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
When creating your Mission style decorating, there are
several elements to consider.
The materials of a Mission style
decorating interior also
glass, ceramic tiles, and textiles (using wool, cotton, linen fibers,
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.
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
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
The goal is to create a home that has a harmonious
feel and works within its environment.
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
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
pillows that have elegant designs with your existing living room
furniture will help give the room a Mission style feel while adding an
The beauty about pillows is that you can display
them in other areas of the home, such as the kitchen, bath, on chairs,
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
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
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
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.
Mission Style Decorating to Choose a
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