The Arts and Crafts Movement
The birth of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain in the late 19th century marked the beginning of a change in the value society placed on how things were made. This was a reaction to not only the effects of industrialisation but also the relatively low status of the decorative arts. Arts and Crafts reformed the design and manufacture of everything from buildings to jewellery.
Generally defined as the period from 1870 to 1920, it saw a focus in all forms of art and architecture on the principles of simple honest design, taking inspiration from nature, and using handcraftsmanship and natural local materials where possible.
In Surrey, the area between Guildford, Farnham and Haslemere is recognised as having a wealth of Arts and Crafts buildings and gardens designed by architects such as Edwin Lutyens, Charles Voysey, Baillie Scott and Hugh Thackeray Turner.
This area is Figura’s heartland and we have had the pleasure over the years of designing kitchens and interiors for many Arts and Crafts homes. Our embedded belief in craftsmanship, individual design and quality of materials aligns perfectly with properties of this style. We also designed the bespoke kitchen for a beautiful Victorian country house surrounded by gardens designed in 1915 by Gertrude Jekyll, another stalwart of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Standen House in West Sussex is an Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden. We were lucky enough to stumble upon this Arts and Crafts gem recently and were inspired by all it had to offer.
Many of the people who became involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement were influenced by the work of the designer William Morris, who by the 1880s had become an internationally renowned and commercially successful designer and manufacturer.
Morris’ ideas were hugely influential to the generation of decorative artists whose work it helped publicise. Morris believed passionately in the importance of creating beautiful, well-made objects that could be used in everyday life, and that were produced in a way that allowed their makers to remain connected both with their product and with other people. Looking to the past, particularly the medieval period, for simpler and better models for both living and production, Morris argued for the return to a system of manufacture based on small-scale workshops.
Again this Arts and Crafts philosophy is closely aligned with the ethos of Figura. Beautiful, handcrafted kitchens and interiors with functionality at the forefront of our designs.