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  • Helga Brauer

DESIGNING IN MID CENTURY MODERN

Updated: Oct 14, 2018


With political and social turmoil due to progression of the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, society began to move away from their conservative ways and began to adopt a more liberal and individualistic way of life. With this change of identity came an awareness of nature and feeling of protection for the environment which all contributed to the change of people's aesthetic in Interior Design into the mid century modern style.


In recent years, the style has revived, especially among those living in bigger cities, and shows no signs of disappearing. The furniture, featuring natural materials, as well as organic and geometric shapes with clean lines, and even the variety of colors used have become favored by so many due to the versatility when mixed with other genres. With their simplistic style, the furniture can make any room feel larger and less cluttered. There is nothing worse than living a cluttered life!


Looking for mid century modern furniture? Here are a few great companies to check out:

  • Knoll

  • Herman Miller

  • Vitra

  • Design Within Reach

  • Restoration Hardware

  • 2Modern



Colors



When people began to find their voices by protesting social norms and taking part in anti-war movements, they were changing their styles as a form of expression, and so their taste in color also changed. With a new found appreciation and love for nature, earthy tones became popular among many households.

The mid-century modern era was also full of experimentation, individualism and a craving for freedom and fun, so bold and loud colors such as shades of Teal, Burnt Ochre and Harvest Gold also grew in popularity.


In most recent years, these colors are still used, but rather than covering an interior in such intense tones, designers have been using neutral tones with splashes of colors to honor original aesthetics from the design.



Materials




After the war, the expansion of cities and suburbs created a need for furniture pieces that were capable of being quickly built and mass produced. With technological advances, plastic, plexiglass, metal, vinyl and plywood were among the more non-traditional materials used in homes. Designers were then able to experiment with shapes and form, and create innovative pieces to create a statement that was functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.


No longer is the term "mass produced" synonymous with being cheap. Designer mid century modern pieces can easily run in the 5-digits, and many of the furniture pieces simply use synthetic materials to create a cleaner look, but are made to last for years.


The great thing about the materials used is that the smooth textures and clean lines can be utilized to create the sense of minimalism and simplicity. One of the many draws to the style for big city dwellers is that space is often limited and having an uncluttered, minimalist space allows a small area to feel more open and inviting.



Form & Shape




The mid century modern style was based on experimentation and freedom of expression. With technological advances, designers were able to create such unique organic shapes out of materials like plastic and bent plywood like the Womb Chair and the Tulip Chair. Some of the characteristics of these pieces included clean lines, organic and geometric forms, and most importantly, functionality.


While very functional and comfortable, another draw to the style for millennials as well as those living in smaller spaces is the ease of transportation of the furniture. The new generation of consumers have become more adventurous and tend to move more often than ever before and to the nomadic consumer, lighter furniture is much more attractive. Even living in smaller spaces, lightweight furniture can easily be moved to entertain.


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Helga Brauer

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | New York Properties

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Licensed in New York State

590 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor, New York, NY 10022

(646) 677-1056

helgabrauer@bhhsnyp.com

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