As is true with any popular architectural and decorating style, cheap, poorly made products are everywhere and quickly available. It's very easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when purchasing pieces for your Craftsman Style Home. In our fast paced society we are all about instant gratification and a getting good deal, but are we really getting what we pay for? With Craftsman Style Homes, it's quite an issue. The whole philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement was a backlash against the mass manufactured excessiveness of the Victorian Era, and promoted a return to true craftsmanship. Pioneered by William Morris, this international movement encouraged originality and fine craftsmanship in home furnishings. Set apart by it's simple elegance and superior quality, the original craftsman style home was a precursor of today's continuing trend towards simple, uncluttered interiors.
It seems like we may have come full circle. "Craftsman Style" , "Bungalow Style" and "Mission Furniture" in endless low quality incarnations can be found everywhere - from huge chain stores to catalogs. Where does that leave the Craftsman homeowner? Do you really know how and where that product for your home was created? Is it of good quality? Will it last?
Not everyone can afford a pricey antique Stickley sideboard, Morris chair, or Limbert side table. Even if you could, excellent examples are rare and there is not enough inventory to go around. So what are you to do? There are some fine furniture makers today that reproduce Mission forms that are readily available, but it pays to do your homework. Some of the more popular makers that started out small, have gotten successful to the point of becoming large manufacturers themselves, often at the expense of the very quality they set out to produce in the first place. Don't be fooled. Some of your best sources are the smaller artisan run studios that make pieces in very small quantities, often made to order and in limited editions. These hand crafted furnishings are competitive in price and superior in quality to many of the "name" manufacturers today. Yes, it may take several weeks to receive your item, but how long were you planning on enjoying it? A handful of years, or for generations to come? It's far better to have a few carefully selected, outstanding examples of artisan built furniture, than a houseful of cheap knock offs. Your hard earned dollar should go towards the best quality you can afford.
What does your Arts and Crafts Style Furniture reveal about you? Remember - It's all about quality.
Jan Davidson is an artist and designer currently focusing her talents on creating products for the Arts and Crafts Lifestyle.
Her design and building projects have been featured in several publications including the book Along Bungalow Lines , Creating an Arts and Crafts Home by Paul Duchscherer and Arts and Crafts Homes and the Revival http://www.CraftsmanTouch.com is a wonderful resource dedicated to providing quality Craftsman Style Furnishings and Accessories with beautiful photographs from Davidson's projects for ideas and inspiration. See more about Artisan Built Furniture
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