Mission furniture is typified by the Stickley Mission collection and many of the Amish furniture styles, which are not only designed with the clean lines and cheer functionality that has characterized genuine American furniture for centuries, but also displays the best of American hand-made craftsmanship. It is not a style for everybody, but one that offers the comfort and homeliness that most Americans appreciate.
We shall review here the mission furniture style by considering two manufacturers: Stickley Furniture of Manlius, NY, originating with the Stickley family with old Flemish roots, and Simply Amish of Illinois, started up by an Amish family in the 1970s. Each of these firms employs traditional carpentry techniques in crafting their furniture, and while the mission style is not the whole of the range of products each of these offer, it is crafted according to the methods and simplicity of the designs traditionally used.
Stickley Mission Furniture
Stickley uses traditional oak and American cherry woods for their mission style furniture. The company offers 5 oak finishes and 12 cherry finishes, providing you with such a large selection that you are sure to find a wood finish to blend or contrast with your current home décor.
For the dining room you can choose from a number of solid dining tables: you don’t get fancy carving with this style of furniture, just pure American solid craftsmanship without the use of nails or screws, and furniture that will last to be passed down your family line. ‘Made in America’ is likely what you want right now, and nothing is more made in America than this type of furniture.
The chairs are solidly built, with and without arms, and with plain wooden or upholstered seats. Add sideboards, display cabinets, display buffets and kitchen dressers, all available in a range of designs and wood finishes, and you begin to get an idea of how extensive a selection of mission furniture is available for your dining room or kitchen.
In the living room you get the same clean lines – all upholstered in leather or fabric, but with wooden arms of various designs – solid, slatted and laddered. Simple but beautiful loveseats, sofas and chairs. Traditional rockers, solid wood TV stands, entertainment centers and china and display cabinets of many kinds.
Stickley offer mission furniture for every room in your home, including the beds with spindle and slatted head and footboards. This is furniture crafted by hand, and finished to a very high quality. Your biggest problem with this huge range will be in choosing the pieces you want to buy for your home.
Simply Amish Mission Furniture
Simply Amish, based in Illinois, utilizes traditional Amish craftsmen and women to make their furniture. They employ people throughout the state to make the individual pieces, often in their own homes. Each piece is wrapped in blankets for distribution rather than spoil the environment with cardboard boxes and corrugated or even polystyrene wrappings.
Only traditional jointing techniques are used, and Simply Amish offers a number of traditional Amish furniture styles of which several as described as ‘mission.’ The standard style is very simply upholstered, and many ladder-backed and spindle chairs and couches are not upholstered. Their largest range is the company’s Prairie Mission furniture range with pieces suitable for any room. These tend to be crafted in solid wood, and in the few pieces that are upholstered this is generally by the use of cushions.
Simply Amish also offers the Royal Mission range with more elaboration in the design. Pieces include high-backed chairs, integrated home office units, beautiful solid wood wardrobes and armoires, and a great deal more. When you add the genuine Shaker furniture designs and their Hickory Hollow range of old hickory furniture, you will have to agree that Simply Amish offers you about the best selection of traditional American, frontier, pioneer and mission furniture in the world: if it’s traditionally American, Simply Amish make it – even the ‘Classic’ range that displays some great American carving and woodworking.
Each of the above two firms produces mission furniture that is genuinely made in America by Americans and not imported. It is made by hand and not by robots, and is manufactured using American wood. Simply Amish uses wood grown within 500 miles of the main factory.