Midcentury modern Architecture and décor was predominant from the 1930s to the 1960s, and we’re seeing a widespread resurgence again today due to the appeal of open floor plans and sleek interior design.
The décor associated with this era is iconic. Nothing prior even slightly resembled its unique design elements. New materials such as metals and plastics were introduced, and the emphasis shifted to functionality and originality. Clean, simple lines are prevalent, combined with innovative craftsmanship. These one-of-a-kind works of art remain timeless possessions. Incorporating a touch of “mid-mod” into your home is simple if you keep a few design elements in mind.
An endearing term often associated with a midcentury modern kitchen is “retro.” Create this look in your kitchen by incorporating a mix of contemporary and retro styles.
Consider refurbishing what you’ve got or select metal or wood cabinetry emphasizing clean and sleek lines as opposed to ornamental detail. Omit the molding and trim, and keep cabinet hardware simple or use none at all.
Countertops in glossy grey or white, such as quartz or marble, make great options, as do varieties of concrete. Formica offers an abundance of retro styles that will work with a lower budget.
You cannot go wrong with stainless appliances, and be sure to keep décor to a minimum – a bowl of fresh fruit or vase with cut flowers. If you have a kitchen island, add a few retro bar stools or chairs that offer varying textures or a bold splash of color. Contemporary pendant lighting is a must. Keep windows uncovered to create an outdoor connection that is consistent with midcentury design.
Midcentury modern designers were experimenting with new and innovative materials such as metals, molded plywood and plastics in all varieties of light fixtures. With function being paramount, designers experimented with bold color and geometric shapes, leaving us with some of the most artistically unique lighting elements to date.
With countless options available, consider your personal tastes and room personality when choosing appropriate midcentury modern light fixtures. There are many online vendors available, but don’t forget to seek out antique stores, garage sales or even flea markets to find authentic, vintage gems.
These fixtures should make an instant impact on room décor. Think cylindrical and round, funky and bold. Consider adding a vintage sputnik chandelier or a spaghetti fiberglass lamp in many playful colors. Look for space-age pendants and table and floor lamps showcasing distinctive wood varieties, ceramics and hand-blown glass.
A good rule of thumb when seeking out furniture that is consistent with midcentury modern design is to look for simple, sleek, clean lines. Plastics, shiny metals and wood varieties were most prevalent, paying strict attention to functionality and ingenuity.
The Tulip chair, S chair, Egg chair and Diamond chair are a few infamous standouts, but there are countless other innovative designs by Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson and Noguchi, to name a few. Both ergonomically and organically designed, pieces reminiscent of this era showcase unpretentious geometric forms in diverse variations of color, texture and material. Depending on budget and personal interest, seek out more affordable replicas or genuine vintage pieces online or at antique shops, auctions or specialty shops.
Remember to be modest with accessory décor. A few exceptional period pieces best complement the simplicity of midcentury modern design.