The Mission decorating and design style is influenced by the stucco coated architecture of 18th century Spanish missionaries and Native Americans in the Southwest. Mission design and architecture is represented by simple, functional, and decorative accessories and furniture that are handcrafted by artisans, giving each piece a distinctive look.
The term Mission style is often interchanged with the Craftsman style and the Arts and Crafts style. The Arts and Crafts style is defined by simple, functional, harmonious, hand crafted decorations and design style visible in Craftsman style homes and bungalow style homes, as well as in cottage and tudor homes. The Craftsman style and Mission style were often combined as one style. Craftsman furniture is commonly used in Mission homes. The Mission style follows some of the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, particularly with the use of indigenous, natural materials, and handmade items. However, Mission style homes have a distinctive Spanish flair that sets them apart from Craftsman homes.
Mission style homes are known for curved lines, elaborate designs made with stucco, and unique decorative features. They are usually made from materials like timber, stucco, stone, brick, and tile, as well as unconventional materials including straw, manure, and adobe bricks. These materials give Mission style homes a distinctive exterior appearance that is unique from other types of Arts and Crafts homes.
On the exterior of Mission style homes you will see arches and arcades, arched windows, covered patios, interior courtyards, heavy timbers, carved doors, roof parapets, and red clay roof tiles, giving off a Southwestern vibe. Other features of Mission style exteriors include deep porches, extended roofs, and covered walkways. These help keep the interiors cool during the hot weather.
On the inside, Mission style homes incorporate inglenooks, built-ins, exposed beam ceilings, rough plastered walls, arched passages, curved wall and ceiling corners, as well as stone or tiled fireplaces and Spanish tile floors. Accents, accessories, and furniture that were handmade from metal, wood, and tile complete the interior Mission look.
Interiors feature functional furniture created from oak wood, with adorned flat surfaces, straight lines, and simplistic designs. Heavy pieces are added to give an elaborate appearance without using elaborate materials. Mission style furniture pieces have textures and finishes that offer a warm, natural feel. The simple, linear design will blend with any decorating theme when complemented with color schemes that enhance the finish. The rustic look is commonly achieved in Mission style homes to fit well in Craftsman style homes with exposed beams and stone accents.
It is important that the color scheme bring uniformity and warmth to the interior and blends well with the Mission style furniture pieces. The color palette often includes colors found in nature, such as browns, taupes, greens, oranges, reds, and blues. Wallpapers with floral designs are also ideal choices for an elegant backdrop. Mission style furniture usually has copper fittings, coverings made of canvas, and an earthy color scheme.
Lighting in Mission style homes emphasizes the warmth of the rustic wooden furniture, while defining the balance of the space. Stained glass windows, lamps, chandeliers, and panels with nature motifs add color and vibrancy and elegantly mirror the interior’s overall tone. Using smaller lamps instead of direct overhead light softens rigid lines and opens up the space.
Accessories and décor like vases and candleholders, pottery, earthenware, and bronze or copper are often used in Mission style homes. Accent pieces in Mission style interiors are commonly manufactured specifically to reflect the natural qualities of the furniture pieces. The accent pieces include everything from floral throw pillows to kitchen dishes, as well as bathroom tiles with linear patterns and floral motifs.
To give a home the Mission style vibe with a Southwestern feel, it is important that the interior is simple, casual, and comfortable, with wooden furniture pieces that are handcrafted, durable, and functional. The Mission design style is straight to the point – no fussy designs and very little decoration – yet powerful and inviting because of the clean design.
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