Modern Craftsmen

My personal aesthetic originated from what was seen as the Arts and Crafts movement in the early 1900s. The aesthetic is largely based off of what my mom saw as the peak of house styles known as Craftsmen. Growing up a big influence in my design tastes was from hearing my mom talk about Craftsmen houses and the type of intricate workmanship that goes into them. This style uses mostly natural materials with key features being built-ins, a dominant fireplace, porches with low-pitched roofs, and exposed beams. Their attention to detail in the woodwork including intricate joints is prevalent in the work of the period as well as the use of slat work.

[1] Designer: Simo Design, Photographer: Joe Schmelzer

I originally explored the Craftsmen aesthetic in my first blog post, so I have decided to delve deeper into the Modern Craftsmen which is something best described as being traditional with a mix of modern sensibility. The idea behind this is by drawing out the original Craftsmen aesthetic personality, and enhancing what is already in the house. Craftsmen houses can feel small and compact depending on the style and adding a pop of color can make a small space feel grand.

[2] Designer: Simo Design, Photographer: Joe Schmelzer

This most likely was born out of the fact that as younger people started to by older homes for the first time they wanted the spaces to feel a bit bigger and updated. This has caused what can be a shift from restoration to more updating the finishes to seem like something you would find in a new build. This is where the divide occurs with whether people think it is okay to paint wood finishes or not.

[3] Designer:  Vibeke Svenningsen, Photographer: Vibeke Svenningsen

As discussed in my pervious post, I personally do not enjoy how dark some spaces can seem in original Craftsmen’s. As a personal choice, I think that the imitation interior wood looks nicer painted if there is a lot of it in one room. That means that if it is nice good quality wood I most likely re-stain it then paint. However when cheap wood accents over power a room I think it makes the space too dark, so why not paint it until you can afford another alternative different.

[4] Woodwork and artistic details in kitchen by Wood-Mode Cabinetry in their showroom

So, for my final project I will be paying close attention to the craftsmanship I put into the design to ensure all the joints look well put together and clean. I will also be paying attention to detail and imitating the slat work design style that is common in the arts and crafts movement, but then adding pops of color or texture to the cabinet as well. This can be noticed in various forms from the above image.

[5] Photographer: Hannah Moller

I am hoping to follow this aesthetic in general since the house and room I am building the final project in does have finishing touched similar to those found in Craftsmen houses. Above you can find a picture of the room I will be working in and notice the slant of the walls in the room. The wall the I will be setting the cabinet and attaching the desks to is not visible in this photo, but would be the wall immediately left as it is where the door is attached.

[1] & [2]



[5] Messy room I will be working in


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hannah, I commented on your first post about the Craftsmen aesthetic, so I had to come read what you had to say after being in this class for a while. I know that I gave you a hard time about painting wood in the first post, but I have to say that I’m really digging some of the painted wood in the pictures that you shared! The gray trim in your featured image is especially nice.
    I am really impressed at the scope of your final project so far. I’m curious about materials and tools that you have access to or will have. Cabinetry is considered to be one of the more challenging disciplines of carpentry. There are some amazing youtube videos out there if you get stuck at all. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Hannah Moller
      March 15, 2021 10:15 am

      I am lucky enough to have a neighbor that has a huge warehouse turned machine shop. He has a variety of tools, but I am hoping to not need to use anything more then table saw and router other than the basic tools like a drill, miter saw, nail gun, and an electric sander. I know cabinetry can get intense pretty fast, but for this class I want to be sure that I can really showcase the aesthetic I am going for.

  • Erik Skooglund
    March 15, 2021 2:40 am

    Hey Hannah, I think this is a really cool aesthetic, and I like how you gave context and really dove into some details relating to the aesthetic. I personally like this aesthetic too, and it was interesting to hear about the controversy regarding whether or not to paint over wood features. I was wondering what colors you are thinking of using in combination with any exposed wood in your project, or will all the wood be covered in the end?

    • Hannah Moller
      March 15, 2021 10:17 am

      So I have a few different routes I was thinking of going, but at this moment I think everything besides the very top of the cabinet will be painted. I will most likely stain the top part a dark walnut and paint the rest dark neutral colors since I am trying to add a deeper contrast to the walls.


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