Looking to create a home full of vintage charm? Adding Arts & Crafts ideas through period-style prints, whether in the form of wallpaper, upholstery or accessories, can be a really quick and easy way to add plenty of character to a space.
Taking inspiration from nature and a medieval aesthetic, the Arts & Crafts movement and its leading figures created stylised flora and fauna patterns for wallpapers and fabrics. With enduring appeal, these beautiful prints, whether archive originals or recoloured designs, look just as effective today. Check out these top decorating tips for introducing this iconic style into your home...
1. Use Arts & Craft prints wall-to-wall
With a penchant for ornament, the Victorians used every surface as a vehicle for decoration and often pasted richly decorative papers floor to ceiling. Featuring one of Morris & Co’s most iconic Arts & Crafts designs dating to 1883, this Strawberry Thief wallpaper (opens in new tab) is a perfect backdrop for the curvaceous silhouette of a classic Chesterfield and deep-buttoned armchair.
For more inspiration check out these 15 inspiring traditional living room ideas
2. Liven up practical spaces with patterned surfaces
Feature walls and floor? Why not? Occasional spaces are perfect for getting creative with busy prints. Combining a Victorian-style Minton tiled geometric floor with pastel panelling and an ornate, florid Morris paper, this downstairs cloakroom is a playful take on Arts & Crafts style.
Find more decorating inspiration in this renovated seaside Arts & Crafts home (opens in new tab)
3. Bring country charm to the bedroom
Embrace the beauty of nature in a bedroom with a statement fabric wall hanging brimming with floral motifs. Inspired by May Morris’ Arts and Crafts embroideries,
this new Wilhelmina Weave linen (opens in new tab) from Morris & Co features scrolling acanthus leaves, honeysuckle and clematis. For a contemporary edge, team with Sanderson’s dramatic Graphite paint (opens in new tab).
4. Add personality to a living room with a dramatic feature wall
Give a living room a sense of period drama by teaming rich, dark colours with an ornate wallpaper. A refreshed archive leather design from Little Greene’s London V wallpaper collection, this New Bond Street paper (opens in new tab) in Hide is tempered beautifully with True Taupe (on fireplace) and Chocolate Colour (on walls).
5. Give a subtle nod to heritage prints with ornate bedding
If you’re a fan of Arts & Crafts patterns, but don’t want to commit to wall-to-wall print, why not introduce it through bedlinen, which can be easily switched for a change of mood? One of William Morris’s most celebrated designs, Strawberry Thief is now available across a selection of bedlinen in a beautiful new brown/pale blue colourway. From £105 for a double duvet cover; Oxford pillowcases, £22; quilted throw, £275, all the Morris & Co collection at Bedeck Home (opens in new tab)
6. Create a unique kitchen with ornate features
While not typical of the functional, modestly decorated kitchens of the 19th century, this statement design incorporates plenty of Victorian references. Bringing a decorative dose of kitsch, the House of Hackney Mamounia paper (opens in new tab) takes inspiration from an original by 19th-century French block-printed wallpaper company Zuber, while the Empress Beatrice (opens in new tab) wall tiles in Tourmaline from Fired Earth, are replicas of original Victorian designs. The Classic English kitchen cabinetry (opens in new tab) is by Devol.
7. Combine prints with woodwork
For an authentic feel combine stylised prints with wood panelling as often seen in Arts & Crafts interiors of the time. This Pimpernel (opens in new tab) wallpaper was designed in 1876 by Morris and adorns his dining room at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London.
8. Dress windows with florid fabrics
Make a feature of your windows (and doors) in true period style with heavy curtains in richly ornate fabric. These curtains have been made using Pure Brer Rabbit Print Linen (opens in new tab), and we actually love how to the traditional, quite busy, print looks in this minimalist space.
9. Make the floor a feature
As well as across wallpapers, fabrics and bedding, the decorative motifs of Morris & Co are now available in a range of home furnishings. Check out this gorgeous Bachelors Button rug (opens in new tab), paired with simple furniture and rustic touches. Love it!
10. Create a beautiful bucolic scene with a leafy print
Archive wallpapers depicting a rich tapestry of natural motifs, work perfectly in this traditional kitchen, combined with vintage cabinets, natural fibres and artisan ceramics. Taken from the archive at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester this Vine wallpaper (opens in new tab), dating to 1932, gives an unmistakeable nod to the Arts & Crafts movement.
11. Opt for a statement sofa
A deep-cushioned seat covered in the blousy blooms and stylised branches of Arts & Crafts prints makes for a sumptuous statement piece. We especially love the pops of colour in the piping of this sofa that has been upholstered in Celia Birtwell's Jacobean Medieval (opens in new tab) by Blendworth.
12. Add a statement wall in hallway
Give guests a stylish welcome by pasting up feature wallpaper in the hallway. Depicting Persian style flowers climbing an overblown botanical trail this Montreal design (opens in new tab) was created by John Henry Dearle in the 1890s and was originally designed as a carpet.
13. Combine Arts & Crafts prints with other styles
Incorporating Arts & Crafts prints doesn't mean you have to go all out and cover every wall, floor, window and sofa in traditional designs. Just check out this room – Pure Thistle wallpaper (opens in new tab) by Morris & Co has been used to add a feature wall and, combined with the Scandi-style furniture and the accents of black, this space actually looks super modern.