History of Design and Craftsmanship

What is Stickley Style Furniture

Stickley Style Furniture - Sidebaord

The Stickley style furniture is a type of furniture that is known for its sturdy construction, simple design, and high-quality materials. It is named after Gustav Stickley, an American furniture maker who popularized this style of furniture in the early 20th century. The Stickley style has become synonymous with the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized craftsmanship and simplicity in design.  Stickley is considered one of the designers who make up the Craftsman Style of furniture design.

Gustav Stickley was an American furniture maker and designer who lived from 1858 to 1942. He was born in Osceola, Wisconsin, and began his career in the furniture industry at a young age, working as an apprentice in his uncle’s chair factory. After a few years of experience, Stickley and his brothers founded their own furniture company, called Stickley Brothers & Company, in 1883.

In 1898, Gustav Stickley established his furniture company, the Craftsman Workshops. The Craftsman Workshops produced furniture in the Arts and Crafts style, which emphasized traditional craftsmanship and simple, functional design. Stickley’s furniture was designed to be both beautiful and practical, and it quickly gained a reputation for its high quality and durability.

Stickley was also an influential writer and editor. He founded a magazine called The Craftsman in 1901, which was dedicated to promoting the Arts and Crafts movement and showcasing the work of American artisans. The magazine was hugely popular and helped popularize the Arts and Crafts furniture and design style.

Over the course of his career, Stickley’s furniture designs evolved, but they always remained true to his original vision of simple, functional design and traditional craftsmanship. Today, his furniture is highly sought after by collectors and aficionados of the Arts and Crafts style. Gustav Stickley’s legacy as a furniture maker and designer has had a lasting impact on American design and craftsmanship, and his work continues to be admired and celebrated today.

The Stickley style of furniture is characterized by several key features.

First and foremost, it is built to last. Stickley furniture is made from high-quality materials such as solid oak, cherry, and mahogany and is designed to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. It is also known for its clean lines and simple, unadorned design. The furniture often features straight lines, flat panels, and exposed joinery, which give it a distinctive look and feel.

Another important aspect of Stickley Furniture is its attention to detail. Each piece is carefully crafted to ensure that every joint fits perfectly and that the furniture is both beautiful and functional. This attention to detail is evident in the furniture’s intricate joinery, which often includes mortise and tenon joints, dovetails, and finger joints.

Stickley furniture is also known for its unique finishes. The furniture is typically finished with a hand-rubbed stain or wax, which enhances the natural beauty of the wood and gives it a warm, inviting glow. The finish is often matte or satin, which gives the furniture a timeless, classic look that never goes out of style.

One of the reasons that Stickley furniture has remained so popular over the years is its versatility. While it was originally designed for use in Arts and Crafts homes, it can now be found in a wide range of settings, from traditional to modern. Stickley furniture is equally at home in a rustic cabin or a sleek urban loft, and its clean, simple lines make it a favorite of designers and homeowners alike.

In addition to its timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship, Stickley furniture is also known for its durability. It is built to last for generations, and many pieces of Stickley furniture are passed down from one generation to the next. This longevity is due in part to the use of high-quality materials and traditional joinery techniques, but it is also a testament to the care and attention that goes into each piece.

Stickley-style furniture is a timeless classic that has remained popular for over a century. Its simple, unadorned design, attention to detail, and exceptional craftsmanship make it a favorite of designers and homeowners alike. Whether you are looking for a traditional piece to add to your home’s decor or a modern piece that will stand the test of time, Stickley Furniture is a great choice. Its versatility, durability, and timeless design make it an investment you will enjoy for years.

If you are interested in adding a custom Stickley piece to your collection, feel free to contact me, a Denver Furniture Designer and fabricator.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.