Let's Learn More About...The Arts and Crafts Movement
4th July 2014
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Malone Architecture of Wimbledon have designed award-winning houses in the Arts and Crafts style, but what is it that makes these houses so special?

When asked what inspired his designs for an award-winning home, architect Keith Malone from Malone Architecture explained, “I was inspired by the challenge of creating a home that not only addressed the desire of families for open plan living, but would be in keeping with the Edwardian and 1930’s architecture of West Wimbledon.”

To maintain this distinctive Arts and Crafts feel, Malone worked with Indigo Development, who used traditional materials, including handmade clay tiles on the roof, traditional leadwork and period mouldings for the cornice.

When designing a new home, or planning extensions to an existing property, respecting architectural traditions of the local area is of vital importance to Malone Architecture. Many of the firm’s projects have been inspired by the Arts and Crafts tradition. Here, we investigate further into this exciting and influential movement.


The style was inspired by socialist principles and led by William Morris; it flourished between 1860 and 1910. Inspired by a rejection of mass production and its dehumanising effect, the movement’s architects aimed to create “honest” homes. Honest meant straightforward construction, quality materials and construction by skilled labourers and craftsmen. As such, homes built in this tradition were built to last.

Distinctive Features

The style has lots in common with art nouveau, but has its own distinctive features, including:

• A handmade appearance

• Simple forms with little ornamentation

• Aims to highlight the beauty of natural materials

• Frequent use of copper and pewter, often with a hammered finish

• Stylised flowers, upside down hearts and Celtic motifs

Get the Look

Building your own arts and crafts house is slightly out-of-reach for most, but this shouldn’t stop you from giving your own home a touch of William Morris inspiration.


• Wallpaper and Curtains – an easy way to transform a room. Nowadays there are hundreds of William Morris designs to choose from. ‘Strawberry Thief’ is a timeless classic.


• Fireplaces - If you’re lucky enough to have an original arts and crafts house, the fireplace is probably a talking point. They had huge wide hearths set in an inglenook or recess. The mantelpieces were often beautifully carved, often with a motto above.


• Stained glass - this was very popular, because of its medieval feel. Enlist a stained glass designer or if you just want a feel for it, try painting your own with some of the many glass paints around.

However you decide to decorate your home, remember the importance of simple beauty and follow William Morris’ sage advice, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

Malone Architecture – 020 8763 5135   www.malonearchitecture.com

About the Author

Andrew M

Member since: 10th July 2012

The Best of Wimbledon and Merton helps to bring all the best local information to all local residents and businesses throughout Wimbledon and Merton. We also bring trusted businesses and the community...

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