It seems the whole world is trading in industrial, factory-made conformity for artisan style. “Many of the pieces at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair . . .felt more artisanal than manufactured,” wrote the New York Times on May 22. So, how do you get the look without breaking the bank? Just as you can build a wardrobe based on great neutral basics and unique accessories, you can build a home with strong, well-made neutral furniture enhanced by artisan pieces you love.
Natural materials and multicultural influences are a starting point for the artisan home, and while sophisticated artisan style can be eclectic and loaded with character and color, you’ll want to avoid anything too crafty or homemade-ish. Here, easy ways to add the artisan look to your décor:
Rugs. Whether you opt for traditional Oriental-style rugs or contemporary designs, rugs add instant drama, color and pattern. Look for handmade natural fibers and make sure you’re buying from a company with the highest ethical labor standards (look for the Rugmark designation on design companies like Odegard or support a socially responsible, fair trade-focused nonprofit like Arzu Rugs).
Glass. Glass can add color and light to your home in many forms: contemporary stained glass, mosaics, or blown glass accents. Art glass is collectable; focus on a color or style. Look for local glass artists or shop online from well-known studios like Orient & Flume of Chico, Calif.
Textiles. Pillows, throws, table linens, quilts and wall art – these are some of the ways you can use artisan textiles to add texture, color and tactile beauty to your home. Look for handwoven fabrics, traditional or contemporary quilts, or currently fashionable hand-knit home accents in chunky yarns of organic or hand-dyed wool or cotton.
Ceramics. Functional ceramics – dinnerware, vases – or ceramic art pieces add earthiness and substance to your room. Handmade artisan tile can be incorporated into a kitchen splash, or individual tiles can be used as trivets or accent pieces.
Stone. Stone can be part of the “bones” of your home, with a flagstone floor or a stone fireplace. If that isn’t an option, stone accents such as these towel hooks and spa mats from EcoSalon sponsor VivaTerra can bring the cool, clean, timeless quality of