Mid-Century Modern can be a difficult term to define. It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly mid 1930s to 1960s). This timeframe is a modifier for the larger modernist movement, which has roots in the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century and also in the post-World War I period. It was an escape from the ornate Art Deco period and a result of the Great Depression that simplified peoples design choices. They wanted the convenience of modern gadgets with a simple and streamlined design, thus Mid-Century Modern was born.
Mid-Century Modern Furniture
Mid-Century modern first became popular in the world of furniture design. With creations like the Eames chair, the sputnik chandelier and the marshmallow couch, Mid-Century Modern taste really began to form. During this time period there was much focus on the space program, and that itself started to matriculate into every facet of design, especially interior design.
Mid-Century Modern Interior Design
This time period was greatly influenced by the German Bauhaus and their modern and functional way of designing home goods. Bauhaus designers used many non-traditional materials such as metal, glass, vinyl, plywood, plexiglass and lucite in their work. Clean lines, organic curves, and a deep appreciation for different materials (like natural stone!) was a way of life. Bauhaus inspiration is exceedingly popular even today.
Defining Features of Mid-Century Modern Design
- Juxtaposition of color
- Exploration of non-traditional materials
- Uncluttered, open spaces
- Clean lines