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Explore the beauty and sophistication of this classic design trend
Kate Wilson is a writer and fact checker for home decor and furnishings at ChosenFurniture. She enjoys splitting her finds with others.
What Is Mission Style Furniture?
The United States is considered the birthplace of the design style known as mission style furniture. It was inspired by the Spanish missions in California, which dated back to the late 19th century and was popularized by the American Arts and Crafts movement.
The primary goal of mission furniture was to create functional and durable pieces that were also beautiful. Mission-style furniture is known for its simple, clean lines, flat panels, and exposed joinery. Oak is the most common wood chosen, although cherry, maple, and mahogany are all acceptable alternatives.
As a lover of classic furniture, I’ve found mission furniture to be one of the most elegant and timeless options. The simplicity, functionality, and durability make it a favorite for many homeowners. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore mission-style furniture’s history, features, pros, and cons, how to incorporate it into modern interiors, and where to buy it.
- The key feature of mission-style furniture is its simplicity, with straight lines, flat panels, and exposed joinery.
- It’s also known for its functionality and durability and is often made from solid wood.
- The finish is typically natural or a stain that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
- It can be incorporated into different interior design styles, from traditional to modern.
Characteristics of Mission Furniture
The Arts and Crafts movement in the United States popularized the mission style design. Gustav Stickley, a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, created a furniture line called Craftsman, which included mission furniture. The popularity of mission-style furniture continued throughout the 20th century and is still a popular style today.
Mission furniture is known for its straight lines and simple shapes. The decoration is not intended to diminish the functionality of the product. In most cases, a single piece of sturdy wood like oak or cherry is used in its construction. The wood is often left unfinished or given a light stain to showcase the grain’s natural beauty.
Built-in storage and a solid structure are two examples of the utilitarian and practical design principles that guided the creation of these pieces of furniture. Mission furniture is typically free of ornamentation and decorative details, and any present decorative elements are usually geometric, such as square or rectangular cutouts.
While some mission furniture is left unfinished, many pieces are finished with a dark stain that enhances the beauty of the wood grain. It is often constructed using mortise and tenon joints, which provide a strong and durable connection between pieces of wood.
Craftsmanship and attention to detail are hallmarks of Mission-style furniture. Each component is expertly manufactured to perfection in both form and function.🔨 Mission furniture refers to a style that originated in the late 19th century. It is characterized by its simplicity, clean lines, and sturdy construction. 🪑 #MissionFurniture #FurnitureStyles #HomeDecor 💼 Click To Tweet
Pros of Mission Furniture
- The furniture is durable, built to last, and often made from solid wood.
- It requires minimal maintenance and may be wiped off with a damp cloth.
- It can be incorporated into various interior design styles.
- Mission furniture is timeless and will never go out of style.
- It’s an excellent investment for homeowners who want furniture that will last for years.
Cons of Mission Furniture
- It is challenging to relocate due to its solid wood construction and weight.
- The high-quality construction and long lifespan make it more costly than standard furniture.
- Some people may find it too simple because there is no ornamentation.
Why Choose Mission Style Furniture for Your Home?
For almost a century, people have been captivated by the simple elegance of mission-style furniture. Its style emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and quality craftsmanship, making it an excellent choice for homeowners who appreciate understated beauty and durability.
One of the main reasons to choose mission furniture for your home is its timeless design. The furniture has been popular for over a century and is still a popular choice. It is a timeless classic because of its simple, clean lines and functional layout. Mission furniture is versatile and can be incorporated into various home decor styles, from traditional to modern. Its neutral color palette and simple design make it a versatile choice that can complement multiple design elements.
Mission furniture, made from solid wood, such as oak or cherry, is constructed using mortise and tenon joints. This construction method provides a strong and durable connection between pieces of wood, ensuring that the furniture will last for many years. This durability makes mission-style furniture more environmentally friendly than furniture made from cheaper materials that may need to be replaced more frequently.
Mission-style furniture is also designed to be functional and practical. It often features built-in storage and other useful features, making it an excellent choice for homeowners who value functionality and efficiency. Additionally, mission furniture is comfortable and inviting, with upholstered pieces that feature plush cushions and supportive frames.
The furniture is well-known for its sturdy construction and meticulous detailing. Furniture that is both practical and aesthetically beautiful is the product of the hard labor of talented artisans. While mission furniture can be more expensive than mass-produced furniture, it is often more affordable than other high-end furniture styles. This is a fantastic option for those who value quality but not luxury in their furnishings.
Overall, mission furniture is a classic and timeless design that offers many benefits for homeowners. Its durability, functionality, and versatility are perfect for many interior design schemes. In contrast, its handcrafted artistry and sustainability make it a more environmentally friendly and affordable option than other high-end furniture styles. Whether furnishing a new home or updating your existing decor, mission-style furniture is worth considering.
Where to Buy Mission Style Furniture
Several online retailers, including Wayfair, Stickley, Overstock, Crafters and Weavers, and Amazon, specialize in mission-style furniture. These retailers offer a wide selection of mission-style furniture in various styles, finishes, and materials. Online shopping allows you to compare prices and styles easily and have the furniture delivered directly to your doorstep.
Other furniture stores carry mission-style furniture in their inventory. Look for local furniture stores or large chain stores such as Countryside Amish Furniture, Ashley Furniture, Rooms To Go, and Walmart. You can browse their selection in person and see the furniture before you buy it. Additionally, many furniture stores offer delivery and assembly services.
Thrift stores, consignment shops, and antique shops are fantastic places to look for affordable mission-style furniture. Finding unique, superior products for a fraction of the cost of brand-new ones requires some searching.
Contact a professional maker if you haven’t found what you want or want to customize your furniture. Furniture makers specialized in mission-style furniture can make pieces that fit your needs and preferences. This option can be more expensive but gives you a unique piece tailored to your taste and style.
Estate sales and auctions can be a treasure trove of vintage mission-style furniture. Check local listings to find upcoming sales and auctions in your area. This option requires patience and flexibility, as you may have to wait for the right piece to become available.
Incorporate Mission Style Furniture into Different Rooms
Chairs in the Mission style are a must-have for every house, whether used in the dining or living rooms. They typically feature simple designs with slats or vertical spindles on the backrest and cushioned seats for comfort. They are durable and handsome because of their robust wood construction.
Mission sofas offer both comfort and elegance in any living room. They feature simple designs with broad, flat arms and comfortable cushions. They are made to endure and give any room a touch of classic elegance with their solid wood construction.
Your home office or living space may benefit particularly from adding a bookcase. Made of solid wood with adjustable shelves and simple yet elegant designs, they are perfect for displaying books, art, or decorative items.
Mission-style coffee tables are a great addition to any living room. They are typically made of solid wood with simple designs that feature clean lines and sturdy construction. They are functional and stylish, with ample surface area for drinks and snacks.
Beds are a popular choice for bedrooms. They often feature simple yet elegant designs with slats or vertical spindles on the headboard and footboard and are typically made of solid wood for durability. They provide a comfortable and inviting place to rest and add a touch of classic beauty to any bedroom.
Sideboards are a great addition to dining rooms or kitchens. They are typically made of solid wood with simple designs that feature ample storage options for dishes, flatware, and linens. They provide practical storage and a touch of elegance to any dining space.
How to Mix and Match Mission Furniture
The unique look you may get by combining different furniture styles is worth the effort it may take. Suppose you have mission-style furniture and want to incorporate other styles into your decor. In that case, remember a few things to ensure your space looks cohesive and stylish.
- Stick to a neutral color palette: This is the easiest way to prevent a clash of styles when combining different pieces of furniture. This will help create a harmonious look that combines different types and pieces.
- Consider proportions: When mixing and matching furniture styles, it’s essential to consider the proportions of each piece. Verify that the proportions of every part make a pleasing whole.
- Choose complementary styles: When choosing furniture to mix and match with your mission style pieces, consider styles that complement rather than clash with the clean lines and simple designs of mission furniture. Styles such as Scandinavian, mid-century modern, and minimalist options work well with mission furniture.
- Use accent pieces: If you’re not ready to commit to a thoroughly mixed and matched style, start by incorporating accent pieces that complement your mission furniture. For example, adding a modern rug or artwork to a room with mission furniture can create a layered and exciting look without overwhelming the space.
- Focus on texture: Mixing and matching furniture styles can create a visually exciting and dynamic space, and one way to tie everything together is by using texture. Different textures, like wood, metal, or fabric, can create a cohesive look that ties together different furniture styles.
Incorporating mission furniture into mixed and matched decor can be a great way to add a touch of timeless elegance to any space.
What Are the Alternatives to Mission Furniture Style?
Here are four alternative furniture styles to consider:
- Shaker: Emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and quality craftsmanship. Furniture in this style often features clean lines and simple designs, focusing on natural materials such as wood and woven fabrics.
- Arts & Crafts: a staple of handcrafted design, natural materials, and a focus on simplicity and functionality. Furniture in this style spotlights the beauty of the wood and other natural materials.
- Mid-Century Modern: This style features clean lines, geometric shapes, and a focus on functionality. It often incorporates wood and metal elements and is characterized by its minimalist design.
- Contemporary: refers to current design trends and often features bold shapes, bright colors, and a mix of metal, glass, and wood. It is known for its unique designs and is often seen as a statement piece in a room.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is another name for mission-style furniture?
Another name for mission furniture is Craftsman furniture. “Craftsman” name originates from the Arts and Crafts movement, prioritizing handiwork above industrial output in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
What is the difference between craftsman and mission style?
Craftsman and Mission styles share many similarities and are often used interchangeably. The craftsman style emphasizes ornamentation, with decorative details such as carved woodwork and stained glass. The mission style is more austere, focusing on simplicity and functionality.
Is mission style outdated?
No, the mission style is not outdated. The straightforward functionality and use of natural materials that define the Mission style have seen a revival in popularity in recent years, making pieces of Mission-style furniture more desirable among homeowners.
What decor style is Mission Furniture?
Mission furniture is typically associated with a style of interior decor known as Arts and Crafts or Craftsman style. The hallmarks of this design aesthetic include an affinity for natural materials, an emphasis on simplicity, and a dedication to functionality.🤩 The craftsmanship and attention to detail that go into every piece is truly impressive. 🪑 I love the clean lines and rich wood finishes that really capture that classic Americana feel. #missionfurniture #furniturestyles 💯 Click To Tweet
For nearly a century, people have been drawn to the classic beauty of mission-style furniture. Its simplicity, functionality, and durability make it a favorite among homeowners. Mission furniture can be incorporated into various interior design styles and will never go out of style. If you want sturdy furnishings that will endure for decades, consider buying furniture in the Mission layout.
Kate Wilson is a writer and editor at Chosen Furniture. She has deeply loved home decor and furniture for as long as she can remember (and a newfound love for cappuccino) and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When not working, she loves listening to music, hanging out with his family, and exercising her creative side through oil painting.