A guide to arts and crafts style furniture

A guide to arts and crafts style furniture

Blog / September 1, 2021

As a response to industrialization and mass production of furniture, designers such as Gustav Stickley prioritized craftsmanship and fine arts in furniture as the primary aesthetic design style. This unique style of furniture focused on simplicity, sturdy construction, and inspiration from nature.

Recognizing arts and crafts style furniture

Designers specializing in arts and crafts furniture included several aesthetic subtleties including uncomplicated construction, natural arches, and grain direction in their designs. Estate appraisers and home-owners have realized that the main noticeable feature of this type of furniture is that it is very rectilinear i.e., consisting of several straight lines, especially elongated and vertical ones.

Looking to invest in the right kind of arts and crafts style furniture for your home? Jerry’s Antiques helps you identify beautiful pieces through the following checklist:

Linear patterns

Simple pattern creations or a symmetry in horizontal, vertical, and arching lines are an integral part of arts and crafts style furniture.

Hardy materials

Most of the furniture in this style is built from strong and durable wood types such as quarter-sawn white oak and American cherry.

Limited decoration

Designers of this style of furniture do not believe in over-ornamentation or decoration. However, you may find the occasional flourish or inlay in some pieces.


The hand-made furniture of the arts and crafts style is usually accompanied by natural upholstery including natural cloth finishes or leather.

The finish

Furniture of the arts and crafts style is finished through hand-sanding. It is then pigment-stained several times until the desired color is achieved followed by laborious hand-rubbing that creates highlights by exposing different layers in the finish. Finally, a layer of penetrating wax is applied to maintain its appearance over the years.

However, as a home-owner, if you want to give your arts and crafts style furniture a colorful aesthetic or a new lease of life, you can use chalk paint to add more charm and character.

Jerry’s Antiques services the New Jersey area. Contact Jerry’s Antiques for more information and expertise on arts and crafts furniture styles and chalk paint projects today!