Wall-covering: an arts and crafts style bathroom

About the Period
The Arts and Crafts period which began in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s was a design period that focused on clean craftsmanship and handmade quality in architecture and furnishings. It was a reaction to the very ornate and decorative Victorian period. The Arts and Crafts period decided to go against the trends that the industrial boom was inspiring and did so by accentuating the handmade quality of craftsmanship and design.

Arts and Crafts Style in Wall Coverings
The wallpapers that were designed during the Arts and Crafts period are particularly interesting and really demostrate the style of its period. The designs combine decorative floral patterns and abstract designs with a clean, stylized quality. Using these wallpapers in a bathroom interior can be a unique finishing touch to the room’s interior design. The final result is a look that is pleasing to both male and female tastes.

Type of Paper
Since this style period emphasizes nature and handmade qualities in its aesthetic, Arts and Crafts style wall coverings are reproduced best on a paper quality background as opposed to a vinyl or other wall covering material. Some papers are hand blocked onto the paper, which significantly increases its cost, whereas others are mass produced onto the paper in a more affordable manner. Since these prints look best on paper and not vinyl, make sure it is applied well as to avoid any peeling in steamier bathrooms.

Pattern Size
The size of the pattern you select is usually relative to the size of your bathroom. The smaller the bathroom, the smaller you will want the pattern to be. If you are wallpapering a small powder room for example, you don’t want a large pattern to overwhelm the room, whereas if you are wallpapering a larger master bathroom, a bigger pattern would add more to the room without taking over the space. A paper like William Morris’ Standen pattern offers a small pattern size with many color options available. It is available to the trade through Sanderson (www.sanderson-uk.com) or sold for a bit more through various retailers.

Placing your wallpaper
How you layout your paper is another important step to review. If you are wallpapering a small powder room for example, you may want to have a lighter color wallpaper with a smaller print that hangs from the base molding to crown molding. This will add texture and interest to the room, yet the lighter monochromatic color and overall layout of the paper will keep it from being too busy or too dark. If you are wallpapering a larger bathroom, then floor to ceiling wallpaper may be too much of a good thing. Instead you can add a wainscot on the wall which is a nice detail in an Arts and Crafts style bathroom, and place the wallpaper above the wainscot and up to the ceiling. In this case, you may want to try a bit of a larger pattern. Try another William Morris style called ‘Corncackle’ which is also sold through Sanderson to the trade.

Wallpaper Borders
Wallpaper borders with Arts and Crafts patterns and motifs will add a nice touch to a bathroom of any size. The borders have a modified version of the full pattern and can be laid out in the room in a variety of ways. Placing a wallpaper border at chair rail height around the room adds a nice effect. A border can also be placed fairly high up towards the ceiling at about 8’0 or 9’0 height. There is no right or wrong in this case. Use your imagination and pick a location that makes sense for the space. For example, if you have very little furniture and plumbing fixtures in the room, you may want to place the wallpaper border at chair rail height in order to bring attention to the lower portion of the room. If, however, you have a lot of furniture or built-in cabinetry along your walls, a border higher up near the ceiling may work better for the space. A border placed higher is also good for bathrooms with a lot of high peaked ceilings. By placing the border about 1’0 below where the ceiling begins to peak, you help define the room and make it more intimate.

Color Combinations
Since the Arts and Crafts period was a backlash of the ornate and heavy Victorian period, a shift in the colors being used occurred. Instead of the darker and more saturated Victorian colors, the Arts and Crafts period began to lighten up its color palettes. Yellows and greens were still rich and warm, yet they became a few shades brighter and cheerier. The color combinations became less contrasting as well. The colors softened up by using monochrome palettes of rich yellows or gold’s and soft greens. Warm red variations are used as occasional accents throughout. In each palette, fewer contrasting colors were involved. Finding these paint color combinations for arts and crafts style homes is easy since the period is enjoying a renewed popularity right now. Most paint companies can offer some popular color combinations that you can use as suggested, or tweak to fit your personal style.

The Arts and Crafts period offers beautiful, strong and dynamic design styles. Using these bold stylized patterns in either a powder room or a master bathroom will create interest and warm to the space. Whether you want a minimal accent of this style by using a wallpaper border, or if you want a bold overall scheme using wall coverings throughout the space, the Arts and Crafts period has a lot to choose from in order to create a welcoming and creative bathroom interior.