Looking for a time-tested and rustic look for your furniture? Mission style furniture might very well be the best choice for you. The mission style has been around for a little over a century, ever since it was first produced in the late 1800’s. The mission style traces its roots back to when Joseph McHugh assembled a simple chair for a church in San Francisco. It featured a simple and straightforward design that had immediate appeal.
The Mission style can be recognized by its careful use of flat panels and straight lines. Wood choice can vary, but it is usually oak, which is abundant in California. After its introduction, the style gained significant popularity in the early 1900’s and there are many original pieces from that time that have survived. Mission style is easily recognized and tends to produce a very polarized reaction from people. Generally, you either love it or you don’t. It’s a simple style that can look fantastic in the proper setting.
Mission style furniture’s strength is that it stands out in any home that does not already possess a strong unified theme. It can co-exist peacefully with many other styles of furniture and this versatility makes it an appealing choice. Often, the style will be used in the bedroom and can be found in a number of pieces, such as beds, headboards and side tables. The simplicity of the lines in the woodwork make it a bold and appealing choice for bedroom furniture.
The simple and functional style lends itself to use with hard woods, such as the aforementioned oak. This means that pieces of furniture constructed in this style tend to last a long time and are generally impervious to normal wear and tear. It’s not uncommon for mission style furniture to last a lifetime or longer when treated reasonably well and maintained with a quality finish.
Are you in the market for an antique or original period piece? You’ll want to ensure that it’s authentic. Most top examples of the style come with some proof of origin and the best items from the early period were constructed from Native American oak. They also stand out from their exception crafting in the joints. Upholstery should be made from completely natural materials, as was the practice at the time. So look for leather or canvas. The presence of synthetics is a sure sign that the piece was heavily altered or refurbished later on in its life. Also, mission style furniture is almost never painted.
The simplicity of the style means that it’s within reason to produce your own furniture if you’re so inclined. If you already possess rudimentary woodworking skills and a decent set of tools, you might want to tackle the project of constructing your very own mission style furniture. Instead of purchasing furniture pieces, you can buy plans and materials. Of course the overall quality might not be as high as if you purchased it from a professional furniture-maker, but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as building it yourself and the raw simplicity of the mission style puts that in reach of many people.