Honesty in Materials

I know you have heard of and are familiar with "Craftsman Style" design. It has also been referred to as Arts & Crafts, Mission, or Stickley Style, thanks to Gustav Stickley who brought the style to America. The Arts & Crafts movement had already begun in Europe as a backlash against the poor treatment of workers in factories. Instead of creating factory products in bulk with hidden construction, this movement focused on honesty. Honesty came through in the exposed construction and materiality that did not hide what it was. In true craftsman style, we will not see furniture wrapped in laminate or hidden joints. Everything is exposed and hand-crafted. Meaning a lot of the "Craftsman" furniture we see in retail locations may be following the look, but it is not truly meeting the original intent of the style.

I could talk about craftsman style and its history for ages while you yawn, but I won't bore you with the details (unless you ask for them!). The reason I brought this up is because there are some really awesome materials out there right now that I am, frankly, unsure how I feel about. I saw a post today about one of them. Tile that mimics the look of wood. 

"Wood" tile flooring

That's right, this floor is tile, not wood. So, how do we feel about that? It's a material that is easier to maintain, can be used very well in wet areas (like a kitchen or bathroom) while offering the warm look of wood. But, it isn't warm. Would we be disappointed when we walk in and feel cold beneath our feet? Of course, radiant floor heating could remedy that problem. 

What do you think? Would you use "wood" tile? What about quartz counters made to look like granite? Laminate counters made to look like stone? Plastic laminate wrapped on furniture to look like wood?

Particle board dresser has an oak veneer, wrapped with an acrylic laquer

Quartz used to always have a very "solid" look with no "imperfections" and very little activity. Today, we find several colors that offer a lot of activity and motion to emulate the look of granite.

Image credit: 1, 2, 3