When I was younger (probably high school aged) I DID NOT like modern design. At all. At that time (mid-late 90’s) I saw modern design as loud, garish and weird with odd shaped furniture and accessories with very little purpose.
But when I started design school, my feelings gradually changed. Well, once I discovered Mid Century Modern, they rapidly changed. This was not the modern design that I was familiar with! It was beautiful in it’s exquisite ways of blending design and function. My design brain was forever changed.
Mid Century Modern is a design that has impacted decades of homes and has had a huge impact on design throughout the world. This style is associated with the mid twentieth century, but exact years depends on opinion. Some say Mid Century Modern ranges from the 1930’s to the 1960’s while others feel it was strictly 1947-1957. Either way, Mid Century Modern left a lasting mark on design.
Mid Century Modern design does not only refer to interior design, but also architecture and graphic design. The styles during this time would definitely be considered “organic”. Building and decor styles were very simple and focused on bringing the outdoors in. The post-war modernism included open floor plans, many windows and a streamlining of home architecture.
The modern styles focused on form following function. Furniture was simple, yet elegant, and comfortable. What is the point of having pretty and uncomfortable furniture?! Furniture could be comfortable and stylish, beautiful without being fussy. That was one of the goals of Mid Century Modern design.Furniture could be comfortable and stylish, beautiful without being fussy. That was one of the goals of Mid Century Modern design. Click To Tweet
Here are some iconic pieces of furniture that exemplified the style and grace of Mid Century Modern design.
Tulip Chair by Saairnen
Egg Chair by Jacobson
Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe and Lillu Reich
Eames Lounge Chair by Charles & Ray Eames
Also, here is some more info on some of my favorite Mid Century Modern Designers
And, of course, one of my all time favorites, Frank Lloyd Wright, although his career was not solely defined by Mid Century Modern styles.
And here’s a fun piece from the New York Times that discusses the long lasting love (and irritation, for some) of Mid Century Modern. I don’t agree with everything the article says, but it gives us a few things to think about.
To this day, it is still common to see Mid Century Modern design elements in a variety of ways. While an entire room may not be full MCM design, those design elements are still frequently used in modern interior design. You can find example after example of it in current design magazines. Now that you’re more familiar with the style, you’ll be able to spot it yourself. And maybe even add a touch of Mid Century Modern design to your own home.