Mission style furniture is also known as the Arts and Crafts style of furniture that dates back to 1895, when Joseph McHugh termed it to represent the straight line rustic style furniture that he began manufacturing during that time. We are currently publishing a series of articles related to the mission style to better help you decorate your home that appeals to the straight line wood-centric tone of the furniture pieces. And as you will see, mission style furniture will help you define your character of decor as a symbol of a historical movement.
A little bit of background: But before we get too specific, let’s get some background information on the mission style. This style was part of the Arts and Crafts movement which was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and the romanticism that surrounded craftsmen that took pride in his own personal handiwork. The Arts and Crafts movement occurred both with the British and in the Americas, and it is great to know that furniture that dated back into such important eras of history are still popular today. The irony of the mission style in arts and crafts is that it originally was a search for uniqueness and authenticism in the products made during the era of the Industrial revolution that produced duplicates of products that lost its spirit of individuality. So, ironically the mission style furniture icon of the Arts and Crafts movement has been reversed of its original meaning in that it is now mass produced and merchandised, and thus losing some of its uniqueness that people originally sought. Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful piece of furniture designed as such to add nice lines and art to a person’s home. And one important thing is that in the simple manufacturing process that these items are made today, much of the furniture is still handcrafted other than the machinery used to cut and handle the raw material of wood. Better yet, the items are made with more environmentally friendly wood production which avoids the need to waste solid wood pieces when crafting the wood frames. The current products are crafted by hand for the shape and style of the furniture, yet finished to perfection using modern staining and painting technologies to make strong, stylish, yet un-wasteful furniture.
Recognizing the Mission style: The style that has lasted through the times, mission arts and crafts has blended well from the 19th century all the way to the current 21st century in terms of interior design and decor. Many people mistakenly assume that this is a contemporary design, but I guess this is just a revival of the traditional design that has lasted well over a century. Popular finishes of the mission items include oak wood, dark oak, cherry, and, to meet the contemporary needs, also in cappuccino (a dark coffee color).
Most Mission pieces are now manufactured with solid birch woods with hand craftsmanship that allows it to be produced in an environmentally friendly process and at an affordable price. Many furniture stores offer the items in solid wood as well, but the prices can be 5 times as much. But preliminary research has been done to show that stylish and good quality mission furniture can be purchased at affordable prices, where you should be reasonably paying $275 for a coffee table, $240 for a night stand, and $450 for a bed.
All in all, I would say the search for uniqueness in a modern world continues from its 100 year old Arts and Crafts movement to this day, as people continue to express themselves by finding things with that thinking at its roots. And although mission style furniture is mass merchandised today, it is still a symbol of character and expresses ones decor to their own choice of style that helps define the uniqueness of style in oneself.
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