Residential interior design thrives on the differentiation of style elements. As a result, you can live in a home that embraces your favorite manner of décor in furnishings and light fixtures. Cases in point are the Mission, Craftsman, and Arts & Craft styles. Why are they among the ideal design choices of contemporary homeowners? Most importantly, what signifies these styles?

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Warm Wood and Straight Lines Define the Mission Style

A wood cabin with a large, two-story windows with grids in the front of the home.

Developed in the 19th century, the Mission style hearkens back to the Spanish missions that were among the first buildings in colonial California. Furnishings during this time were sturdy and, at times, even bulky. Even so, they charm with functionality and potential.

Popular wood types included oak as well as cherry. Not surprisingly, this style resonates with homeowners who are imbuing their residences with a warm, contemporary atmosphere. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the significant proponents of this style. He pioneered several ways of introducing it to the exterior as well as the interior of a home.

What is Mission Style Lighting?

Bronze is by far the favorite finish. Sconces dominate the lighting fixture selection. Chandeliers with incandescent bulbs are excellent options for a dining room or foyer. Pendant lamps provide the accent lighting you need. You will notice that the pull chain is a fashionable accessory to turn the fixtures on and off. This style thrives on horizontal and vertical lines.



American Craftsman Style Embraces Mixed Materials

A white home with dormers and a large covered porch

The line between Mission and Craftsman style is narrow. In fact, some interior designers will use the terms interchangeably. Truth be told, there is plenty of overlap. However, one of the most distinct features that set apart these two décor options is the Craftsman commitment to the use of mixed materials. Iron and alabaster are excellent examples.

Julia Morgan was an American architect at the forefront of this style. You will notice tapering of style elements in many of her designs. Besides that, there are overhangs and the introduction of square artistry to create an ornamental bridge between functional and aesthetic. It is a bit of a stylistic tightrope. Nevertheless, it is one that interior decorators are willing to traverse.

What is Craftsman Style Lighting?

Bronze is once again the favorite finish. The style continues to favor vertical and horizontal lines but uses them to juxtapose color differences in materials. Textured finishes, such as hammered metal, are common. This is the one style that you can incorporate into ultra-modern settings without a second thought. Look for straight-line chandeliers with square shades.



Arts & Crafts Movement Delights in Details and High-End Material Use

An older home with a large covered porch and short steps with floral details on both pillars

It is interesting to note that the Arts & Crafts Movement predates the Mission or Craftsman style in the United States. Some suggest that it even set the stage for these styles. Others point to it as an outcropping of Art Deco.

Designers took the geometric lines of the Art Deco era and softened them. Similarly, they included movement in the designs, which typically took on the form of rounded finishes. Gordon Russell fell in love with the Movement and designed several homes around it. You will notice that they incorporate nature as well as architecture to create a sum total of the style.

What is Arts & Crafts Style Lighting?

Bronze and black dominate the finish selections. Iron follows next. Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures provide illumination for the majority of rooms. Incandescent bulbs and LEDs provide the lighting. Pendants feature attractive chains as much for ornamentation as for function. Glass mosaics trade off with natural elements such as floral adornments in the design of the fixtures.



Similarities between the Three Styles Outweigh Their Differences

The lines between Mission, Craftsman, and Arts & Craft styles frequently blur. Sure, you will find more rounded elements in Arts & Crafts than you will in the Mission style, but there are far more elements that these approaches share.

  • High-quality materials. The three styles focus on quality through material selection. Flimsy materials need not apply. If there is a choice between aluminum and iron, iron wins.
  • Attention to detail. Detail work refers to the way that different parts of a piece of furniture join together. There is attention to the proportions of a lampshade to the overall fixture.
  • Warm tones. The warmth of colors and material choices is a connecting thread that runs through each style. Even the more geometric shapes of the Mission style are softened by the warmth of material selection and finish work.

Pictured is a rustic design pattern wtih a flower.



Mission & Craftsman Chandeliers

Maxim Lighting Asiana Chandelier

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Mission & Craftsman Pendants

Quoizel Lighting Inglenook Pendants

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Mission & Craftsman Wall Lighting

Metropolitan Underscore Wall Lighting

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Mission & Craftsman Lamps

Quoizel Lighting Tiffany Lamps

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Mission & Craftsman Ceiling Fans

Even ceiling fans can support Mission, Craftsman, and Arts & Crafts style. Look for straight blades in black or cherry wood tones. Even maple colors make regular appearances. Associated light fixtures typically contain clear or white lampshades with horizontal style elements. Four blades are conventional for Craftsman and Mission styles, while five are more typical of the Arts & Crafts style.

Monte Carlo Discus Ceiling Fan

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Mission & Craftsman Ceiling Lights

Minka Lavery Lineage Ceiling Lights

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Mission & Craftsman Outdoor Lighting

Feiss Mission Lodge Outdoor Lighting

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Mission & Craftsman Lamps

Hinkley Path Lighting

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This guide to Mission, Craftsman, and Arts & Craft style lighting is the fifth in a series of style guides we have developed for our readers! Our second style guide was the Rustic Farmhouse Style Lighting Guide which can easily be paired with Mission, Craftsman, and Arts & Crafts style lighting. Feel free to check it out!

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What do you consider the best examples of Mission, Craftsman, or Arts & Crafts style lighting? Let us know in the comments below!