Everyone loves the elegant touch that handcrafted, hardwood Amish furniture adds to bedrooms, offices, and even kitchen furnishings. You might think of solid wood furniture as a single category, however there are actually many different styles of Amish furniture. While many love what every piece adds to a room, knowing the different types and what each has to offer can help when furnishing your home.
Maintaining certain styles or finding the perfect piece to match others you may have can be easier when you are familiar with some of the existing styles. Two of the most popular are the Shaker and Mission styles of Amish furniture design. Each style has a unique design quality to offer, as you’ll see below.
Shaker Style Hardwood Furniture History
The Shaker furniture style was made popular by a group of settlers in the mid-18th century. Originally part of the Quakers coming to what would become the United States, the Shakers separated from the Quakers and established their own communities and traditions. Similar to the Puritans, Shakers were known for their intense work ethic, which became a necessity in order for them to maintain their independence from other groups. In order to protect their ideology, they honed many skills in order to become highly self-sufficient. This facet of their traditions can be seen translated into the classic, minimalist furniture designs they created.
Mission Style Hardwood Furniture History
Mission style furniture did not make its way onto the map until over a century after the Shaker style was created. Originally honed by a craftsman from New York, the Mission style was inspired by the many Spanish missions located throughout California. This earned the style the name “Mission Style.” This handcrafted furniture design has remained popular across the country for decades since its invention. It is often characterized by dark stains and parallel slats that give these pieces a traditional appearance.
What’s The Difference?
While both styles do have many similarities in their designs, there are very specific differences between Mission and Shaker Amish furniture. As simplistic as Mission seems, Shaker really capitalizes on minimalism in every aspect of the design. The furniture edges are typically very smooth and rounded out, and there are few elaborate corners. Because the Shakers prided themselves on being very humble, they were careful not to boast in any form, even their handcrafted wood work.
While Mission style furniture might be stained, or often include leather for the seat, Shaker style stays true to its modest roots. Typically, these pieces will not have any splash of color from stain at all and will almost never include any other materials besides wood. Also, because of the Shaker’s desire to utilize practical design, most of their furniture is lighter, which made it easier to move when needed to either utilize a room differently or to clean. Mission style chairs, for instance, have thicker legs that are often square shaped as opposed to the Shaker style which is typically trimmer and more rounded and smooth.
The biggest difference between the two styles is that while Mission gives a chance to showcase craftsmanship, even so subtly, Shaker specifically works to minimize it, focusing mainly on simplicity and a flowing design.
Find the Perfect Furniture for Your Home
Regardless of the specific style, any room can benefit from beautiful, carefully handcrafted Amish furniture. Homeowners furnishing with solid wood furniture can look forward to years of enjoyment from their high-quality pieces. Looking for hardwood furniture for your home? Visit Amish Oak in Texas at one of our furniture stores in San Antonio and New Braunfels, TX.