Mid-Century Modern furniture is characterized by its crisp lines, soft curves and organic designs. The style was first introduced in the mid-20th century, which is why it’s called that but due to its refined elegance and timeless style Mid-Century Modern furniture remains a huge hit in modern interior design.
What exactly is Mid Century Modern?
Mid-Century Modern, or MCM is a style of design which was born in the mid 20th century. It combines efficient design and a wide range of textures materials, colors, and textures.
See how the curvaceous curves of the wood dining table and lounge chair legs blend effortlessly together with the leather black sofa plastic chairs in white blue cushions, and the vibrant rug. This kind of variety in materials, colors, and design is an essential feature of mid-century style.
Today there are also Mid-Century Modern furniture labelled MCM for short. The characteristics that describe this style are:
Simple: Ornate elements are used only sparingly, if at all.
Functional: Applies to the philosophy of architect Louis Sullivan. Form is the first thing to be considered.
Organic: Make use of shapes that can be found in nature, which can lead to soft curves.
Geometric: Uses simple shapes to create clean lines and sharp edges.
Diverse: Takes advantage of a wide selection of colors and materials
The History of Mid-Century Modern
There is some debate about the exact date of its birth, the majority be sure that the style has been around since the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. It wasn’t until 1983 that the term Mid-Century Modern became a household expression.
The writer and historian of the arts, Cara Greenberg, coined the term as an article in the book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. In the past the past 60 years and Mid-Century Modern is now widely accepted as a term and a significant design trend by people of all ages museum curators, scholars, and museums.
In terms of the style, MCM was highly influenced by Danish Modernism and the German style of design or Bauhaus. After the changes World War II brought to Germany, America suddenly found its own population of immigrants who were educated and trained with this type of style. This in conjunction with the boom in baby births and the requirement for modern housing furniture brought about a new age of technological advancement and research into new materials for design.
Materials such as molded plywood, glass, plastic and fiberglass suddenly became all the rage. They were the foundation for iconic furniture designs created by designers such as Charles as well as Ray Eames, George Nelson, Herman Miller, Arne Jacobsen and Eero Saarinen to name just some.
Mid-Century Modern Vs. Modern Industrial
With both styles taking over the design scene following World War II, modern in both their names and their ubiquity on the market today there are certain similarities between Mid-Century Modern and Modern Industrial. However, there are several key differences you must be aware of.
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Edges that are clean and polished with a smooth appearance.
It comes in a variety of colors, including vibrant shades
A beautiful style that is that is free of imperfections
Not too extravagantly ornate
The material is embraced in its rough and unfinished state.
Most often, neutral tones are employed and colors that are monotone
A modern style that is edgier and embraces natural features such as live edges and burls
Adds embellishments using contrasting materials
When designed by skilled craftsmen, mid-century as well as modern industrial furniture will endure for generations.
Mid-Century Design Colors
Mid-Century style is recognized for its use in vibrant shades of color softening such as the mustard yellow color, aqua olive green, tangerine along with Fire engine red. However, these colors aren’t enough on their own. The shades of gray, brown and white are required to establish the overall look to contrast the bright accents, and help to develop MCM’s unique style.
One way to ensure that Mid-Century interior design incorporates earthier hues is by using wood furniture and other finishings. Wood can not only aid in creating the right balance in an area, but wood Mid-Century Modern furniture is available in a variety of hardwoods , each with distinct style and advantages.