June 3rd, 2014

Secrets to Incorporating Craft into Contemporary Design

Want to know the secrets to incorporating craft into contemporary design? One-of-a-kind objects bring so much character into your living space. The approach is pretty easy when you allow the treasured object itself to be the source of inspiration for the room. Case in point: I recently had the honor of creating a room design around a gorgeous quilt made by 20-year quilting veteran, Cindy Grisdela. The request, issued by the American Craft Council, was to demonstrate to craft show attendees how to best display something like a homemade quilt in a contemporary room.

Quilt designed by Cindy Grisdela

This was my process:

First I brainstormed on how to make the featured object a focal point of the room. I could have hung this quilt with dowels or had it framed. However, neither of those options would have given me the desired impact. Therefore I decided to drape it over the back of a chair. You’ll see…

Starting with just a white box, I painted the walls a deep shade of blue (Glidden paint’s Arctic Night) to create a cozy backdrop for a moody living space.

Before - Make Room Exhibit- American Craft Council

After placing the quilt over an English rolled-arm chair, I made sure that all other upholstery pieces and accessories were neutral. I didn’t want anything to compete with the quilt visually.

Handmade Objects in Contemporary Design

And here is a wide shot of the space. See how a neutral backdrop allows the quilt to be the center of attention?

Incorporting Craft into Contemporary Design

And to balance the opposite side the room, I added yellow table lamp and art by Aaron Henderson for a pop of color.

Using craft in contemporary design

Everyone, especially Cindy, was beyond pleased with the end result. The moral of the story? Incorporating craft into contemporary design brings authenticity to your home. This space exudes comfort, sophistication, and personal style—somthing you cannot purchase from a showroom floor.


I have been sponsored by the Glidden® brand paint for PPG to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Categories: Color, Dens, Inspiration