Mission Style Decorating

by Giorgina Devereaux





Mission style decorating and furniture (also called Arts and Crafts furniture and decor) is characterized by a style of home design and furnishings that emphasizes natural materials (especially wood) and showcases precise straight lines in squares and rectangles in its design.

The pieces are generally sturdy, with a classic and timeless appeal making it functional and aesthetic.

When creating your Mission style decorating, there are several elements to consider.

The materials of a Mission style decorating interior also emphasize stone, glass, ceramic tiles, and textiles (using wool, cotton, linen fibers, and leather).

For wood, oak was typically used, but natural cherry is now frequently enjoyed.

Oak possesses a golden brown shine, while the cherry is redder in color.

The beauty of these woods is that they both darken naturally with time, giving them a rich color.

Oak is commonly used for flooring, molding, doors, stair rails, and beams in a waxed or oil finish.

However, if wood does not suit your taste for flooring, you may use tile or slate laid in a linear pattern. Handcrafted metal hardware is used for joints, door knobs, cabinet knobs, and is offered in wrought iron, bronze, black, umber, or verdigris in square or rectangular shapes.

If you prefer a more subdued look, you can opt for a soft brushed pewter or nickel finish.

Mission style furniture is made of wood, and sometimes, it contains wrought iron or ceramic tile accents. The furniture shapes are squares, rectangles and octagons.

Coffee tables and end tables are typically made of wood and have glass inserts in which the stained glass is placed. Generally, there are spindles or columns of wood built into these pieces and are another trademark of this style of decorating.

mission-style-decorating-verona-six-piece-dining-room-furniture

Also, tables generally have at least one drawer and shelving for storage.

Sofas and chairs have a wood back, bare wood arms, and cushions. Mission style furniture often offers sofas or chairs that have a deep wood shelf surround, which acts as the arm and a table.

This is a characteristic of the Frank Lloyd Wright design and gives the illusion of a built-in piece.

Leather is often used, as well as fabrics in cotton, linen, or wool materials. Busy patterns are scarcely used.

The walls are either covered using a textured paint or plastered. Paint color schemes consist of burnt yellows, chocolate browns, deep reds, oranges, and sage and moss greens.

However, all of the walls will not be painted in one color. For instance, there may be one side of the wall that is painted chocolate brown and another wall adjacent to it that is a burnt yellow. The variation in color is the hallmark of Mission style decorating.

The goal is to create a home that has a harmonious feel and works within its environment.

For fireplaces, consider wood or stone mantels that have a stone, ceramic, or even brick surround. The wood of choice for the mantel is usually oak, in a golden stain, and is either waxed or rubbed.

Also, the stone used is field stone (that is stacked dry or with mortar) or river rock. This provides a wonderful textural visual. The ceramic tiles are usually adorned with a motif, such as a leaf, acorn, or a shiny finish.

To fully appreciate the architecture of the home and materials of nature displayed, try to keep accents, accessories, and artwork to a minimum.

This is an opportunity to provide balance by incorporating elements in glass, ceramics, and metal.

When searching for accessories for your interior design make sure to select pieces that tie your design together while reflecting your unique Mission style decorating.

Pieces that have interesting lines make the room more captivating. For instance, you can display a bronze statue on a shelf or in a curio.

You can also decorate with nude figurines, fancy candelabras, angular clocks, centerpieces, ornaments, and stained glass to create the look of a Frank Lloyd Wright room. Kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and bedrooms can be a part of this timeless design.

If you are on a limited budget, consider scouring garage sales for eye catching items at half the price.

Another thing that adds flair to Mission style decorating is decorative pillows. Blending pillows that have elegant designs with your existing living room furniture will help give the room a Mission style feel while adding an interesting touch.

The beauty about pillows is that you can display them in other areas of the home, such as the kitchen, bath, on chairs, or shelving.

For wall art, you can hang Art Nouveau prints placed in vintage oak frames.

Historically, many of the Mission style homes displayed art glass windows. This gave the opportunity to leave windows uncovered, while appearing decorative. However, in this day, art glass windows are costly. You may opt for Roman shades, silhouettes, wood blinds, or tab panels hung on a wood or wrought iron rod.

For tiebacks, consider sisal tassels, simple, or a band of matching fabric. Fabric patterns used may be a leaf print or one with geometric designs.

Lighting in a Mission home is important because of all the dark wood.

Mission style lamps and lighting fixtures are generally made from brass or iron and have square glass shades and square brass tubing.

Table and floor lamps in this style possess a simple elegance, with basic shapes created out of iron and copper and linked to large chains in fixtures.

What was common in this period were lamps made with square wooden bases and had stylish glass shades. The characteristics intrinsic to this style were functionality, simplicity, and excellent craftsmanship.

For lighting, table lamps and floor lamps are good for general lighting and for providing ambiance. You can include accent lighting through the use of mantel lamps, sconces, and dresser lamps.

The two most prevalent types of lamps in Mission style decorating are those in mica and metal designs, with the body of the lamp being hammered bronze or copper, and the shade is made from a sheet of mica; and the glass lamps with a wood or art glass base, and shades of glass in geometric patterns.





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