Tile by Style: The Roots of a Craftsman Bathroom
Often referred to as the Arts and Crafts movement, few design styles are as constantly charming as Craftsman. 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.
Basics of Craftsman Design
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 homes feature low-pitched roof, tapered columns, shingle siding wraps around the exterior and is supported by a stone foundation, strong lines, exposed beams, multi-paned windows, rectangular lighting, and paneled walls, built-in storage and shelving
Handmade local sourced materials including wood, stone, and decorative tile are must-haves in an authentic Craftsman home.
Warm and earth tones like rustic browns, muted greens, and stone grays set the scene in Craftsman design.
Feeling like an expert Craftsman? Great! Try looking for these core design elements as we peruse some of our favorite Craftsman bathrooms.
Tile Shown: Rosemary 2x8 // Design & Image: Erin Kestenbaum
A connection to the environment and locally source natural materials made nature as fundamental to the Arts and Crafts movement as the craftsmanship itself. It's easy to honor that with reflections of nature in the bathroom.
Tile Shown: San Gabriel Norman Brick // Design: Maria Haidamus, Loczi Design // Image: R. Brad Knipstein
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.
(Bonus Crafstman points for this wall-mounted sink).
Tile Shown: Ginkgo in Green Motif // Design & Image: Kaity Farrell
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.
The most popular earth tone for a bathroom is green. Whether you like a soft spa-ready green, an ocean-inspired blue-green or a bold evergreen, there's a shade of tile to match your mood and environment.
This light green alcove shower surround tile plays off the starburst floor tile with a soothing quality perfect for a relaxing soak.
Tile Shown: Seedling 2x6 // Design: Kyla Phung Linn
This tile floor done in a decorative assortment of tile sizes features an earthy clover color that looks downright dapper surrounded by the antique wood of this historic bathroom.
Using two of the glazes featured in our favorite Craftsman sample picks, this shower showcases both the handmade qualities of Fireclay tile with a color combo that's quintessential Craftsman.
This mossy green bathroom brings tile, paint, and even accessory colors together to create an exquisite contemporary Craftsman bathroom. Notice the variation of color throughout the tile that's a hallmark of handmade tile.
Tile Shown: Eucalyptus 4x4 // Design: TWENTY-TWO TWELVE, You Should Stay Here, Autumn Hachey // Image: Michelle Johnson
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 complementary color blocks, like this green and white tile bathroom, you can create an installation that echoes the outdoors.
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.
This beautiful craftsman shower tile installation showcases the style’s respect for artistry and handcrafted detail as well as the palette of the mountains surrounding the home.
Design: Harvest Moon Chalet // Image: Sterling Reed
In the Mood for Mosaics
With their intricate and pebble-like quality, mosaics can contribute a refreshing look to a well-appointed craftsman bathroom. This shower's ceramic mosaic tile in contrasting white and green feels at once clean, calm, and inviting.
However, you can never go wrong with a multicolored mosaic. We love how the pinwheel glass mosaic floor pairs with the high variation of the tile wainscoting here, creating a soothing atmosphere that still feels anchored and down to earth (the way any Craftsman home should!).
Tile Shown: Overcast 3x6
Meet the Moment
One of the best parts of a Craftsman home is how well they're made and how enduring their designs are. For this reason, Craftsman is one of the most sustainable design styles there is.
But wear and tear is real and there will come a time that you may wish to renovate while preserving as much of the original materials as possible.
With ceramic subway tile and trim, we helped these homeowners update their 1900s bathroom without doing away with the charm that drew them to the house in the first place.
Tile Shown: Cyclone 3x6 // Design & Image: House of Brinson
Find the Right Fixtures
Part of nailing a Craftsman bathroom involves using period-correct finishes and few things set the tone like overhead and wall lighting.
Craftsman lighting includes pendant lighting and square and globe wall sconces.
Tile Shown: Navy Blue 3x9 // Design: Lyons Studio // Image: Kyle Caldwell
In addition to lighting, the hardware in your shower design should speak to a turn of the 20th-century aesthetic.
Tile Shown: Sand Dune 2x8 // Design & Image: Rejuvenation
Wooden bathroom vanities are a perfect fit for a Craftsman bathroom and this one looks particularly attractive against the light blue wall tile.
Tile Shown: Flagstone 3x6 // Design: Curio Design Studio // Image: Samantha Elizabeth Collin
And who can resist a classic claw foot tub?