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Arts & Crafts Architecture and American Craftsman Style Lighting

American Craftsman Style Lighting
Tags: Interior Lighting Exterior Lighting

Arts and Crafts architecture is an architectural design style heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 19th century. This conservative approach to design gained traction and quickly influenced architecture, interior design, fine art, decorative items, furniture textiles, and lighting design.

Composed of influences from many different architectural styles, the nature of arts and crafts architecture is often thought to be rather complex because its guiding principles did not produce a one-size-fits-all style. Each home was designed specifically for the owners with longevity and easy maintenance in mind.

Features of Art & Crafts Architecture

Arts & crafts architecture often features the use of local and natural materials. Some of the most popular are wood, stone, brick, iron, and brass. These materials are used in their natural form and not in a faux form or variant of any kind to feel more connected to the environment and the surrounding area.

Architectural features of Arts & Crafts:

  • Symmetry – the design of the home tends to balance features equally on both sides of the home. For example, the left side of the house will look similar to the right side with a similar number of doors, windows, eaves, and overhangs.
  • Roof – it tends to be low pitched with a shelter underneath because of the enclosed eave. The ceilings will often have exposed beams and rafters.
  • Porches – the porches will be broad and eye-catching with tapered columns or double columns. It may be only at the front or wrap around the house.
  • Fireplace – these tend to be large and will be the central focus in a room
  • Floor plan – the rooms are not enclosed but rather open such that the living room will be divided from the kitchen by a small bar area or functional island space.

Other features common with arts and craft homes are multiple chimneys, built-in furniture such as window seats and cabinets, and many windows with small panes often clustered together.

Brief History of American Craftsman Style

The American Craftsman style is a uniquely American architectural genre that was first inspired by the Arts and Craft movement in Victorian England. The name "Craftsman" comes from Gustav Stickley, an early craftsman who started his magazine called The Craftsman back in 1901 to promote furniture-making. It really wasn't until after World War I when America began seeing more of these homes with their simple lines and natural materials like stone or wood exteriors before they became popularized again during the 1950's as part of postmodernism which included interior design, landscape design, applied arts & decorative arts--and some say even today!

British journals, writings, and societies that hosted programs and lectures in the US influenced the American Arts & Crafts movement. Through that, Boston became one of the early adopters and established a Society of Arts and Crafts which inspired the advent of similar societies in cities across the country.The Ladies Home Journal, which was the most authoritative design magazine at the time, featured the Arts and Crafts movement regularly, leading to a widespread adoption of the style.

Gustav Stickley also influenced the adoption of Arts & Crafts design. He was a furniture maker who published a magazine, The Craftsman, which promoted the design style. The magazine featured free simple designs, which celebrated architecture, furniture items, and decorative objects that embodied both skill and craftsmanship.

Originally, the term “Craftsman” as it pertained to an architectural style, referred specifically to a home built from the designs published in Stickley’s magazine. However, the term evolved over time and now references any home designed in the Arts and Crafts style. The Arts and Crafts movement was responsible for the rise of bungalows and craftsman homes all across the country from New Hampshire to California.

How American Craftsman Style Has Influenced Lighting Design

American craftsman style has permeated not just housing but also functional house items. In lighting fixtures, the design style incorporates practical pieces with clean lines. This lighting design will also include metal hardware and art-glass details that, although simple in format, are sophisticated.

The use of high-quality materials led to long-lasting lighting fixtures that looked and felt substantial. The metalwork of the lighting pieces is outstanding, with a lot of attention to detail paid in the way the glass is mounted within the metal or how the metal pieces join.

Much of the lighting designs feature vertical and horizontal lines in the fixtures. The vertical and horizontal lines will create mosaic patterns using a glass of different colors. Stained glass, amber glass, or other art glass produce a soft glow and add another level of beauty to the finished piece.

Steve Kaniewski, Brass Light Gallery founder, employs passionate lighting artisans who accurately reproduce historic fixture designs with the same craftsmanship and care of tradesmen generations ago. Steve exudes the same excitement today in search of timeless designs that he did when starting his company in 1974.

“I enjoy going off the beaten path and discovering original castings from early 19th century designers and manufacturers."

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Kaniewski was amazed at how many timeless treasures he continued finding just within a three miles radius of his company’s headquarters.

“We are very fortunate to be located in a region where some of the greatest designers like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Comfort Tiffany designed their greatest creations," he explains.

Arts & Crafts style of lighting is a great design to choose for outdoor and indoor lighting. It fits in with different house design styles, from ultra-modern to rustic and traditional home designs.

It’s timeless and we believe it will last through changes in design styles while remaining relevant and functional. Because the materials used are high quality, this kind of lighting will last long without wearing out or the need to replace them soon.

If you really want to understand what Arts & Crafts means to Brass Light Gallery, give us a call and schedule your very own one-on-one product presentation at your home. You get to see, touch, and ask questions about our proprietary metal finishes, art glass, and exquisite handcrafted designs.

Our amazing sales team is here to answer any questions or if you would like help choosing the right style of premium lighting for your home. Feel free to contact us anytime.

Jun 30, 2021

Amy Joslin

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I have an older fixture no longer produced by Brass Light Gallery. Angie and the team were extremely helpful in identifying and producing the replacement (lost) parts to get my fixture up and functioning again. They did this all remotely and shipped the parts promptly. Highly recommend!
May 14, 2021

Will Heelan

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Brass Light Gallery is such an amazing resource: they can build your lighting dream. Angela in the sales room was just the best: listened carefully to what we were trying to accomplish and guided us through the process. She was a delight to work with and she persisted until she found EXACTLY what we were looking for: three sconces to match my Brass Light Gallery pendants from 20 years ago! We are so pleased!
Mar 17, 2021

Cathy Lindberg

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I loved Janel who assisted me. She was professional and friendly and super competent. Love my fixture! Perfect....and Made in the USA!
Feb 22, 2021

Trevor Santarius

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Always a fantastic experience with Brass Light Gallery. Their customer service goes above and beyond and their products are of the highest quality. It is great to support true artisans that create timeless and beautiful light fixtures that are made to last multiple generations. While certainly on the high end price-wise, their fixtures are well worth the investment.
Jan 22, 2021


Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
AMAZING!!! Breathtaking! Simply beautiful!! We are beyond impressed with the quality of these lovely fixtures and beyond impressed with the sales help from Janel. Janel was outstanding to work with! She took the time to understand that we wanted to modernize our 25 year old home with updated lighting. She asked about style, dimensions, pictures and layout information and helped us pick out coordinated fixtures for all rooms. Honest, very helpful but no pressure felt. We ordered 14 beautifully modern fixtures for the main level of our home. We live in MN and the lights came very well packaged and cared for. Our local electrician found installation easy and intuitive and commented many times on how high quality these fixtures were. "very well made, very very nice"!!! Am already planning the next lights we would like to update. We will definitely be ordering from brass light gallery again. HIGHLY recommend using this amazing company! Thank you Janel!!
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