Arts and Crafts Glows with Nature’s Lights

The Grand Californian, Part One

You can find great design in the most unlikely places. Like smack in the middle of the mother of all theme parks in Anaheim, California.


This Spring-Break week we’ve been hanging our shingle near Toon Town, just this side of Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s been heaven for our tween and our baby seems content anywhere, strangely even during the ghostly shrieks in the Haunted Mansion elevator. We’ve managed to avoid major meltdowns and maintained lunch in our stomachs despite California Screamin’ and the Tower of Terror. A good week.

I expected well-designed rides and entertaining shows at Disney, but a first rate example of Arts and Crafts design? Yep. Disneyland Resort’s Grand Californian Hotel is just that. The architecture and interior design is mind-blowing in its attention to detail. We learned the story behind the hotel during the free tour “The Art of the Craft” that the Concierge desk offers daily.


The Arts and Crafts movement began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, in response to some of the negative effects of industrialism. The central tenet of Arts and Crafts was to “put life back into art.” Handcrafted pieces, often designed and made by the same craftsperson, incorporate natural motifs such as trees, flowers, animals and insects.

Like an insect, I’m drawn to glowing things, so I thought I’d show you these beautiful light fixtures first. In later posts, I’ll share more about the Grand Californian’s spectacular interior.

The Arts and Crafts designers wove nature into their pieces. The tree sconce (top) is one of my favorites; it has the most gorgeous glow behind the tree and flowers. The cylindrical ceiling light (above) depicts a walk through the forest.

Flowers and insects abound in this Great Hall Tiffany. It contrasts well with the simpler lined, but still nature inspired Prairie-style corner post lamp.



A lovely tree sconce…


And here in context in the lounge with the subtly themed “hidden Mickey” chandeliers.


The intricacy of the metalwork is incredible in these floral chandeliers in the courtyard.


Figures in relief on the ceiling fixtures in the Storytellers Cafe, backed by metal silhouettes.


So what do you think of these light fixtures?

Do you have any Arts and Crafts inspired pieces at your abode? Have you visited any historic Arts and Crafts movement properties?

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