2016 trends: Artisan chicJen Wiss-Carline
Artisan – a piece of furniture, an accessory or fabric that has been individually handcrafted by an artisan, rather than mass produced by a factory chain.
Artisan goods have been a huge trend this year so far as people have sought out beautifully crafted, timeless pieces for their home. While run-of-the-mill cheap Ikea furniture works fine as a budget friendly way to furnish your living space, the move towards artisan means a move away from big suppliers and towards local shops.
If your home is already an Ikea showroom, there’s no need to start from scratch – artisan pieces can be introduced with mass produced furniture to create a more unique home interior.
Image credit: Andrews
So what is the artisan look all about? Here are some of the key elements:
The artisan movement rejects cheap machine-made synthetic fibres and making use of natural fibers that you might expect to find in the home hundreds of years ago. Popular choices include hemp, sisal, cotton, flax, kenaf, jute, and coconut. Each type of natural fibre has its own unique quality and benefits.
Hemp – very strong, fairly course, semi-lustrous, can be blended. Sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Sisal – inflexible and course, strong and durable. Can stretch and can be dyed.
Cotton – highly durable, lightweight and soft. Tear-proof, washes well, lasts a long time.
Flax – easy to spin and weave. Woven into linen. Stronger than cotton, not very stretchy so keeps its shape. Hypo allergenic so excellent for the allergy prone, and breathable. Soft, and can soften the more it is washed.
Kenaf – stems can be used to produce two types of fibre – courser (from the outer layer) or finer from the inner core. Often used to make course hard wearing cloth or ropes.
Jute – rather course, very durable. Used to make hessian, burlap or gunny cloth, or sacking. Keeps its shape. Breathable. Strong and great for tough rugs and mats.
Coconut – known as coir, taken from the husk of coconut and often used for floor mats and doormats.
Mass produced goods are often uniform in shape, while artisan goods frequently make use of organic shapes, inspired by nature. The vase doesn’t have to be perfectly round. The chairs can be hand fashioned from reclaimed wood, giving them a rustic, imperfect finish. The platter is formed from an natural piece of stone and the shape doesn’t need improving with a machine.
One-of-a-kind bespoke crafted items each have their own story to tell. These items showcase the craftperson’s skill and creativity, demonstrating impressive techniques that have taken generations to master.
Individually designed, beautifully made home accessories are such a treat and an heirloom for your children – and your children’s children. Each adds a unique detail to your home environment that won’t be found in thousands of other homes across the Country.
Mass produced synthetic bedding, cushion covers, table cloths and other household textiles are rejected in favour of unique, individual items that have been lovingly woven by hand in designs as individual as you are.
Hand crafted solid furniture
While Ikea’s furniture serves a short term purpose in a family home, beautiful solid wood furniture is built to last. The artisan trend is about classic pieces that can be passed on from generation to generation. A perfect example is the Santana range from Croft Oak Furniture which is painstakingly hand finished with a stunning deep patina for long-lasting good looks.
Artisan on a budget
If you’re decorating on a budget, you could:
- Head over to Etsy where individually crafted bespoke items are far cheaper than local artisan shops.
- Seek out second hand unique items on Ebay and repaint or repurpose them.
- Head over to the Croft Oak Furniture clearance section where there are gorgeous solid oak pieces available at bargain prices.