Mission style lighting is a straightforward style of outdoor lighting characterized by its bold yet simple geometric shapes, its use of organic, earthy materials like Oak and Cherry wood; copper, brass, pewter, and iron; stained glass, slag glass, and mica. The Mission style of home design and home decorating was originally associated with the Spanish missionaries living and working in the North American Southwest.
The hallmark features of Mission design are straight lines and simplicity of design. Mission style homes typically have architectural features such as textured stucco walls, twisted columns, and rounded design of its windows and doors. Decorative touches might include patterned tile work around windows and on the walls, stone carvings, and elaborate grillwork. In contrast to Victorian decor, the Mission style is basically simple, not ornate or super detailed. The Mission style is a uniquely American offshoot of an English and American design philosophy known as the Arts and Crafts Movement.
The Arts and Crafts movement began in England in the late nineteenth century when a group of painters and craftsmen vocally criticized the mass produced, machine made furnishings and decorative products of the Industrial Era. Artists and architects rebelled against the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and mass produced products. Artist colonies were founded to explore individual craftsmanship and creativity.
American designers picked up on the style and it became very popular by the early 1900s. The Arts and Crafts Movement emphasized creating harmony between the furnishings of the inside with the surroundings of the outside. “William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright are among some of the most well-known designers who produced furniture and architecture in the Arts and Crafts style, while many others produced ceramics, glass, textiles, wallpaper, and silverware in the same vein.”(Barbara Mayer)
Mission style outdoor lighting is widely available on the market today. The many beautiful choices include wall sconces, chain hung chandelier and pendant fixtures, post and column mounted fixtures – all perfect for your deck, porch, or outdoor living room and kitchen. These light fixtures are of strictly geometric design, featuring stained or slag glass, or translucent mica, set into a frame made of wood or metal. Lighting fixture color schemes are earth tones such as cream, amber, deep greens and browns, burnt yellows and oranges, dusty rose, sapphire blue. These outdoor fixtures will look and feel hand crafted even if they are not. Tiffany style glass panels in geometric, right angle designs are also easy to find. Because Mission lighting is made for inside and outside, you can coordinate your interior and exterior decorating. Great, because that holistic design approach is a main tenet of the Arts and Crafts philosophy!
Creating a Mission style for your deck, patio or outdoor living room means you can also use design ideas from styles such as Art Nouveau, the Prairie Style of architecture, bungalow style houses, Mission oak style of furniture, Tiffany stained glass, Mexican rustic, and most definitely the English landscape designers Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Mission style is simple and accepts a eclectic mix of elements, as long as all the elements together create squares and rectangles, strong earthy colors, and rustic, handcrafted look.