Mid Century Modern

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MID CENTURY MODERN DESIGN

Originating from mid-century North America, this design style continues to rise in popularity today due to its easy and affordable stylish look. Sleek and modern elements are paired with lots of natural light. The mid-century modern style is both clean and simple, including furniture with gentle curves and straight lines, and the overall functionality of space. It’s a minimal look with unique materials and no clutter. Similar to the Scandinavian style, it offers a less traditional and more egalitarian approach to design. With a lack of excess embellishment, there is more space to enhance sculptural furniture pieces and natural elements. Not only is this design style easy to create, but when personal touches and contrasting textures are added to the room, the mid-century modern style is created.


COLORS & TONES

The common colors of the mid-century style include a mixed palette of bright colors and warm or cool neutrals. Brown is a major aspect of mid-century modern due to the extensive use of wood. Bright orange, purple, olive green, bright red, peacock blue-green or teal, browns and golds, and warm or cool neutrals make up the elements of this style. It is important to repeat colors throughout the space being curated so that the design is cohesive and translates to mid-century modern. Woods in saddle brown or medium tones help to accentuate the vibe. Geometric shapes and patterns are common. For example, a geometric patterned wallpaper on one wall of a room or vibrant geometric art is a great design touch to add to the aesthetic. Various pops of bold colors move the eye around the room as well.

  • Mix sleek lines and organic shapes, mid-century modern style also focusses on no clutter or superfluous ornamentation.
  • Orange & Brown – orange give a feeling of joy, energy and liveliness whereas it is balanced by the stability denoted by brown”
  • Teal, Brown and White – teal is a rejuvenating color representing clarity of thought and open communication, whereas brown and white adds stability and youthfulness respectively.

TEXTURES & FINISHES

The textures and finishes unique to the mid-century modern style are attributed to plywood, plastics, man-made materials, lucite, wood veneers, velvet, corduroy, the occasional fur, brass, gold, metal, vinyl, glass, acorn wood, walnut, and other such characteristics. The mix of leather and wood is another common trait of this style. Fiberglass and vinyl are popular within mid-century modern and when used alongside other natural elements, the combination can bring out a harmonious and artistic balance. Repeating wood strips on walls or ceilings and other wood accents are the usual design features of this style.

  • Expansive glass walls, wide open floor plans and clean lines were highly used in residential style.
  • The most luxurious of floors is Terrazzo. The process of pouring a Terrazzo floor is similar to a concrete floor
  • Materials such as metal, glass, vinyl, plywood, Plexiglass and Lucite. Chrome, Brass, or Copper finishes.

FORMS & SHAPES

Mid-century modern errs on minimalism so embellishments and traditionalist aspects are seen very little. Sculptural decor and furniture are popular within this style. Clean shapes such as rectangles, squares, and repeating geometric patterns paired with simple accent furniture like wooden credenzas or bar stands add to the design. Curvy-shaped decor, geometric art, gourd style lamps, sofas with channel tufting, unique tables, and chairs with visible wooden or hairpin legs bring this style to life. Unique, funky, and modern overhead lighting add ambiguity and interest. In its futuristic approach, it is good to note that simple clean lines and furniture with boxy arms and legs are key.

  • Light fixtures are often one of the most iconic pieces in a mid-century modern home. Sputnik-style chandeliers are a great way to make a big statement because of their simple brass arms and large globe bulbs.
  • Use sheer or semi-sheer curtains to make the most of natural light and outdoor scenery available to you.
  • Pared-down forms, natural materials, contemporary patterns and a seamless flow.


HISTORY OF THE MID CENTURY MODERN DESIGNS

The mid-century modern style originated after World War II in mid-century North America. It took off largely after the 1920s Bauhaus movement in Germany. Iconic chair designs and other furniture pieces added to the style’s growing popularity in the 40s-70s. Mid-century modern was an aesthetic that dominated the post-war era when new technology and man-made materials became readily available. 1962 could be explained as the height of its era. The middle and working-class began thriving so accessing furniture for the average person was important. Family and functionality were key.


PHILOSOPHY OF THE MID CENTURY MODERN DESIGN

With a focus on functionality and basic elements, the mid-century modern style displays a timeless look. Simple lines and shapes paired with geometric patterns bring out the “less is more” philosophy of the popular aesthetic. This style is well complemented with lots of natural light, personal touches, wood, plants, ornate decoration, and geometric features. Today, this design style is seen commonly on the West-coast and is likely to become a worldwide interest.