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March 1, 2023

Mid Century Modern furniture design: one step ahead of the home decorating trend

Organic curves, geometric shapes and flowing lines: These are the homely characteristics of Mid Century Modern in a nutshell. However, the trendy interior design style has many faces. This article presents you some facets of the design history.

What is behind Mid Century Modern?

Mid Century Modern is a style direction. This can be found not only in furniture design, but also in architecture as well as interior design. The hallmarks include clean lines and organic, as well as streamlined shapes. The designs come without frills, because functionality replaces artistic elements. It is difficult to say in which year the direction originated, in any case it emerged in the middle of the 20th century.

Nowadays, Mid Century Modern has a firm place in many areas. The furnishing style completes office landscapes, hotel rooms as well as the living room. There are influences even in product design, which is particularly evident in electrical appliances from that period. Edges had radii that looked appealing and made them easy to use.

However, it took years for Mid Century to reach people. In the beginning, the style was considered an insider tip in Europe, while it was already very popular in North America, Australia and New Zealand. From the 1960s, Mid Century Modern then began its worldwide advance. Conventional furniture lost its sharp corners and edges and became softer thanks to organic contours.

Furniture stores are always open to new trends, so it was not surprising that pieces in the trendy design could be found among the collections. Creative minds provided variety, they combined functionality, convex and concave shapes with other styles. A tendency to earthy tones gave the feeling of security. In addition, the trend was no longer fixed on one, all-illuminating room lamp, but rather to accentuating islands of light. Today, many pieces of furniture are available that form a successful symbiosis. One example is the interplay of Scandinavian design and Mid Century.

Mid Century Modern: suitable for everyday life and homely

Mid Century Modern has long since ceased to be a passing trend in furnishing. This style has become firmly established and the furniture has proven its practicality and style stability in everyday life. The designs, patterns, colours and decorations are life-affirming and always a little step ahead. In addition to the homely look, functionality also takes centre stage, and even Mid Century Modern art is often practical at the same time. Mid Century furniture and decorations not only look great, they are also incredibly practical.

Mid Century Modern: Furniture with cult status

Already in the 50s furniture was created, which today belongs to the classics. If the original pieces are in good condition, they sometimes fetch collector's prices - new editions are available at lower prices. A prime example is the Eames lounge chair. The seating furniture can be described as a contemporary interpretation of the English club chair. It consists of a set that includes a comfortable armchair and a matching ottoman.

Eames lounge chair in Black with mahogany wood a classic Mid Century Modern furniture piece
Photo credit: @vitra Instagram

Charles and Ray Eames are considered icons of the style, they created a significant piece of design history. Years of development work allegedly preceded the creative process. Casual seating comfort, quality and a perfectly formed look go hand in hand. Armrests, seat and back shell are wrapped in high-quality leather, all parts connect hard rubber discs and metal elements. Thanks to the clever design, the chair always adapts to the sitting position.

On the other hand, Verner Panton took a minimalist approach. Among the designs of the Danish architect and designer are also free-swinging chairs, garden furniture and stylish tables. Many pieces are made almost entirely of high-quality plastic. The epitome of Mid Century, however, is the furniture from the Tulp collection. They were prototypical of the psychedelic designs of the 70s, often looking more like room sculptures than utilitarian objects. But it was not only the leading names that provided trend-setting impulses. Many lesser-known designers also lent Mid Century furniture a large portion of charm and functionality.

Retro Chair in pastel green with pattern at the side
Source: Office project by Upscale Interiors 

Whether original pieces or new editions: Mid Century Modern sets accents

Mid Century furniture roughly comes in three variations. There are original pieces, replicas by renowned designers and new creations. The distinctive style as well as high functionality are common to all furniture.

Original pieces have long since proven their talents in everyday use. Thus, they sometimes have one or the other blemish. These can be small quirks, scratches and discolorations. In contrast to antiques, it is not always possible to have parts restored. The elements are often made of plastic, which can only be spruced up with polishes and coatings.

Good replicas look similar to the originals down to the last detail. However, it depends on the manufacturer, because the parts do not always look authentic. New creations are oriented to Mid Century Modern, they are not inferior to the style. Often they contain elements of other directions, which gives the furniture an additional value.

Where to find Mid Century furniture?

Those who are friends with Mid Century and want to integrate the style in the home, too, should focus not only on the selection of furniture. To successfully incorporate the direction, it is equally important to the interior design. To pack rooms only with vintage pieces that do not harmonize with the surrounding interior would degrade Mid Century to noble kitsch.

The Internet is the first place to go to get beautiful pieces. Numerous suppliers specialize in the sale of Mid Century Modern designer furniture. In addition, there are usually also the matching home accessories in the assortment.

Bedroom in Retro Style
Source: Residential project by Upscale Interiors 

Furthermore, there is the possibility to look around at flea markets and in stores for used furniture. Who has the necessary small change, which is found in auction houses. However, getting hold of authentic pieces is a time-consuming affair.

Upscale is faster and more convenient. Stylish design experts take care of your home. You'll get a complete, all-around solution that suits you and your four walls. From the initial concept to the finished furnishings, Upscale is your one-stop shop for a strong service that can include Mid-Century Modern home and office design.

Mid Century Modern: put your good taste to the test

Mid Century Modern is just one style of many. We'll show you which others there are and how to tease out the wow effect from your interior in our interior design styles overview. Let yourself be surprised and inspired by great living ideas. You can also discover new furniture and accessories in our online quiz. Find out which living style suits you and your four walls.

We do not own the right some of the images . We do try to provide the original source, however, this is not always possible. Should you wish to have an image removed or you would like to make a  correction, please contact us

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