Mission-style furniture grew out the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement, which like Art Nouveau was a response to industrialization. During the Victorian Era, elaborate Rococo and Neoclassical furniture was churned out by factories. Artists, designers, scholars, and other thinkers of the day began to express disdain for both the frilly, ornate aesthetic of Victorian decor, as well as the low quality of machine-made items.
The lead thinkers of the Arts and Crafts movement, such as art critic John Ruskin and designer William Morris, both from England, called for a return to high-quality, hand-made furniture, crafted by artisans. They promoted a simpler, more natural, and more functional look, with clean lines and solid, heavy frames made of wood. They believed that furniture design should lack clutter and highlight the craftsmanship of the construction and the natural beauty of the materials.
In 1900, furniture designer Gustav Stickley, publisher of the influential magazine, “The Craftsman,” popularized this movement in the United States, launching his own Mission or Craftsman-style of furniture. Said to be based on the spartan furnishings of California’s Franciscan missions, the earthy, rectilinear style was characterized by thick lines of oak, with exposed mortise-and-tenon joints and little in the way of decorative carving.
The best examples of antique Mission-style furnishings, from chairs to tables to cabinets, often feature rows of narrow wooden spindles that create eye-pleasing parallel lines. The wood is varnished but never painted, and the upholstery is always of a natural, unembellished material such as dyed leather or canvas.
The great irony of Mission-style furniture is that even though the Arts and Crafts movement supposedly rejected mechanization, Stickley would used steam-powered or electric woodworking machines to get the wood ready for his pieces, which would then be hand-finished by his artisans. Eventually, the Mission style was mass-produced just like its predecessors had been, and low-quality, slipshod items were soon found everywhere.
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Sarah Cyrus Home features an eclectic mix of top-quality furnitureAtlanta Magazine, July 1st
If a custom sofa just isn't what the homeowner expected, it's the designer who gets stuck with the bill—and the sofa. That's just one way design pros end up with excess inventory, much of it top-quality goods. To help take it off their hands, Sarah...Read more
Creating a brighter, more inviting living roomWashington Post, June 3rd
Furniture: Soft modern end table ($67), Bang Bang sleeper sofa in cotton with memory foam mattress ($1,000), Albury end table in mission oak ($119), Collins end table ($71) and Metro collection ottoman and chair in crimson red ($330), all from ...Read more
Fire scorches central Visalia homeVisalia Times-Delta, June 2nd
All doors leading into the home were locked, and fire crews had to force their way into what they discovered was an empty house with no furniture, according to fire officials. The fire was coming from underneath the floor and fire crews had to cut a...Read more
Enjoy locally made products at grand openingVisalia Times-Delta, April 15th
Embellish & Restore sells Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, repurposed furniture and home decor. It all started back in 2011 when Fatica and her mother-in-law decided to sell the Chalk Paint® as a local stockist. Initially, the plan was to place the product...Read more
Tulare fire adds three new firefightersVisalia Times-Delta, April 3rd
At the event, Tulare residents can bring mattresses and box springs, washers and dryers, stoves, dishwashers, water heaters, scrap metal, bicycles, carpeting and linoleum, furniture, futons, lawn mowers (organizers request all liquids are removed...Read more
CIF state wrestling championships: Gilroy's Alex Felix finishes third at 132 ...Contra Costa Times, March 7th
Felix was 6-1 in the tournament, with his only loss by one point (3-2) to Mission Oak-Tulare's Jaden Enriquez in the semifinals. He was the highest South Bay placer Saturday at Rabobank Arena, but six other area wrestlers also placed in the top eight...Read more
Homeless camps, trash cleared from St. John's RiverVisalia Times-Delta, March 3rd
A lot of it is trash that has been dumped, from old mattresses and furniture and bagged trash. But a lot of this trash was brought in by homeless people, some of it discarded around their campsites while other items were used as part of the campsites...Read more
Asheville takes spotlight as Arts & Crafts capitalAsheville Citizen-Times, February 15th
At that first conference in 1988, there were 40 exhibitors of Art & Craft pottery, tiles and the signature Mission Oak furniture made by Stickley and other masters that provided the Grove Park Inn with its furnishings. There was only one contemporary...Read more