Known for its quality and elegance, the mid-century modern design style emerged from a movement in the mid-20th century and still remains one of the more popular styles of furniture design because of its practicality and simplicity.
What is Mid-Century Modern Design?
The term mid-century modern wasn’t coined until 1984 when it was used in a book by Cara Greenberg. It refers to a style of furnishings that was used in the mid-20th century, mostly with interior design and furnishings.
Mid-century modern furniture is known for its:
- Clean lines
- Geometric shapes
- Hairpin legs
- Plain surface
Between World War I and World War II, a modernist movement in architecture emerged in Europe. After World War II, the mid-century modern style began to emerge in popularity in America. It has a lot of inspiration from the European movement because, after World War II, there was an influx of immigrants from Germany and other European countries. These immigrants began to employ their designs in America, and it is how the mid-century modern style was born.
The popularity of this style dimmed somewhat in the 1980s, but there was a resurgence in the 2000s. Today, mid-century modern furniture continues to be the popular choice.
When considering the different aspects that have made mid-century modern furniture such a popular choice, it’s hard to settle on one singular reason to choose the style because there are many.
Mid-century modern furniture is manufactured to be simple yet of good quality. It’s one of the best furniture style options on the market because of how simple and versatile the design is. Throughout the years, as many different style trends have come and gone, this style has remained a popular choice. Why? Because the simplicity of the design blends in with other styles from different eras. For you, this means that no matter how your home is styled or organized, mid-century modern furniture is not going to clash; instead, it’s going to fit in and even complement what you already own.
One of the reasons to choose mid-century modern furniture is because they are functional; they are meant to be used. Now, some furniture is commonly used for decorative purposes only, which seems to defeat the purpose. While these pieces may be pretty to look at, they aren’t very well designed or built to last. In contrast to this, mid-century modern furniture it’s meant to be used and serve different purposes; an ottoman may serve as both a footrest and storage space, and a couch may have a pull-out bed.
During the era that mid-century modern furniture emerged, new materials were being used, like plastic, metal, fiberglass, and formica. But for the most part, the main material used within this style of furniture is wood. Common types of wood used in this style of design are oak, beech, and pine.
Wood is very durable, and it adds to the stability and structure of furniture. Solid wood furniture was the strongest, but furniture with wood as its structure could be just as strong. There’s less of a need to worry about it breaking or fading too fast. Because mid-century modern furniture was meant to last, its wooden components can be repaired and sanded down when needed.
In mid-century modern design, there is a focus on simple, neutral colors, like black, white, and gray. Other colors, usually in accents and pastels, help to highlight and contrast these colors. Mid-century modern furniture is meant to fit in with these different color schemes. There are options available that are upholstered with color, but for the most part, mid-century modern furniture is made with neutral colors. For you, this means less of a hassle choosing furniture to match color schemes.
Because of the many different furniture options available in the style, there are different ways you can design your home.