One result of
this regional focus was the Mission style,
which combined Arts and Crafts principles with
elements taken from the Spanish mission
architecture of the American Southwest.
Mission homes were most popular between about
1890 and 1920, and adorned basic outlines of
squared-off white stucco with Mediterranean
detail like red tile roofs, parapets, arched
entry arcades that recall mission cloisters,
black iron balustrades, and decorative windows
(round, arched, or quatrefoil).
A classic Arts & Crafts lamp.
Wooden base with mica lamp shade.
Like other branches
of the Arts and Crafts movement, Mission interior
design emphasized simplicity and natural materials
like wood, brick, and tile -- with Spanish
accents. To keep the rooms light and airy, the
wall color is usually white, but pale rose or
yellow are also possible. Where its
Anglo-inflected cousins might use more carved
wood, Mission style employs an abundance of tile
-- on floors, tabletops, and around the fireplace
-- primarily in natural earth tones accented by
colors like deep blue and ochre. Window
treatments should be plain white or off-white
canvas on dark iron rods. Simple cast-iron wall
sconces and Mission-style Tiffany lamps or
chandeliers with classic geometric designs are the
best lighting choices.
The angular lines,
exposed joints, and distinctive slatting of
Mission furniture, usually based on Stickley’s
Craftsman designs, are easy to recognize and can
be used in many different settings. In a Mission
environment, dress up versatile basics like a red
oak and leather Morris chair or slatted nesting
tables with rustic Spanish and Southwest accents.
Hand-crafted Mexican pottery and textiles, area
rugs with linear patterns in muted colors, a
mirror framed in dark wood, pewter candlesticks,
and even religious paintings or icons help
transform the unpretentious simplicity of Arts and
Crafts into the rich, vibrant, and evocative
of Mission Style:
and scale, along with the interplay between linear movement and the
spacious qualities of light play an integral role in creating
balance and harmony within the room.
As the entrance, and welcoming space of the house, doors and porches
played an important role in the Mission movement.
Doors were often of plain plank construction, fitted with
elaborate hinges and latches, rather than knobs, inspired by
medieval forms. Later in the movement, painted motifs became
popular--either freehand or stenciled--and were supported visually
by the use of stained glass.
The importance placed on light and air is reflected in the large
window areas. Sash windows were commonly
used, often incorporating leaded glass as a key detail. Elongated
window proportions exemplified this style and one would commonly see
the pairing of an upper sash bearing small rectangular panes with a
tall, single-paned lower sash.
Arts & Crafts
Color played an important role in the decorator's approach, and a 3
part division of the wall into dado, field and frieze was almost
always employed. Full paneling on walls was used on occasion, and
stenciled friezes were also favored. With the design of fine
wallpapers, lead by Morris and Company of London and Warren, Fuller
and Co. of NY, wallpaper was also an accepted wall covering. Early
papers boasted floral and medieval designs while the later period
would take on Japanese influences. Tapestry hangings were widely
used in late interiors.
In the early period, remaining true to medieval designs was
preeminent. Treatments included chamfered beams, designed plaster
ceilings, with occasional painting and gilding. Decoration that
incorporated painted stenciling was desirable, but as the cost might
be prohibitive, ceiling papers, often embossed, became much more
common. In the later periods, intricate, prefabricated plaster work
was frequently used.
Being true to this movement, it was generally considered that only
wood or stone was acceptable for floors. Indigenous woods in America
were used, oak or maple, most commonly.
Carpets were regularly used,
and though authentic Indian, Turkish and Persian carpets were
favored, often machine-manufactured carpets were the norm.
A strong design element of the Craftsman movement was the regular
use of built-in furniture. It was practical and minimized the
clutter that was common in the Victorian era. A window seat beneath
a bay window or a bench and sideboard against a wall in the dining
room might be incorporated into the house design, for example.
Stenciled mosaic patterns and hand
painted scrolls embellish
this Arts & Crafts powder room.