Mission or Prairie Style Tips
You can preserve your home’s Mission Style heritage or transform your light fixtures to Arts-and-Crafts or Prairie style easily if you follow a few proven guidelines.
Am I a “Mission” style person?
Mission Style Lighting emanates elegant simplicity that tells the world "I am confident in my own skin and I don't have to be over-the-top to radiate cool." Mission style is defined by rectangular shapes, using thick components, solid materials, and understated design elements.
Mission style furniture and lighting design feature simple vertical and horizontal lines with flat panels that highlight the grain of natural woods. Similar to Arts and Crafts or Prairie styles, it captures honesty and beauty in handmade creations for the home.
Where did Mission Style come from?
With its mild-mannered persona, would you guess that Mission style has its roots in rebellion? In 1861, William Morris was inspired by Spanish missions in the southwest to the point he had his artisans create simple, quality textiles, wallpaper, and furnishings for the home. Morris' bulky designs later evolved into lighter, simpler shapes that would become iconic examples of mission style furniture and lighting.
The sparse, linear design rebelled against overly formal Victorian interiors. This design is similar to Europe’s Arts and Crafts Movement, which itself is a defiance of the oppressiveness of the industrial revolution. The simplicity of design and hand-crafted quality helped Europeans celebrate humanity and reject the degradation brought by heavy industry.
In the early 20th century, the Americans got into the act. Gustav Stickley had his own linear vision as he designed his famous line of “Craftsman” furniture. Later, Frank Lloyd Wright built his "Prairie" style of design by expanding on the mission theme of linear simplicity.
Over the years, numerous designers and companies have played major roles in the development of the mission design, including Gustav Stickley, Stickley Brothers, Charles Limbert, Ford Johnson, and The Shop of the Crafters.
Choosing the perfect Mission Style Lamp or Light Fixture
If you have Mission style house, you certainly want to honor the tradition of your heritage and choose mission style lamps or another form of mission style lighting. Begin your search in the Mission style lamp category, and look for pieces similar to the originals with an updated twist.
Renovating a Prairie or Mission Style home requires the right lighting including pendants, chandeliers and outdoor lighting that blends with the design of your home. But today, mission style has gone mainstream and designers are using mission and arts and crafts lighting in most homes.
In fact, many lights categorized as “Casual,” “Contemporary,” “Traditional,” or even “Restoration” have their roots in the mission movement. So don't be afraid to work in some elegant simplicity into your home. Its elegant simplicity celebrates humanity, has its roots in rebellion and blends will with today's casual lifestyle.
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