long and cold winters of the northeast, it’s important for us to get every ray of sunshine we can. That does mean, unfortunately, that I will need to get shades for these windows. Watching TV in the daytime can be a challenge not to mention the need to protect the furniture from fading. I’m shopping for the slimmest option available so it will be as imperceptible as possible. The view is the star and I don’t want to hide it.
Arts & crafts 101: texture and natural influences
The colors of the room all work with our geography. I was so excited when I stumbled upon a large print for the HUGE wall opposite the fireplace on clearance at Pier 1. It’s a modern forest with all of the colors I would have hand picked. My only regret is that it’s only a Pier 1 print. I love it so much that I wish I had an original.
What to put on each side was a quandary though. The wall is HUGE yet I didn’t want to add visual noise to the space with a huge gallery wall. The solution is a sentimental and aesthetic WIN!
I took two of my father’s paintings, which I adore, out of their ornate gold frames and hung them unframed on each side. The colors, the feel, the natural essence all tie together with a modern feel thanks to the lack of adornment. I absolutely love!!!
To this, I added pieces that I”m sure will be rotated in and out of the space as I work through the other rooms of the house. I made lots of throw pillows with super textural fabric. The wall handing adds to this theme along with the many baskets, all found at Homegoods. For fun, also from Homegoods, I added gold hurricane globes with bubbled glass. The gold pulls up the nail heads on the couches as well as the hardware in the adjacent kitchen.
time to head outside
With this room in well in hand, it’s time to head outside.
The back deck is seen from the family room and beyond that are fields where we enjoy watching the cows meander about on their way to and from the barn. We were intentional when we used a cable system for the railings as to keep sight lines as clean as possible.
Decorating the family room wasn’t anticipated. Dan decided that this year’s Stickley Warehouse Sale was going to focus on this room and who was I to argue! I’m so glad we found all of the perfect pieces for the room. If you want to learn how to get the best goods at a HUGE warehouse sale, check out this post in which I give you all the best tips.
Now it’s time to move outside and tackle the front porch. Painting and styling are in store! Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to get the photos of that reveal sent directly to YOU! Just add your name and email below:
Thanks so much for taking the time to enjoy our new family room with me. If you have any questions, please just email me! Namaste, my friend!