Homespun Design Blog

Early American Furniture Styles

American Furniture, Handmade Furniture, Mission-Style Furniture, Shaker Furniture

When the first settlers arrived in America, they came with just the basics needed for survival and very little furniture.  They brought large chests filled with belongings, and then had to create the furniture they needed to live comfortably in their new homes.  At first, furniture styles were very rudimentary and basic, but as time wore on and the settlers became more established in their new home, they started to put more effort into the aesthetics of their furniture, and in so doing turned out some of the most iconic designs of American descent: from Shaker to Mission, we have it all.

Shaker Furniture:

Shaker BedKnown for its minimal ornamentation and utilitarian designs, Shaker furniture was one of the first truly American furniture movements.  Many of the first Shaker furniture makers had previously been makers of ornate neoclassical furniture.  After converting they stopped using "deceitful" methods, like using veneers or designs that obscured the true nature of the wood and utility of the furniture pieces.  Shaker furniture has exceptionally clean lines, and a unique beauty that can only come from the simplicity of seeing natural wood in its truest form.

Mission Furniture:

Mission style bedMission-style furniture didn't come about until the 19th century, and arose from the inspiration of a particular chair found in a California church at that time.  Designer John P. McHugh emulated the design of this chair in his work, and from the popularity of his pieces arose the Mission furniture movement, which is also related to Arts & Crafts.  Mission-style furniture is recognizable by its distinct vertical and horizontal lines and panels that feature wood grain, often oak.

All of Homespun's Shaker and Mission furniture is made in the USA, and from wood harvested locally to our furniture makers' workshops.  When you buy a piece of Shaker or Mission furniture from us, you know you're getting the real deal -- a long-lasting investment in American art.



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