Modern Design Style

July 02, 2017
The Mid-Century modern movement was really an American reflection of the International and Bauhaus movements of Europe - including the works of Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe. Popularized more recently by the television hit, Mad Men, more and more home owners are being romanced by the Era of the fifties and sixties. Take a look at a picture from Don & Megan Draper’s apartment in a New York City for inspiration! 

Mid-Century style brought the outdoors inside through the use of large windows, combined with open floor plans. This created a more organic and less formal approach than previously used in the U.S. Targeting the needs of the average American family, function became as important as form. “California Modern” style was a good example of homes styles that initially became popular in the 1950s and sixties, popularized by Eichler. 

Kaleidoscopic of colors and textures

Mid-Century Modern style saw a great abundance of textures and colors that were creatively mixed together for the first time, which emphasized the hope of a peaceful world of the future.  

Prototypical examples of these mixtures are present in the most popular mid-century modern furniture pieces today: the Eero Saarinen womb chair (shown in red above), the Eames lounge chair (shown above), Eileen Gray End Table (shown below), the George Nelson bench (below the end table), and Mies Van de Rohe Barcelona chair (shown lower yet.) 
White accents and furniture was also used to create a fresh, spotless look that united all the colors and textures. 

Unique Materials 

There was a tremendous affection for teak wood in mid-century modern design. With the large Scandanavian sway on modernism, the wood’s warmth and strength was welcomed by a world looking to find serenity after two World Wars. Teak provided a wonderful setting to the previously mentioned use of color and texture. 


Plastic, Bakelite, Plexiglass and Lucite received the mass appeal of man-made materials that were not previously found in furniture. Glassware and ceramics (such as Iittala and Arabia from Finland), tableware (such as George Jensen’s designs from Denmark), and lighting (such as Poul Henningsen’s designs from Denmark) were some of the categories for the products created. 

The incredible recognition of Mid-Century Modern design in today’s interiors is suggestive of the ageless attraction of great designers like Herman Miller, Eames, and Saarinen.  
Sixty years later, people are paying premium prices for genuine, valuable Mid-Century Modern furniture pieces. 
Thanks for Elle Decor, HGTV, and other resources for their fabulous pictures. If you are one of those who loves this sleek, clean and uncluttered look, write back with your thoughts, ideas or pictures. You can also give us a call, text or email and we’ll discuss your project.  We’d love to hear from you! 

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