The Allure of Mission Style Kitchen Chairs

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

Your home’s dining room is central to all social activities, whether you’re eating with family or dining with guests.  Whether you dine, host, or use it as your home office, the selection of furniture and style is uniquely dependent on your style and tastes.

In recent years, mission-style dining chairs and furniture have become popular in the United States. The raison d’etre is simple. This classic design relies on clean lines and straight lines created and maintained across your dining room furniture.

This simplicity delivers a great experience for the family or special occasions, especially in the dining space with something as basic as the mission style dining chair. There’s always room for extra seating.

Table of Contents

The Origins of Mission Style Furniture

Mission style furniture’s popularity was the result of an architect and furniture maker named Gustav Stickley. He believed that all furniture should have a clear purpose; you should keep it simple as possible to attain beauty and practicality. Most couples do too much to their living room, dining room, and furniture, yet there are no detailed instructions for beauty; anything can be attractive.

There are numerous furniture options such as kitchen chair, arm chairs, dining room chairs, accent chair, wooden table (as a dining room table)

It is common knowledge that furniture and its relation to the rest of the house depend on color palettes. However, it is easy to tell when someone did too much to create an aesthetic. Mission furniture aims to create a and matching palette.

The result is a traditional style that considers color palette and materials such as:

  • A brown finish
  • Choice of wood (real wood): pine wood, solid rubberwood (solid parawood)
  • Modern materials: particle board or soft melamine white finish (for a white wood extendable dining set and a modern update, look at these examples at Structube or Wayfair)

You may not know this, but parawood has other names like Malaysian oak or plantation hardwood. It’s interesting because the resource comes from Indonesia and Central American countries where there are rubber plantations. It is a light-colored wood from the tropics but is a perfect color palette for mission-style.

Parawood is strong, durable, and resilient and can last as long as two decades or more. It is simple to take care of because it is stain-resistant.

What is Mission-Style Furniture

Mission style furniture and aesthetic essentially is a classic style that emphasizes the importance of vertical and horizontal lines for the furniture, which has to be straight, while also trying to accentuate the wood grain. It simply aims to showcase the natural beauty of the wood used to create the furniture.

Nature has a way of organizing chaos beautifully. The wood grains are just as beautiful as they need to be and will present adequately. This design is very prominent when it comes to solid hardwood furniture.

My dining table has white oak, and thus it is naturally beautiful. I did not see any need to paint over it, but instead, I made it the centerpiece of my living room and the color palette therein.

Mission style is the perfect solution if you have solid hardwood furniture, like solid oak or brown maple. Mission style furniture is synonymous with a streamlined silhouette or compact silhouette (low profile). Chairs have a contoured seat form, and backrests are h seat height (long, tall).

This furniture may also embrace ebony inlays. You may ask what this might be. It is decorative but ornamental for furniture decoration where the surface has a depressed surface in a different color; in this case, ebony.

Mission style also embraces mortise and tenon joinery because it creates a solid joint. This prevents tenons from breaking loose. It is a well-regarded joint, and when you’re looking at traditional techniques and styles, this provides long-lasting value because of its superior strength.

The method’s primary function is to join major portions of each furniture item (frame) from flat slats, vertical slats, and trestle base.

Upholstered Mission Dining Chairs

When it comes to mission style, you can play around with side chairs. You can combine the intricate wood grain lines with the upholstery you so desire with mission dining chairs. Moreover, the said upholstery also acts as a segue for the eyes regarding color palettes.

Of course, the side chair you choose will depend on your dining table if you purchase the dining table and the dining chairs separately. Side chairs do not have to be part of the dining table set; they can be independent entities by themselves.

You can set a dining chair by the window so that you enjoy a cup of coffee while looking at the sunset, or set a couple of chairs by your bookstand so that you can read your favorite book while being comfortable.

Side chairs can be versatile, but only to a degree. You have to make sure that they match what is going on with the rest of the room. They have to complement the color palette you have.

Amish Dining Chairs

I have found that Amish dining chairs work best as a unit; they are a great addition to Amish tables. Of course, some people find that Amish furniture works best for formal dining rooms, where comfort is not the main thing in consideration. This statement isn’t entirely true, but it isn’t false either.

Staying sited on a solid wood frame for a long time is not precisely what most people consider comfortable. An upholstered chair is more comfortable than a solid wood chair with no upholstery.

Amish furniture does have its perks. Solid wood with only varnish applied to it has a certain untainted beauty, a certain appeal that I can only describe as being raw, natural, and yet so simple. And isn’t that what mission style essentially is?

Aside from this, Amish furniture is more appealing because it is easier to clean, as it only requires a damp cloth. On the other hand, if upholstered furniture gets even the slightest stains, you have to find an expert to clean it for you, which can be expensive.

Kitchen Furniture

The kitchen, too, needs a bit of decorating and appeal, and you can do this by making sure that the furniture you have in there is worthwhile and stands outs. Modern house designs have used the open floor plan, where the dining room and kitchen are in the same place.

Of course, a lot can be said about the privacy policy, as you will hear what is going on in the kitchen from the dining room and vice versa. However, this design, coupled with mission-style dining, must create a work of art.

By the way, most open floor plans have a kitchen island, where you and yours can enjoy a quick meal, like breakfast, or munch on some snacks. You can either have a suspended marble slab as the surface or use a wooden board placed on the trestle leg for the kitchen island.

Keep in mind; this is very important. It will determine the type of mission chair you will have. For the former, you can use bar stools or Amish chairs that have long legs, so long as they match with the marble you used on the kitchen island and the ambiance of the kitchen itself.

You can go with pretty much the same for the latter, or decide to spice things up with some upholstered chairs, but with higher seat height. The craftsman style of the table will be what you should use to determine the chairs you will have if you can get a set complete with both tables and chairs, the better.

Shaker Style Kitchen

Simplicity and utility are two of the main attributes seen in shaker-style furniture, prevalent for kitchen furniture. Again, the theme is that simple is beautiful.

Shaker style aesthetic works together with mission style ambiance, with the former used on cupboards and shelves and the latter used in the dining room, living room, and home office. For the kitchen, if you are using the shaker style, there are a couple of prerequisites.

The walls and the ceilings are typically soft white. Monotone is the guiding principle when selecting the décor, and iron hardware are typical for door and drawer fronts. The armchairs have no upholstery and are hung on chair rails on walls when not in use, and the leg tables are as simple as can be.

For The Office

The home office, or workspace, is another place to showcase the contemporary look that comes with the mission style. Naturally, beautiful wood will improve your work workspace, providing a la mode finish compared to other traditional furniture and types.

When it comes to the home office, I have found that most people want to have some peace to focus all their energies on their work. Even the slightest distractions will divert your attention and energy, which is why most wood is a natural fit for such a space. It is unambiguous and straightforward, and at the same time, calming and refreshing. 

For your central working space, the office’s focal point, you can use brown maple for the desk. Handmade furniture, in this case, is your best option. Your local Amish furniture store should provide you with everything you need on this front.

Your office will also need a file cabinet. These days, most of them are metallic, but for the sake of the style you are going for, you need to go against the grain. There are plenty of mission-style file cabinets that offer the same level of security. If you cannot find a readymade one around, don’t hesitate to order a handmade one.

I have found that handmade furniture is a bit more intimate than that bought in the store. Since you are giving instructions as to what exactly you want, you will not have to consent to the set features of the furniture you have bought.

Accent Chairs

Accent chairs are a staple of the home office. It is a comfortable seat where you can get away from work, at least temporarily. Paring your accented chair, or chairs, with the lampstand, bookstand, or upholstery with the carpet you have in place in the office is a great way to ensure that the office’s color ambiance aesthetic is maintained.

You may also have a couple of accent chairs as desk chairs in your office space when having guests over.

Heirloom Quality Furniture

Mission style furniture meets many styling qualifications; especially, heirloom-quality furniture, supported by the quality of the wood and the craftsmanship from past eras. Nothing beats good solid wood construction.

Heirloom furniture has that traditional charm, especially when it comes to wood-like brown maple and white oak. After years of existence, the distressed details on this type of furniture make its beauty all the more outstanding.

It will be a great fit to get this furniture and make it the room’s focal point, especially the home office. You will have to know how to care for it properly. If the furniture was old, and you want to give it a modern upcycled upgrade, you’ll need to do it properly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mission Style Furniture?

Mission style is a type of furniture design that emphasizes the need to showcase and highlight horizontal and vertical lines while also accentuating the grain of the furniture’s wood.

It is a remedy to the excess of Queen Anne Victorian times, and it showcases the importance of simplicity when it comes to beauty and aesthetics with home styles.

Are Mission-Style Chairs Comfortable?

Amish-type mission chair does not have any upholstery; thus, if you sit on them for a prolonged period, you are bound to get uncomfortable.

Upholstered chairs have a cushion, either on the seat, the backrest, or both. 

Where Can I Buy Mission-Style Furniture?

Well, mission style has been around for some time. If you want antiqued furniture of the said style, you can visit your local antique store. Heirlooms furniture pieces are also prevalent in flea markets and consignment stores.

If buying from free markets and consignment stores is a bit cheaper in terms of the initial price, you will have to part with some more money to return the said furniture to its original state or something akin to it.

If you want a more modern take on mission-style furniture, then you can visit your local furniture store, and you are more than likely to find a couple of pieces that will impress you. You might find the customer service to be better with deliveries made in a few business days.

Mission furniture tracked its origins back to the late 19th century and was very popular in the early and mid-20th centuries. It traces its roots back to a chair that A.J Forbes made in 1894. The style has enjoyed a renaissance over the last couple of years since more and more people are beginning to appreciate its sturdy elegance and simplistic beauty.

Can You Replace the Cushions for Mission-Style Chairs?

Yes, you can. People who purchase used mission-style chairs can replace the cushions on the seat, backrest, and armrest. However, it takes expertise and experienced craftsmanship, not damage to the chair itself.

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