Mission Furniture

Mission Furniture History

Mission Furniture Style, also sometimes referred to as “Arts & Crafts” or “American Mission” style is a revolutionary furniture & design movement that was created as a response to the industrial revolution and the way it devalued the individual furniture maker. This style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts “became affordable to middle class homes built in the United States during the Arts and Crafts period between 1900 and 1930.”

The Significance of Mission Furniture

Many of the major players of the Mission Style movement including William Morris, John Ruskin, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright, believed that the Craftsman was being lost to the mass produced, “soulless” furniture of the Victorian Era. Mission furniture was a complete departure from the over embellished and “glamorous” furniture that the Victorian Period was known for. In the Victorian Era, “A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner’s interests and aspirations.” Reflecting a time in society when domesticity meant absolute privacy, and when the Bourgeois existence manifested into the interior space.  The home was used as a curtained off retreat, wary of intrusion, and “opened only by invitation for viewing only on occasions such as parties or teas.”  Basically, the Victorian Home was a manifestation of upper-class values (while still using overly adorned, low quality decor and furniture). 

Mission Furniture
“The Victorian Bedroom at Dalgarven” by Roger Griffith – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

This is what The Mission Furniture Movement rebelled against, the highly “glamorous” ideals of the Victorian Era that weren’t inclusive of the real middle class. It represented an entire shift in cultural attitudes and values. Mission furniture aimed to represent the true American worker.

Mission Furniture Features

Mission furniture

Mission furniture is bold yet simplistic, reminiscent of a traditional Rustic Farmhouse. It’s heavy in appearance and build, with emphasis on using clean lines and natural materials. Mission style typically incorporated locally handcrafted wood, glass, and metal work–bringing the artisan back into the picture and straying away from a mass produced look. Mission furniture is very sturdy, and found some inspiration from Shaker furniture with it’s aim to be usable as well as stylish. Mission style is a design that “emphasizes simple (horizontal and vertical) lines and flat panels that accentuate the grain of the wood.”  This style intends to reveal the craft of woodworking and the skill & labor of the individual craftsman. It’s unpainted and unadorned, making it fitting furniture for practically any style of home!

Our Reflection

Mission Furniture is important to us because it represents exactly why we are here, to promote the craft of fine artisan woodworking. Our culture has seen a revival of cheap, mass-produced furniture available online and in big box stores– and our furniture crafters are creating expert furniture designs with the same passion and integrity that sparked the Mission Style movement over a hundred years ago. If you’d like to see more of our collections of Mission furniture, please browse hundreds of our locally crafted and sourced pieces!

What do you think of Mission Furniture? Let us know in the comments or send us a Tweet.

Sources: (1) & (2)

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Clean lines, simple ornamentation, and sturdy wooden frames are the primary distinguishable features of Mission Style Bedroom Furniture. This furniture style focuses on the inherent quality of the design, the natural  beauty of the materials, and a build that is made to last for generations.

In the early 1900s, Mission style furniture was created as a reaction to the industrial revolution and the ways in which it devalued the individual worker. The bold lines and sturdy, unadorned wooden base contrasted greatly against the frilly, ornate aesthetic of the  mass produced designs of the Victorian era.

Mission Style emphasizes simple horizontal and vertical lines and flat panels that accentuate the wood grain, and is most commonly crafted in Oak with a stain finish. There is little or no decoration, though the joinery is often given a darker stain to emphasize the expert construction.

While Mission Style furniture was created as a design movement that rejected low quality, mass produced pieces, eventually Mission style was mass produced just like its predecessors, and low-quality Mission furniture was soon found everywhere.

At Vermont Woods Studios, however, our Mission Style furniture is still built with the quality and integrity that Mission Style has long represented. A focus on real quality craftmanship, built by real expert Vermont artisans.

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Why bring Mission Style Bedroom Furniture into your home?

As mentioned previously, Mission Style bedroom furniture is masterfully crafted to be sturdy, simple, and inherently striking. It’s perfect for a bedroom because (like all of our furniture) it’s built for a lifetime of use and if you like sleeping as much as I do, your bed gets a ton of wear over the years. You’re going to want something functional, simplistic, and built for real use.

Is Mission Style furniture bedroom furniture right for you? Check out our collections of mission furniture or contact one of our friendly fine furniture specialists to talk about crafting a custom mission style bedroom furniture piece just for you.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Mission and Craftsman Style Furniture: Making a Come Back!
Vermont is home to some of the best mission and craftsman style furniture the world has to offer.  Check out this Contemporary Craftsman Furniture set.   We’re happy to report that it’s making a comeback in the world of fine furniture fashion. 

Did you know that furniture goes in and out of fashion, just like clothing?  Weird, huh?  You can find out what the latest furniture styles are at any one of a plethora of fine furniture fairs in New York, Paris, Milan, High Point (North Carolina), Las Vegas and lots of other-worldly places.  There’s a whole industry of consultants that (secretly) meet to decide what the next season’s styles and colors will be.  Their “recommendations” are followed by all the big furniture companies and that’s why you see so much similarity in offerings from year to year.

Recently, the new furniture styles have had an ultra modern theme, with bright neon colors, lots of glass, plastic & aluminum construction and the occasional fake fur accent.  So we’re pleasantly surprised to see the re-emergence of Mission and Craftsman Style Furniture in the fashion lineup.  Maybe people have had enough of those interesting conversation pieces and are longing for something beautiful, comfortable and functional for their homes.

Cherry Wood Mission and Craftsman Style Furniture
 Our Cherry Moon Mission and Craftsman Style Bedroom Furniture is handmade of solid cherry wood with solid walnut accents.  It’s popularity endures — independent of the latest trends defined by international furniture-style specialists.

For generations Vermont has been the premiere point of origin for some of the best mission and craftsman style furniture the world has to offer.  Check out the Contemporary Craftsman Furniture set shown above.  The emphasis for this craftsman is simple elegance– using honest handcrafted, wooden furniture to transform a home into an authentic, relaxed, uncluttered haven for all those who enter.

In Vermont we don’t pay all that much attention to the latest high fashion trends in furniture styles.  What we do focus on though, is genuine high quality, handcrafted, solid wood furniture that’s 100% USA made and guaranteed for a lifetime of enjoyment in your home.  Find more mission and craftsman style furniture sets on our website, Facebook and Pinterest boards.

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.