by: Claire Andreas for InteriorCrowd
March 25, 2016
March 25, 2016
Mid-Century Modern design is marked by simplicity, clean lines, organic forms, and materials such as wood, metal, and plastic as well as an overall pairing down of the palette. Furniture is raised off the floor, most often on tapered legs – creating more visual space in the room. For this reason, the style is quite practical for smaller apartments. The typical color palette varies greatly from muted grays, greens and blues to color pops of red, mauve, yellow and orange.
Even if you think you don’t know anything about design, you’ve probably seen or heard of the series, “Mad Men”. Those incredibly designed offices and apartments? Well, that’s Mid-Century Modern design.
Do a little search on Pinterest and about a gazillion things will pop up – from authentic Herman Miller finds – to the more traditional retailers offering their interpretation of this style. Mid-Century Modern design is definitely on-trend. So whether you absolutely adore it, or love to hate it, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore.
For more pictures of Mad Men’s award-winning set click here.
Some people say that “Mad Men” is responsible for single-handedly resurrecting this 1950’s style, but Mid-Century Modern has been sneaking back into fashion since the early 1980’s. Until recently, the most loyal of fans were limited to design aficionados who were willing to spend small fortunes on the rapidly soaring prices of original pieces, or they scoured vintage treasure troves to find them. We can only assume that they are probably more than a little dismayed to see this trend hit the mass market.
To illustrate the popularity of this style, we asked our designers which single furniture item they see pop up again and again and again. It was unanimously this chair (see left). You’ve probably seen it too.
This piece of furniture is Eames’ iconic fiberglass molded chair, and can be purchased from a retailer like Design Within Reach for $419. Alternatively, you could purchase one of hundreds of options of an ‘Eames-style’ chair on Amazon (two for $146.95 here).
Eames, who was actually an architect, designed the original molded plywood chair with Eero Saarinen for the 1940 Museum of Modern Art Competition for which they won two first prizes. The original chair proved too difficult to recreate, so Eames continued working on the design until Herman Miller produced it in 1950. There are now a few different versions of this chair (and a lot of knock-offs).
A room decorated entirely in midcentury modern style furniture and accessories can be incredibly charming, but the style also lends itself well to being mixed with pieces from other styles – like modern, eclectic and vintage.
Below is an example of a concept board for a midcentury modern living room from our lead interior designer, Jolene Lindner (link to profile on site), who gives us some suggestions for where to source Mid-Century Modern pieces.
“For a Mid-Century Modern look, remember to blur the lines between outdoors and indoors. You want to bring the outside in: natural elements should play a key part, such as walnut. White will brighten the space instantly – don’t be afraid to fall in love with white and use it on the walls & wherever possible. Stick to neutrals for the big pieces, but brighten the look with accents in art, rugs and pillows. These are things you can easily change if you grow tired of them, so be adventurous with some bright pops of color.
If you have a serious interest in the history of the style, rather go for authentic pieces that can be found on sites like 1stdibs.com, Design Within Reach and of course, your local vintage store. Occasionally Chairish will also offer some original pieces. But if you’ve blown your budget on a George Nelson chair ($10,494 on 1stdibs.com), consider somewhere much cheaper like Urban Outfitters or Amazon to source the other large ticket items. Most popular retailers these days have decor in a Mid-Century Modern style – but I also love to introduce my clients to new designers I find on Etsy – like these cute patterned pillows from Skinny laminx).”
At Interior Crowd, when it comes to design styles, we don’t like to pick favorites. Our talented pool of designers can cater to any client’s preferences. Some of our designers specialize in a certain style, while others prefer to adapt their style according to the client’s needs.
If you’d like to get some expert design advice on how to recreate a beautiful space in your room, get started here.
Jolene Lindner has her own full-service design firm, JL Interior Design, and is InteriorCrowd’s lead designer. To see more of her work, click here.