Mid Century Modern is a style that has been hugely popular for many years. Characteristics of this style were taken from designs loosely between the 1930's and 1960s. It is an easy style to create at home not only because many stores reproduce these iconic designs but because it is an eclectic style that allows freedom and expression while following some simple rules. Mid Century Modern transformed design, giving us clean lines and beautiful surfaces. Developments in production developed organic curves and introduced a passion for different materials, mainly plastic used for its material qualities rather than its ability to replicate other materials as it is today.
Distinguishing features to look for when recreating this style at home is to produce an effortless and understated look consisting of clean lines with a focus on functionality and material. In this latest inspiration feature, I share style advice from colour and material selection to furniture and accessory choices.
Mid Century Modern Colour Palette: Paint colours feature from the Farrow & Ball range. (from left to right) Babouche No. 223, Arsenic No. 214, All White No. 2005, London Clay No. 244, Charlotte's Locks No. 268.
Colours for Mis Century Modern are ones that you can get adventurous with. While some Mid Century Modern designs feature quite prominently the classic verticle wooden panelling, you can also go the opposite way and strip this back to plain white walls, accentuating the clean surfaces and simple lines of the designs. As many furniture pieces are simple in form, home accessories can be quite vibrant in colour, a brilliant way to select your main colour palette and apply it to the home. Select three main vibrant colours to help select upholstery and accessories with and allow the clean whites, warm browns, and burnt orange tones to focus on the furniture.
Mid Century Modern Chairs: (clockwise from top left) Minotti: Virginia Indoor Armchair, Vitra: Cité Armchair, The Conran Shop: Classic Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman.
Now, this is where the design icons start to shine. While many sofa designs remain simple and structured, it is the armchairs that have attracted the attention of design. When purchasing a piece such as the classic Eames Lounge Chair, it is best to buy one build a style around that one piece. Alternatively, with slightly less dominant designs such as the Cité and Virginia armchairs, these can be paired alongside a contrasting sofa. When accessorising with cushions or throws, keep the focus on the colour palette, limiting pattern choices, especially when it comes to wooden furniture. If one is feeling adventurous, patterns are acceptable, but it is advised to keep a distance between each one due to their dominance.
Mid Century Modern Material Selection: Mid Century Modern is known for its use of material, introducing exciting textures and surfaces into the home while pairing them with high-quality natural materials, familiar to the home. As mentioned before, a pattern does play a big part in the design style, but due to their striking and colourful appearance, selected prints need to be placed at a distance to one another, spreading colour and dividing and defining spaces in the home. While gold and brass is another fantastic choice for metalwork, a general rule to follow is down to the amount of wood used in a space. Lots of rich and antique woods pair well with gold, however, if you are looking to create a stripped back version of this style with white walls and a mix of furniture, it is much safer to go with chrome to pick up the colour accents of surrounding accessories. Faux fur was the trend and makes a lovely soft addition in the home, a perfect selection for a rug or feature throw. The most important material for this style is the choice of wood. Many traditional pieces feature quality teak and walnut woods, but oak is also another excellent choice for furniture. This design is all about longevity and functionality and with top quality woods, you know that they will last.
Mid Century Modern Lighting: (clockwise from top left) Heal's: Arco Floor Light by Flos, Flos: Glo-Ball S designed by Jasper Morrison, House Doctor available at Amara: Molecular Ceiling Pendant, Eichholtz: Equalizer Chandelier.
When lighting becomes a sculptural feature - new materials make way for eccentric designs and expressive shapes. Some classics such as the arc lamp have been hugely popular for many years while other designs such as the Molecular Ceiling Pendant are designs inspired by the past with a very modern twist. Make every light a feature and if you have one ceiling pendant in a room, go big and make it a central feature. In smaller spaces, flip this around by making the table or floor lamps the main feature but still give every light in the space presence.
Mid Century Modern Accessories: (clockwise from top left) Vitra: Spindle Clock George Nelson, The Conran Shop: Tribes Vase Medium and Small by Arik Levy, Pols Potten: Fantasia Zilver, Normann Copenhagen: Lumberjack Candleholder stained oak in small and large.
Quite possibly one of the most adventurous time for home accessories, this style is all about form, combining quirky shapes and mesmerising colours to create fun displays that are full of character and charm. An excellent tip for selecting the perfect accessories is to mirror the colours in the room while following similar shapes from your feature lighting. This rule will connect the room, each item giving reference to the next while being able to stand as a unique object.
Mid Century Modern Tables: (Clockwise from top left) Knoll: Planter Coffee Table 42", 1stdibs: Oval Teak Coffee Table Glass Top by G-Plan, Swoon Editions: Edison Side Table Rosewood and White, The Conran Shop: Noguchi Table Walnut.
Whether it is a side table for a lamp next to the sofa or a beautiful coffee table playing host to your finest selection of books, a table can help add layers to a room, accentuating the curves and shapes of surrounding furniture while also acting as a stage for further home accessories. The selection of tables will often be dependent on other dominant furniture in the room. A coffee table can help dress up a simple design or tone down a busy one so keep in mind the materials and shapes when making this selection.
All Images from the mood board have been sourced from Pinterest. If you are the owner of one or more of the images and would like to be credited, please get in touch.