If your goal is to build a legacy collection of Arts and Crafts furniture to hand down to your children, look for the best pieces you can afford, but if you simply want a place to eat for now, affordable vintage pieces make sense.
When heavy and ornate Victorian chairs, tables, and cabinets were still in trend, a few leading-edge furniture-makers started manufacturing the opposite—sleek and paired-down furniture that shifted attention from a piece’s ornamentation to its magnificent craftsmanship.
In general, arts and crafts furniture is constructed with solid wood in what many of you might think of as the simple elegance of the Amish style or mission furniture. An aesthetic response to industrialization, the arts and crafts furniture movement celebrates authentic American craftsmanship with timeless design, high quality materials, and naturally strong hardwoods. Well-constructed craftsman furniture is built using mortise and tenon joints.
The beauty of solid wood furniture is obvious at a glance because it’s warm and lustrous, and hardwood gives it a “substantial” appearance, suggesting age and stability. Obviously, the value of solid wood furniture reveals itself over time because it will do just that, stand the test of time. It’s less likely to go out of style, and it’s also likely to hold up with use. Form, function and fine materials create a classic dining ambiance, if you choose a dining table of the craftsman or Amish variety.
In general, furniture created in the Arts and Crafts style involves straight lines, often with an emphasis on vertical and elongated forms. It’s often made of dark woods like stained oak, and any hardware is made of simple metal shapes or wood. If it’s upholstered, like an armchair, the covering is usually leather or simple, colored natural cloth. You won’t find busy floral prints or overstuffed sofas and chairs in Amish furniture. In general, the decoration of pieces is minimal which allows the natural materials and crafted details to speak for themselves.
Gustav Stickley was an American furniture manufacturer, architect and publisher who impressed the world through his furniture designs. Not only this, he became a dominant supporter of the Arts and Crafts movement that flourished in America at the turn of the Twentieth Century. He developed a fuming process to give his furniture a rich, deep color found only in examples of centuries old furniture. A conservative coat of varnish was applied along with a coat of wax to protect these extraordinary pieces.
Therefore, selecting an arts and crafts style dining table will give your dining room the feeling of strength, stability, history, and calm. It won’t feel “fussy,” and it will be built with longevity in mind. If that’s the aura you hope to create for your guests and family, furniture built in the mission style is the best choice for you.