Mission-style furniture came about as a lovely yet powerful rejection of Victorian-era industrial practices and mass-produced pieces that rob interior design (and modern consumer goods) of both character and quality.
It is also a celebration of the rugged grandeur and durability of natural materials, such as hardwoods and leathers, and of the timeless craftsmanship that goes into producing such heirloom-quality furniture and home goods.
Though it’s far from a new style, Mission-style furniture is beloved byhomeowners around the country who appreciate the fusion of simple design with the quality of robust handiwork.
If you’re one of them, here are a few high-level ways to create harmony in your home’s Mission-inspired interior.
Mission-style furniture itself, made of the highest quality solid wood such as white oak, is the capstone of this school of design. The Mission movement lacks the ornate embellishments and florid accents of Victorian and Edwardian furniture while prioritizing clean, straight lines, handiwork, and quality materials.
Mission-style furniture typically forgoes ornamentation that isn’t fundamental to the integrity and function of the piece and features straight lines, legs, and surfaces.
Practicality, durability, and the marks of handiwork are the artist’s signature in Mission-style furniture, pieces that highlight the beauty of wood’s natural grain paired with a simple, functional aesthetic.
The Mission-style color palette is largely composed of deeply saturated earth tones that complement the predominantly dark finishes of Mission-style furniture.
Many Mission style guides advocate for a color palette consisting chiefly of forest and hunter greens, tans, siennas, burnt oranges, burgundy, navy blue, and other warm, dark earth tones.
Sparing use of bright colors such as yellows, oranges, and reds is acceptable. Warm colors like these serve to accentuate or highlight the muted nature of Mission furniture. Sky blue tones and darker, rose reds can also be used to make Mission-style interiors pop.
Keep in mind that these color choices do not just apply to the paint on the walls and that carpeting, tile and stonework, upholstery choices, area rugs, and even pillows and throws can be used to add bursts of color that will add depth and dimension to the space.
The use of patterned upholstery, pillows, throws, and curtains can also add some dimension and artistic relief to your Mission-style interior.
Solid colors are always a choice when making a match for a Mission-style interior, but natural patterns and motifs with floral elements and foliage also work.
Nature-themed visuals and repeating elements also enhance Mission-style decor, so keep that in mind when looking for wall art and other decorative elements.
Wood is the central element of Mission style, but other natural materials are also right at home in the same setting.
Leather, especially grain leather in one of the solid colors mentioned above, is a great choice for Mission-style interiors. Fine leather furniture, chairs, and sofas work wonderfully with the Mission style.
Woven textiles also complement Mission, especially those in solid colors and simple geometric patterns. Consider rugs, pillows, throws and blankets, and even curtains as woven accents.
Wrought iron, ceramic tiles, and stone—think light fixtures, lamps, and decorative elements around the fireplace—also work well with a Mission-style interior.
The Mission style is also beautifully compatible with stained glass windows and accessories, particularly in styles inspired by English Arts and Crafts design and American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you do use stained glass, favor the saturated earth-tone color palette already referenced. Simple designs with natural patterns or abstract and geometric elements work best.
If you invite stained glass into your Mission-style interior, do not limit it to the windows. Lamp shades, light fixtures, wall hangings, and other small decorative accessories ornamented with stained glass will be right at home.
Explore Your Own Mission Style
Knowing the basic principles associated with this style of design will get you a long way, and fortunately, simplicity reigns in the Mission movement.
If you have any questions about the styles of wood furniture that we sell or how to create a more complete, cohesive Mission-inspired interior, feel free to get in touch with us.