How Do I Choose the Best Mission Hutch?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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Mission-style furniture is identifiable by its simple design, straight lines and paneled doors. The term mission furniture is derived from being styled after furniture found in Spanish missions in the late 1800s. The European name for this style was dubbed arts and crafts, and this furniture style gained popularity in the early 1900s. Mission pieces are still highly sought-after and are a recognizable type of furniture, including the versatile mission hutch.

In order to choose the best mission hutch to suit your wants and needs, you should first decide between a vintage mission hutch, a new hutch or a used hutch. Purchasing a finely-crafted, vintage mission hutch is often the priciest option, although there are some deals available if you have time to wait and enjoy shopping. If you are seeking a mission hutch in perfect condition and want it right away, a new hutch may be the best option. If you are not against purchasing an item second-hand for your home or office, purchasing a used hutch might help you stretch your dollar and enable you to purchase a higher-quality piece for less money.


As with most purchases, it is important to be somewhat knowledgeable about what you are purchasing. In addition to reviewing furniture books and doing online research, a visit to a furniture store or antique mall may be a good way to educate yourself about mission furniture and how to identify the style and quality of a hutch. Furniture and antique store staff are often knowledgeable about their wares and can help guide you in the right direction by showing you quality examples of mission furniture, including hutches.

As many furniture makers produced mission-style furniture, hutches are available in a variety of sizes. In addition to measuring the length, width and height of the area where you would like your hutch to be located, it is also important to measure access areas to the room. After all, if you cannot get your hutch through the door without damaging it, you have likely wasted your money. If access space is limited, your best option may be to choose a mission hutch that can be easily disassembled and reassembled, or to choose a new hutch that comes not assembled in a box that can easily fit through a doorway and be assembled once it is in the room.

When purchasing a vintage or used mission hutch, it is important to inspect the item for damage. Start at the bottom of the hutch and work your way up. Check to make sure the hutch's feet or legs are solid and the wood is not soft and crumbling. If the hutch's finish at the bottom is lighter or darker than the rest of the hutch, this could mean it has been standing in water and the wood can be severely rotted. It is also best to open all doors, drawers and latches to make sure they are all working and the inside shelves and drawer bottoms are present and not warped.

Depending on your needs and repair abilities, some damage may be acceptable and can even be a bargaining point to reduce the price of a mission hutch. It is also wise to check that the hutch is sturdy, and to picture it in the space you plan to use it in. Mission hutches are typically made of wood, which can often be painted or stained to better suit your decor, if desired.



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