Mission Style Furniture Design and Ideas
Earlier, the trends in furniture buying prioritized the aesthetic appeal over the utilitarian aspect. However, today, homeowners are giving equal important to form and function. Mission style furniture is characterized by its simplicity and functionality. Not only this, it is handcrafted; however, in modern times it is made in factories. It was built as a substitute for the ornate styling of factory-made Victorian decor.
The History of Mission Style Furniture
The mission style furniture is also popular as the Arts and Crafts furniture. The primary reason is because it borrows a number of thematic and design elements from the Arts and Crafts Movement. It originated in England and was also a dominant style in the United States and Canada. Gustav Stickley and Elbert Hubbard were the main exponents of the mission style furniture.
As per the records, mission style furniture draws its inspiration from a chair in a San Francisco Church. It was spotted by a furniture maker in the late 19th Century. He admired its rectilinear, minimalistic design and decided to create varied furniture units on similar lines. It focuses more on using the natural beauty of the wood in the creation of furniture units.
Characteristics of Mission Style Furniture
1. It features clean and simple vertical and horizontal designs.
2. The wood is varnished; it is not painted.
3. Since the focus is to highlight the attractive grain patterns of the wood, it is not carved and neither does it feature any ornamentation.
4. The wood is typically arranged in columns and lattice patterns.
5. The furniture units are fitted with brass and wrought-iron hardware.
6. It is available in traditional and contemporary designs.
7. The wood varieties used are heavier and of a darker shade, especially warm and earthy tones.
8. The upholstery material on mission style furniture is rarely synthetic. Furniture makers prefer to use natural fabrics such as dyed leather, wool and canvas to match its rustic appeal.
9. Furniture in the mission style is heavy weight and large in size.
There are only certain varieties of wood that can be used in the construction of mission style furniture. Oak is the most commonly used wood variety on account of its grain pattern and sturdiness. Among the three sub-varieties of Quarter Sawn, Plain Sawn and Rift Sawn, the first two are mostly used. Quarter sawn oak has a tight grain appearance when varnished. It is more stable. Also, its moisture resistant feature makes it less likely to twist and warp. Plain sawn oak looks pretty and is an affordable option compared to Quarter Sawn.
In addition to white oak, contemporary artists have also started using other wood varieties such as black walnut, cherry wood and mahogany. They are chosen for their natural color, rich texture and grain patterns.
Made of white oak, mission style furniture was quite expensive to make. However, mass production in factories using more affordable wood varieties has made them widely available. You can now buy authentic mission style furniture at a cost that won’t break the bank.