The Popularity of Mid Century Modern Explained

Open any interior design magazine these days and you'll see that mid century modern IS the trend. This interior design style was first popularized during the 1950's and 1960's but has somehow resurfaced with a vengeance in the past few years. If you are trying to figure out what midcentury modern is, think of the décor that you might have seen in a 1940’s or 1950’s office or home. Mid century modern furniture features clean lines, wood and metal with minimal finishes that highlight the natural beauty of these elements. Mid century modern design has for the most part adopted the design concepts popularized by the modernist movement.

When it comes to mid century modern design, how well this style is demonstrated in the décor of the home has become a point of discussion. Whether you are looking to completely redo your home or simply update your existing space with a few on-trend items, here is why mid century modern is so popular and how you can furnish a home using this style.

Why Is Mid Century Modern So Popular?

While certain people from the older generations might look at these furniture pieces as dated, many others see mid century modern design with a decidedly nostalgic view. In addition, popular period TV shows, such as the show, Mad Men, have helped to bring this style to a new generation.

These days, finding furniture that is reliable can be somewhat of a challenge. Mid century modern furniture brings us back to the days when furniture was made from solid wood and metal, not particle board with cheap plastics. As a result, when you invest in mid century modern furniture, you can expect it to last.

Old Concepts, New Styles

Mid century modern furniture generally makes use of the furniture concepts created by Danish designers and other designers of the 1940s. Arne Jacobsen was a Danish designer that created the Ant chair, which was made from a single piece of plywood and supported by metal legs. The other popular designs made by Jacobsen, include the Swan and Egg chair, which were sleek minimalist designs that could even be interpreted as art rather than furniture.

Charles and Ray Eames were the original designs of the Eames Sofa and Eames Lounge Chair that are now considered as staple pieces of the mid century modern movement. Today, you might find replicas of these items in many modern furniture stores. While other designers such as Milo Baughman, Paul McCobb and Mies van der Rohe come to mind, these are just some the names of some the most popular designers of this period.

The rebirth of this furniture style also means that there are new options available to the modern consumer. In fact, many mid century modern furniture pieces are available in bold colors with a variety of upholstery options. Mid century modern isn’t your grandma’s discount furniture! In fact, there are options that will satisfy the unique tastes of the almost any urban dweller.

How Times Have Changed

While you might want to head to grandma’s house or your local garage sale to find some pieces to decorate your home in this style, you should know that there are some differences between what was popular then and what is popular now. The majority of the pieces that are used in today’s current designs are replica chairs, tables and sofas. You won’t find any of that 1950s wallpaper in these modern homes (and we’re very happy about that!). Also, if you were thinking about purchasing an old wood television set for nostalgia purposes, that should stay at the garage sale, as well!

Above all, mid century modern has earned its place as lasting design trend because it strives to offer timeless style. However, integrating mid century modern design in your home is not as easy as it may look.

mid century modern sofa

How to Create Mid Century Modern Design in Your Home

If you are wondering how you can take advantage of mid century design in your home, you will need to do a bit more than simply buy new furniture. Here are some tips for incorporating this design style into your home’s décor.

Start With the Lighting

Lighting is particularly important for incorporating mid century design into your home because lighting sets the scene for any room. To recreate this aesthetic in your home, consider pendant lights. In addition, should also avoid selecting lighting that can not provide a soft glow in the space. Finally, you shouldn't worry about matching too much. Instead, focus on using the lighting to highlight the furniture or artwork in the room.

Choose Items for Form and Function

Mid century modern was the beginning of minimalism and the designs reflect the need for functionality, as well as, aesthetically-pleasing design. Choose furniture that features interesting shapes while also offering practical function. Create a focal point for each room using the furniture. Chairs with wide, rounded seats are a good option. You may also choose a stunning Eames arm chair or mid century modern table that will offer iconic style while still accommodating your daily needs.

Outdoors to Indoors

While it may seem that bringing the outdoors inside has always been a consistent element in modern interior design, back in the 1940s and 1950s, it was considered as a new concept. As a result, your interior designs should incorporate nature at every turn. Choose natural finishes and woods to use alongside earthy tones mimic the outdoors and complete the mid century look by adding some rugged appeal.

Saturated Colors vs. Neutrals

The use of saturated color alongside neutral colors is a consistent theme with mid century modern. Don’t hesitate to use brilliant reds, blues and other dominant colors alongside tans, beiges and greys. The more contrast between these colors, the better.

Incorporating mid century design into to modern home is all about careful choices. When you choose furniture for your home, opt for items that can tastefully add style to the room without overwhelming the other elements in the room. Add splashes of bold colors where appropriate to finish the look. Finally, don’t hesitate to personalize your space with any of the retro accessories that you find along the way to create your perfect mid century modern retreat!

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