Few aesthetic styles capture the hearts and discerning eyes of the majority, yet mid-century interior design appears to have done just that. Twice. You’d be hard pushed to visit any homeware retailer or interiors website without coming across this timeless look. It’s a style that first came to be in the early 1930s, having grown out of early-20th-century Modernism and Germany’s Bauhaus style, and driven by the post-war scarcity of traditional materials.
Influenced by organic lines, simple forms, functionality, and accessibility to the masses, mid-century modern design has been used in architecture, furniture, interior decor and accessories, as well and industrial and graphic design. Its utilisation speaks volumes about the versatility and utilitarian characteristics of this iconic style, and has likely played a large part in its revival and continued popularity. The TV show Mad Men also helped!
But why is it so popular? This is a question that many have pondered, and there are countless articles discussing the reasons behind our unwavering enthusiasm for this style. The answer is probably a very simple one—people like it. And when we like something, especially something that displays excellent craftsmanship, functions properly, goes with everything, and works in all manner of space, why should we want or need to change it?
Simple form, maximum function
Mid-century modern design has minimal adornments, the style is clean, simple, classic and functional, which appeals to many and offends very few. Characterised by sculptural lines and curves, sharp geometric shapes, starburst patterns, and tapered and angled furniture legs, it’s easy to spot midcentury pieces and and incorporate the style into your existing interior space. It is an ideal design choice for your own home or business premises, as well as when you areor furnishing one to rent out.
Some of the best-known designers and brands from the mid-century period include Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobson, Alvar Aalto, George Nelson, Mies van der Rohe, Isamu Noguchi, Knoll, Herman Miller, and Ercol. Even if you’re not particularly familiar with midcentury designers, you will likely recognise a few iconic pieces such as the Eames Side Chair—which you will see in countless stores, restaurants and homes, and the Barcelona Chair, designed by Mies van der Roheand Lilly Reich.
Original mid-century items are not that difficult to find with vintage gems to be found on eBay, Gumtree, antique stores, and sale/auction rooms. You may even find a bargain, especially if an item of furniture requires some restoration. Thanks to the revival of this style, however, it’s easy to find replicas in many stores and at very reasonable prices.
Interiors stores have definitely caught on the trend and have many mid-century-inspired items at affordable to mid-range prices. Simplicity, minimalism, and functionality are key to embracing the mid-century style, so if you enjoy the clutter-less style, this trend is for you!
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