You are wondering about what tile is appropriate for your bungalow. So, what is bungalow tile & what are the resources available to obtain it?
The tile most appropriate & at home in a bungalow, is of the Arts & Crafts Movement, unsurpassed in beauty & variety. While the masters of the period, such as Batchelder, are long gone, there is a wonderful group of modern day artisans, working in the Arts & Crafts aesthetic. They produce tiles that could enhance your bungalow, either installed on your fireplace, in your kitchen or bath, or mounted in a tiger oak frame in your study. I have collected these resources & hope that I have included enough images for you to understand what each company offers. It’s a very extensive list, but I feel that each maker, from the well-known to the more obscure, is worth viewing.
ART uses modern manufacturing technology to exactly duplicate the sizes & colors of old ceramic tile, manufacturing to your design specifications, or suggesting colors and patterns to correspond with your era of restoration.
Their unglazed porcelain products have:
• flat tops (no cushioned edges)
• square edge (no rounded corners)
• impervious surfaces
• the style of the early 1900’s
ART’s Historical Color Palette is very informative about the tile colors that were used during different periods in design.
Specializing in classic, traditional & authentic ceramic tile & stone, they include Design Guides on their website to assist you in choosing appropriate tile. Their Subway Ceramics collection, available in The Bungalow Series, offers satin glazes in a variety of historic colors, as well as many complementary accessories. They also carry mosaic tiles & field & border patterns.
This company is actually a history museum, owned by Bucks County in Pennsylvania, & operated by TileWorks, a non-profit organization. The tiles are reissues of original designs & are still handmade in a manner similar to those created by Henry Chapman Mercer, the founder, a major contributor to the American Arts & Crafts Movement. They offer workshops & an apprenticeship program to teach the art of handcrafting ceramic tiles & mosaics.
“We believe in the alchemy of earth and fire.”
Founded in 1903, Pewabic is one of the oldest continually operating potteries in the country. Shown above is a beautiful installation for a birthing center.
THE CRAFTSMAN Volume One
OCTOBER 1901—MARCH 1902
“Though the name of William Morris has long since become a household word throughout America, yet the personality of the man, as well as his great part in the world’s work, is definitely known but to the few. His was a versatile genius…”
The father of the Arts & Crafts Movement, Morris was an undisputed genius whose mastery of textile & furniture design, poetry, illustration & writing changed the world of art & architecture in his native England & here in America.
These videos of William Morris are the work of scholars due to the fact that his influence on art & architecture, & on the cultures of England & America has been profound & lasting. His life, his marriage, his homes have been carefully examined because he was a man of such depth, talent & vitality that he changed the way that the world looked at design, labor & humanity.
Please watch these videos on a larger screen!
WATCH VIDEOS OF THE LIFE & WORK OF WILLIAM MORRIS
The inspiration behind the designs of William Morris (25:14)
A fascinating look at Morris’ life.
The Life and Times of William Morris: Textile Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1:13:18)
TAC Social Media
An in-depth look at Morris & his art.
The Eternal Craftsman: William Morris and 21st Century Craft
An exploration of Morris’ approach to design.
Virtual Member Lecture: “Morris and Company—The Business of Beauty”
The Art Institute of Chicago (45:09)
Textiles & wallpapers exhibited at the museum.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen speaks at the Brilliance of William Morris
The story told by Morris’ designs.
To learn more about the work of William Morris’ daughter & the other women of the Movement, visit here.
For me, Ernest Batchelder, tilemaker (1875-1957) stands with the Greene’s as an icon of the Southern California Arts & Crafts Movement. Like the Gamble House, Batchelder’s home overlooked the Arroyo Seco & like the brothers, he took inspiration from the beauty of this area with its often dry, sometimes gushing river, the tumbled rocks & the magnificent California oaks that lined the bed.
Robert Winter, architectural historian, lived in his house from 1971 until his death in 2019 & was an expert of all things Batchelder, writing the definitive Batchelder history, Batchelder Tilemaker. Winter contributed hugely to our understanding of the Movement in Southern California. We see his delightful self here in the first video.
I’m going to allow the videos to tell his story.
THE TILE OF ERNEST BATCHELDER
House of the Green Rabbit: The Ernest A. Batchelder Bungalow (16:31)
Robert W. Winter Batchelder architectural historian & tile expert talks about the life & art of Batchelder. We get a nice tour of the home, in which Winter lived after his death & we hear from Alan Batchelder, the grandson of Batchelder.
History At Home: Ernest A. Batchelder
Pasadena Media (2:22)
More about Batchelder & his work & some views of more of his wonderful tiles.
Batchelder Fireplaces – The Cat’s Meow (5:20)
See some beautiful surrounds adorned with Batchelder’s tiles.
Handmade tiles with Pasadena Craftsman Tile
Pasadena Craftsman Tile
Tile artist Cha-Rie Tang creates custom handmade relief tiles in the Arts & Crafts style & Batchelder revival tiles. She’s who I want to be when I grow up.
Wondering if the tiles in your house might have been made by Batchelder? The Pasadena Museum of History is compiling a database of tiles & is offering to identify yours. Click here for more information on how to access this great service.
To see more examples of his art, visit my Pinterest page here.
Few things are more at home in a bungalow than American art pottery. Its bright colors & luster bring cheer & light to a dark interior & add details that complement the simple lines of the more rustic Arts & Crafts furniture & Craftsman architectural details.
Anyone can collect art pottery. Mine was representative of the finest from the period, chipped & mended into affordability. There are plenty of imperfect pieces on the market & artfully arranged, you can emulate the most prestigious collection of any museum. (I won’t tell.)
Pottery can serve as an inspiration piece when you are starting from ground zero in decorating your home. Using the colors, the images, the shape, you can use them as a basis for choosing your furniture & your textiles.
LEARN HOW POTTERY CAN BE BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR BUNGALOW
American Art Pottery Secrets – Paul J. Katrich – 1 of 6(9:08)
Paul, himself a master potter, is passionate about historic pottery. This is the first of 6 videos in which he explains the origin & inspiration of Arts & Crafts pottery. He tells us about the aesthetic & technological developments that culminated in American A&C, then shows & tells us about the icons of the period.
I am not going to list every video in the full series. The parts are best viewed in order & when the first video is over, the second & those after will magically appear. You will experience some lovely examples of the American Movement!
THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN IN AMERICAN ART POTTERY
Women artists have been overlooked for centuries. By the end of the 19th Century, we began coming into our own. In addition to demanding to work, we were also clamoring for a place in the world. Recognition would come much later, but what we wanted was the opportunity to use our wits & talents to contribute to the human cause. For many women, gaining artistic skills meant that they had greater earning power & could feed their families.These videos tell of how the crafts, especially pottery allowed us to do this.
Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise (1:32)
An overview of the Smithsonian exhibition of ceramics. metalwork, textiles & images of the women at work.
Roger Ogden on Newcomb Pottery (2:31)
Craft in America
Roger Ogden, collector explains the femininity of New Orleans, the home of H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College (Tulane University’s former women’s college.)
Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery (2:00)
Lead by woman, America’s first success on the World’s art stage.
This article will cover residential illumination, with emphasis on bungalow lighting design basics. We’re going to look at types of lighting, as they could be applied to your unique home.
Many years ago, I did a survey of homeowners, seeking to understand what they considered to be their most important goals when decorating their homes. Soon after, a similar survey was conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association. Combining the results of these two surveys was wonderfully illuminating. (Pun intended.)
My survey results showed that people placed great value on beauty- highly prized as contributing to the quality of life, in the Arts & Crafts philosophy.
The second valued attribute was warmth, a visual manifestation of the human connection. We style our homes to be welcoming, to be safe havens of comfort & regeneration for our families & our friends. We want our homes to express us, to tell our individual stories. To help us connect.
The NWFA’s questioning uncovered the desire for design that is beautiful &, “evokes an emotional response.” Once again, the human factor, the wish to communicate, the desire to be heard & understood by others.
The warmth & beauty are built-in to the basic design our bungalows. No one (at least no one reading this article!) can deny their own, emotional response to the beautiful features of a historic bungalow.
So, how can we enhance the warmth, the emotion, the beauty in our homes? How do we make our living spaces express our individual voices more clearly & eloquently? How can our homes contribute more profoundly, more richly, to the lives of our beloved family members & our dear friends, in the simple design choices that we make?
Well, here’s how you can put a little more light in their lives!
AMBIENT LIGHTING IN YOUR BUNGALOW
The first to consider is general, or ambient (defined as existing or present on all sides: encompassing) lighting. This is the type that provides a general, uniform illumination for the entire area, allowing you to be oriented to the space & to move about safely. During the day, this is usually provided by windows.
Our bungalows tend to have deep porches & overhangs. We also often have large, mature trees which block the sun, so the illumination provided by our windows is not always bright. When many of our homes were built, we were not accustomed to the high wattage of today’s lighting & such illumination was sufficient. In fact, our houses were planned to be at their most attractive under the softer, more subtle glow of the lighting of the times. Window coverings typical to the period allowed this natural light in, providing layers of blockage for privacy & darkness.
Our fireplaces contribute to the ambient light. At one time, they would have provided a main source of visibility & warmth. The family would have crowded ’round after the sun set for warmth, comradery & entertainment, as well as illumination. (I cannot but compare a similar scene today- the family sitting around the big screen TV, in the cold glow of its blue light, each person mute & staring, some looking at their phones.)
The study of my Eagle Rock home, the Hare House had a small fireplace in addition to the main fireplace pictured above. The first resident, Alfred was both a minister, leading a congregation & an attorney with a thriving law practice in downtown Los Angeles. Though he had sisters who lived nearby, & both Alfred & Grace were very active in community affairs, they were childless & I imagine that, at times, she may have gotten lonely. I can easily picture Reverend Hare working at his desk there in the evening, perhaps with the added help of a gas lantern, to keep his dear Grace, company. Perhaps she knitted for one of her charities or aid groups?
Reading by the fire was a common pastime which we would find rather uncomfortable now. After our homes were wired for electricity, we eagerly employed lamps to read & write, to cook & wash dishes, to shave, to accomplish the many tasks inherent in daily living. I’m in hearty agreement! Should I need to read a set of tiny directions, or figure out what my cat has in his mouth, I want light & plenty of it.
Task lighting has different functions in various rooms. Probably most people don’t read in the living room these days, & for many, reading means looking at a lit screen, but some folks actually read print books & it’s handy to have light directed at it. Too bad that there’s no sheet music in this piano image because it’s such a perfect example of task lighting.
In the kitchen, task lighting is crucial for safety, hygiene & perfect caramelization. And for identifying which children are yours.
Let me be perfectly clear here about the use of can or recessed lights. Nope, no way, no how! IN BUNGALOW DETAILS: INTERIOR, Jane says,” DO NOT ALLOW RECESSED CAN LIGHTING INTO YOUR BUNGALOW!”
She obliviously felt that you needed to defend yourself from this type of lighting at all costs. Jane goes on to say, “There is nothing, NOTHING that screams ‘late twentieth century’ more than a recessed can light- I don’t care how many lighting designers tell you they are ‘unobtrusive…’
“There was no track lighting either, nor were there fancy Italian-design halogen lights suspended on wires.”
This is how we define the room. Against a dark background of wood, accent lighting creates atmosphere, forming multiple layers of depth. It draws the eye from one point of illumination to the next, create sculptural vignettes, enhancing the aesthetic & intimacy of the room.
Here we see a beautifully illuminated room. The lighting is layered- there is ambient lighting coming from the windows, complete with a cozy kitty, & table lamps which serve as task & accent lighting. You could easily read in the cushiony chairs beside them & they highlight the textile to the front, & the teddy on the window seat. Notice the signature acorn pulls of RAGSDALE, Mission Style Oak and Mica Lamps and Lighting, a modern master about whom you can read in Part 7.
The beauty of layering that it imparts a warm glow throughout the room. There are no abrupt changes that force your eye to readjust to different areas, yet, there is enough variety to keep it moving & interested.
This article is just the beginning! To become a master of bungalow lighting, keep reading!
The desire for lighting is in our DNA. Our circadian rhythms, our bodies’ clocks, determine the patterns of our bodies, our minds & behavior over a 24 hour cycle & respond to light & dark. Light exposure generates signals from our brains, releasing hormones that keep us awake & perky during the day. Darkness activates sleep hormones.
Early man slept when it was dark & trotted about hunting & gathering when it was light. But, as civilization developed, his activities expanded & he wanted to be active after the sun went down. He wanted to be able to see inside his cave.
Almost 130,000 years ago he learned to control fire, which was also handy for warmth & for cooking. It took another 100,000 years for him to make the first lamps, which employed animal fat as fuel. It wasn’t until 4500 B.C. that he invented the oil lamp which uses liquid oil, contained in a vessel, with a textile wick that is dropped in it. The top of the wick is ignited, producing a flame as the oil is drawn up the floating wick.
Following that leap in technology, lamp evolution pretty much stagnated for thousands of years. The American colonists used lamps that weren’t that much different from those used in biblical times- smokey, faint lighting, giving off little more light than candles.
The kerosene lamp was developed in 1850 & was used until electricity took its place. This type of lamp is still sometimes used in emergencies when electricity fails & light is needed.
Of course when the Victorians came along, a lamp became a flower garden, though it was still the basic mechanism of wick & oil. By this time we had learned to mold glass & metal so every material was employed in a manner that obscured its basic nature & turned it into something else, to be displayed in a house of like objects, all competing for the title of the most ornate.
I am not going to say that I do not consider this lamp to be lovely. I’m always happy to see a rose, growing in a garden, or painted on a lamp, but, you have to agree that the materials, function & construction of this lamp are not immediately apparent, being buried under excessive ornamentation!
In 1879 Thomas Edison & Joseph Swan patented the carbon-thread incandescent (An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light with a wire filament that is heated until it glows.) lamp & over the next couple decades electricity technology evolved rapidly & took the lead in powering America.
THE LIGHTING OF THE ARTS & CRAFTS MOVEMENT
I think that my favorite William Morris quote is, “We shall not be happy unless we live like good animals, unless we enjoy the exercise of the ordinary functions of life: eating, sleeping, loving, walking, running, swimming, riding, sailing.”
Somehow he strips away all gee-gaws from life which is the basis of the Arts & Crafts Movement. I am amused by fact that the prehistoric, earthen lamp above, so resembles the lamps of the Movement. Personally, I find its humble simplicity beautiful.
I think the best way to talk about the lighting is to talk about the craftspeople of the Movement’s early years. But first, let’s talk about harmony.
Harmony is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar or related elements. In the decorative arts, this means that the lighting that you see in the Gamble House or other ultimate bungalow, in a museum might not be appropriate in your modest home.
Often, the key visual, size is the first aspect to consider. The Gamble House is a whopping 8,100 square feet. The rooms are proportionately sized & the lighting’s dimensions fit the room. While a modest house may have beautiful built-ins of unpainted woodwork, the Gamble House boasts cuts of wood, hand-picked by Charles Greene out of Burma teak, Douglas fir beams, white oak & Port Orford cedar, cut in elaborate designs. The beautiful stained glass of the lightening is duplicated throughout the house & most impressively, in the massive entry.
This is not meant in any way to denigrate your home. It is merely to state that the look & feel of your house are different from these bunga-mansions (as Jane Powell termed her magnificent house in Oakland) as their decorative elements look no more appropriate in a more simple home than would the crown jewels with your jeans. (And yes, I know that there are those out there who would wear such a combination & 1 in 1,000 of them would pull it off.) There are still some amazing options out there that would enhance your home rather than overwhelming it.
This little gem from Doc’s Architectural Salvation in Springfield, Tennessee. Complete with beautifully patterned slag glass, it is undisputedly Arts & Crafts & would harmonize with any architecture or decor in a bungalow.
In the same way, the light in your kitchen is not from a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house. A simple schoolhouse light is more appropriate & will set off the other design elements of your kitchen rather than overtaking them.
I’m a big believer in visual flow. Keeping within the period & style of your house will ensure that there won’t be so many focal points that your overall look will be difficult to determine. Ideally each item in the room will complement or complete the others & the focal points will be supported by all the other elements.
THIS IS JUST THE FIRST PART OF AN IN-DEPTH SERIES ON LIGHTING