Mid Century Modern design

November 21, 2019

The Mid Century Modern period is marked by its affection for simple, clean lines, neutral colors, and minimalist characteristics. The designers of the Mid Century Modern period took great pride in designing homes and the contents in a home with an eye away from tradition and a vision of the future. George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Edward Wormley, Charles & Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia and Jens Risom are some of the designers of that period. Today any one of their furniture items can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Modernism is another term associated with Mid Century Modern and Minimalism. Joseph Eichler, who was an architect in California during the post-war period is famous for building homes that are referred to as Modernistic. Some phrases to keep in mind that describe Modernistic are: "ornament is crime" by Adlof Loos, "form follows function" by Louis Sullivan, and "less is more" by Mies Van der Rohe .

Coupling Mid Century Modern design and thought with a minimalist approach is a great way to have: 1) very little wasted space -with no overcrowding or overdone spaces either, 2) a home with furniture which has simple designs, textures, and colors, 3) natural lighting coming from large expanses of strategically designed and placed windows, and 4) floor and wall accents to add an eye catching splash of color.

It might be helpful, right now, to define some key elements - Mid Century Modern and Minimalism. Wikipedia describes Mid Century Modern as an architectural, interior and product design form generally describing the mid-20th century. It covers the years from 1933 to roughly 1965 (there is debate about the exact dates of the period). The term Mid Century Modern was coined by Cara Greenburg for the title of her book - Mid-Century Modern: Furniture in the 1950s. Scandinavian designers and architects played a significant role in the period and focused on simplicity and natural shapes. Wikipedia also defined Minimalism as an art movement in sculpture and painting that began in the 1950s and emphasized extreme simplification of form and color. It looks like these movements in design were made for each other -simplicity of color, shape and form.

As you move ahead in planning your Mid Century Modern renovation(s), don't be overwhelmed by thinking you have to redo your entire home to exude Mid Century Modern Minimalism. You can choose to do a complete renovation or you can choose to renovate one room or a couple of rooms. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Now real Mid Century Modern Minimalists, or purists, will settle for nothing less than a full make-over with nothing in their home that is not designer. If this is your taste, and you do not have bottomless pockets, you too can achieve the same feel and sense of style if you adhere to the concepts of Mid Century Modern design and Minimalism and do it on a budget. This will mean you may not have (actually probably will not have) designer originals, but there are many pieces of Mid Century Modern furniture and art available that is not original. The style and design of the period was copied by many companies and these pieces can be found at stores that feature antiques and collectibles from the Mid Century Modern era. If you are interested in Mid Century Modern style, you might want to check out our collection of mid-century modern replica chairs, sofas, tables and daybeds.





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