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Tile by style: the roots of a craftsman bathroom

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by Pearl Shin

  • Image: Minteed Plus
  • You may not realize it, but somewhere in your heart there is a soft spot for Craftsman style (often referred to as the Arts and Crafts movement). From its warm and familiar quality to the integrity you find in its materials, we can’t help but love the refined yet rustic allure that gives a craftsman home its honest charm. So, as an homage to this beloved style, we’ll explore ways you can achieve it in your next bathroom redesign.

    craftsman building


    Before we dive in, let’s briefly review the style’s longstanding design principles to help set the stage (for an in-depth overview of craftsman style, see our post Tile by Style: The Spirit of the Craftsman Kitchen).

    craftsman gable


    Architectural Elements: Low-pitched roof, tapered columns, shingle siding wraps around the exterior and is supported by a stone foundation, trong lines, exposed beams, multi-paned windows, rectangular lighting, and paneled walls, built-in storage and shelving

    craftsman bathrooms


    Image: Zillow

    Materials: Wood that’s left unpainted to showcase natural variations in grain, stone, decorative tile

    Image: Zillow

    Color Palette: Warm and earth tones like rustic browns, muted greens, and stone grays

    We’ve taken a stained glass treatment, a staple of craftsman interior design, to inspire a earthy palette that’s true to the style:

  • Image: Prairie Mod
  • Tile Color Shown: Grass Cloth
  • Tile Color Shown: Kiwi
  • Tile Color Shown: Kelp
  • Tile Color Shown: Cinnabar
  • Feeling like an expert Craftsman? Great! Try looking for these core design elements as we peruse some of our favorite Craftsman bathrooms.

    Organic Inspirations

    As we mentioned before, artisan-style decorative tile was hugely popular in Craftsman decor. Although authentic Craftsman tile is hard to come by nowadays, you can easily find tile that will ring true of the style’s nature-inspired themes.

    Image: Houzz

    Stained glass is also commonplace in craftsman interior design, and can be a great way to spark inspiration for decorative tile designs. The simplified interpretations of nature often found in the stained glass of the time translate beautifully in our Sakura collection–all the more appropriate due to the Arts and Crafts movement’s ties to Japanese-style design.

  • Image: Lamps Beautiful
  • Handpainted Tile Shown: Cypress in Green Motif
  • Handpainted Teil Shown: Ginkgo in Neutral Motif
  • Image Shown: Etsy
  • Handpainted Tile Shown: Woven Grass in Neutral Motif
  • Image Shown: Maclin Studio
  • Handpainted Tile Shown: River Rock in Neutral Motif
  • Color Blocking for the Craftsman
  • In traditional craftsman homes, you’ll often find variations on two-toned palettes in earthy hues. By dividing the wall into two color blocks, the first half with a stone gray tile and the top with a light green tile, you can create an installation that echoes the outdoors.

  • Image: This Old House
  • Tile Color Shown: Spruce Gloss
  • Tile Color Shown: Wrought Iron
  • If you'd rather not go floor to ceiling with tile, an installation that only extends partly up the wall (what we call tile wainscoting) is a great way to achieve a two-toned palette while saving time and money.

    Image: Zillow

    A touch eclectic, this beautiful craftsman shower tile installation showcases the style’s respect for artistry and handcrafted detail.

  • Image: P. Baglino
  • Tile Color Shown: Prussian Blue
  • Tile Color Shown: Chartreuse
  • Tile Color Shown: Basil with Black Patine
  • In the Mood for Mosaics
  • With their sparkling finishes and pebble-like quality, mosaics can contribute a refreshing look to a well-appointed craftsman bathroom. Despite a neutral palette, this bathtub's brown glass mosaic tile feels at once clean, calm, and inviting.

  • Image: Voight Design
  • Glass Tile Color Shown: Willow
  • Glass Tile Pattern Shown: 1×1 Mosaic
  • However, you can never go wrong with a multicolored mosaic. We love the green and brown mosaic tile wainscoting here, create a soothing atmosphere that still feels anchored and down to earth (the way any craftsman home should!).

    Image: Zillow

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