Mission furniture will help you take a step back to a simpler time. Created in the late 1900's, mission furniture was a turn away from the ornately carved Victorian items that were popular at the time. Instead, mission furniture was very simple. Pieces of mission furniture were created in a dark and heavy oak design, and instead of fancy curves or other ornate details in the wood, straight lines and rectangles were the main shapes.
The history of mission furniture is said to have started in California. It's told that a congregation at a church in San Francisco needed furniture. They didn’t have enough money to buy the furniture they needed. So they used their carpentry skills to make pieces of furniture, modeling their designs off of the furniture that had been created by American Indians for the mission stations in Mexico. This may well be where the name came from.
The introduction of Mission furniture was subtle. It was referred to as 'quaint', while the style at that time was to have a more lavish piece of furniture than your neighbor.
Eventually it caught on, and more and more homes found themselves displaying at least one piece of mission furniture including mission bedroom furniture, living room furniture, and dining room furniture. The most common piece of mission furniture to be found in a home was a hall seat. These were seats just inside the front door of the home where any outerwear could be placed before entering the rest of the house.
Today more and more people appreciate the quality and style of mission furniture. Finding the real thing is much harder to do today. Authentic mission furniture is being scooped up at antique stores as soon as it arrives. If you don't have an antique dealer looking out for you, and deep pockets, you may have to settle for modern reproductions of your favorite pieces.