Mission style furniture is produced when the Arts and Crafts Movement in America met the American West. The name “Mission-style” refers to the Spanish missions that were common throughout the West. The mission style furniture are known for its simple elegance, usability, robustness and build quality. The Arts & Crafts movement was based on the belief that a master craftsman was higher than the machines of the Industrial Revolution. Staying true to this spirit is at the heart of the mission furniture style.
Study mission style design and designers. Although the basic design elements are fairly constant, there will be some differences in style between the mission simple utilitarian pieces and popular pieces created by designers of Arts & Crafts. Gustav Stickley was one of the leading designers of mission style furniture in the Arts & Crafts period, and their designs are still reproduced.
Choose a design or create your own with the design elements of mission style. The plans are available for purchase or free download at many sites around the Internet. You can find also specific plans in a variety of woodworking magazines.
Choose a timber and build your furniture according to the design drawings. Oak is a wood common mission style furniture and makes a strong piece, but most of the wood can work. Take your time. The mission style furniture were made to be strong and durable. The designs tend to be simple, so it is easier to focus on making each cut and each joint.
Choose and apply a finish to the piece. Natural finishes that highlight more than cover the grain of the wood are more common in the mission furniture style, especially with designs influenced by Arts & Crafts. Take your time to apply the finish. Quality is one of the hallmarks of the furniture designs of mission style.