Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Affordable Mission -School House Furniture

You could call it ‘Econo-Mission.’ I sometimes refer to it as ‘school house’ design. It is that utilitarian design found in schools, universities, libraries and offices in the late 19th Century up to the Mid-20th Century. Picture your Grandfather’s prep school football coach’s office in 1938.

My favorite examples have clean lines yet are well built of oak or other hard woods. I find that it is a good substitute for Arts and Crafts or Mission furniture that, while beautiful, has become rare and very expensive in the last two decades.

School House is very practical because it was built by skilled American craftsmen. Much of it was made here in North Carolina but it was also made in many other states like Indiana and Michigan. Because it’s so solid it can be heavily used and abused.

These furnishing can be used in many different ways in many different rooms of your house. It goes with sporting antiques like old team pictures and rustic furnishings like antique fishing gear really well but it can also be paired with country furniture like a dining room table. It even goes well with industrial interior design like old drafting tables and hung antique engineering blueprints.This look has been popular with the big names in retail furnishings for a while now. However, with a little looking, you can get a real antique piece with patina and history for less than what you’d pay buying from a catalogue. Also, the school house antique piece will he made out of real American hardwoods, not made in China out of who knows what kind of young wood.

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