If you’re planning to renovate or upgrade any room in your home, business, or office – or even planning a complete property refurb – opting for mid-century modern styling is one design solution that’s sure to work well.
Although you may never even heard of mid-century modern before, this simple guide could sway the decision making process and help you create a room or rooms that are timeless decor classics sure to stun any visitors.
What is mid-century modern design style?
Mid-century modern design is the name given to a style which encompasses a variety of disciplines, including architecture, furnishings, and internal decor. The style was deeply influenced by the principles of the Bauhaus and International design, and roughly falls within the timeframe 1933 to 1965. Some of the works of influential individuals such as Le Corbusier and Florence Knoll are reflected within mid-century modern design, alongside works from the Scandinavian design school.
Typical examples of design classics from the mid-century modern movement include:
- many of the pieces designed by the American couple Ray and Charles Eames, which are still produced by some of today’s influential modern manufacturers
- although many of these mid-century modern design classics feature natural materials, like wood and leather, they’re also renowned for combining more contemporary materials into their structure. The mid-20th century was a period when consumers embraced modern technologies to the full, and designers were not at all afraid of using plastics or plexiglass (acrylic) within furnishings or structures
- open plan spaces, such as lounge/kitchen/diners, featuring large areas of window opening onto green garden or patio exterior views. Although homes and offices tended to be quite a bit smaller in the mid-20th century, use of open plan spaces and the mid-century modern design ethos tended to mean they looked less cluttered and seemed bigger
- use of bold feature colours to highlight internal walls or buildings
Benefits of mid-century modern
One of the principal benefits of the mid-century modern design school is that these pieces are timeless design classics. As already noted, many furnishings are still in production today, as they combine design aesthetics, simplicity, ergonomics, and comfort, and also offer consumers high quality products. What’s more, many of the original designs are still in use or in working order nowadays! For example, lots of millennials may adore the retro styles of vintage kitchen accessories like the Kenwood Chef, but it could also be added that many older consumers do actually still own and use their original food mixers from the 1950s or earlier.
Then finally, one more great advantage of opting for such a timeless internal solution for homes or offices is that the basic, decorative building blocks are in place. This makes it really easy to switch and swap interior layouts or add different colours and decorative effects to rooms. For example, simply moving two, large recliner chairs to a patio window position where they face outwards would open up lots more space in a room and also mesh well with the mid-century modern design ethos which embraces greenery and outdoor spaces.
If this sounds like a great design ethos, then learn how to add a touch of mid-century modern to your interiors
There are lots of ways to add a touch of mid-century modern to any interior; whether it’s a home or business. These include:
- opting for the traditional wood furnishings you remember from your parents’ or even grandparents’ homes. These furnishings were often made from warm teak, rosewood, or oak, but could also even have been manufactured from simple plywood. You can often pick up traditional design classics from this era if you shop around local junk shops or flea markets, and just a little basic care and attention could mean your bargain basement furniture becomes the prize feature of your home!
- many of these furnishings have a basic design in wood which also incorporates features such as colourful, metallic legs or could also have an industrial appearance, which would not look out of place in an office or on the factory shopfloor
- the use of bold colour is often associated with this movement, but adding framed prints by artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky or Pollock could be the final touch needed to style any mid-century modern rooms and these can always be moved around at later dates.
We hope you’ve learnt a little about mid-century modern in this blog post, and that your next interior decor project will use some of these styling tips to create the visual impact you’re seeking.