Just as the name suggests, the mid century modern movement influenced everything from architecture to textiles, spanning a period from the mid-1940s to 1970. While it captured the zeitgeist of the era, its ethos remains relevant to this very day. It values simple forms, honest use of the materials, and focusing on function while still respecting the impact of form. Born from a spirit of post-war optimism, there was an emphasis on ergonomics and efficiency in its choice of pared-down forms, contemporary patterns and natural materials to create functional comfort, easy living and chic style. If you’re looking to incorporate mid century furniture into your home, we’ll show you how.
Let the wood make a statement
Start with a few key pieces and let them take centrestage. Invest in quality timber furniture in rich, warm finishes like walnut – perhaps our Jorgen sideboard for storage or a set of Astrid dining chairs. With a focus on functionality, the mid century look is all about stripping items down to their basic elements and letting their function shine through. With this is mind, choose furniture that has clean lines and multiple uses. It should not only be beautifully constructed with slim, tapered legs and rounded shapes but also be multi-functional and beautifully constructed.
It’s all about the accessories
Once you’ve chosen a couple of statement pieces, build your room around it. When it comes to soft furnishings and accessories, the movement gave rise to heavy textural fabrics and whimsical motifs that packed quite a punch. Accessorise your home with the colourful curtains, vintage fabric cushions and statement lighting. From curved framed mirrors and drinks trolleys to patterned wallpaper in geometric prints and structural floor lamps, furnish your place with items that evoke that retro vibe.
Mix and match
The enduring beauty of wood gives mid century timber furniture a timeless appeal which sits well with other styles – both old and modern. So, don’t be afraid to modernise the style by mixing mid century designs with pieces from other eras – it will add to the charm of your home. How about a set of Jensen barstools at your kitchen island benchtop? Mid century furniture gives the illusion of space and that’s why it’s perfect for city living when space is at a premium. No wonder it stands the test of time.
Size does matter
Since mid century furniture makes such a bold statement, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to the size of your furniture so that it doesn’t overpower everything else in the room. A balanced space will have a good mix of high and low pieces so that your eye is drawn upwards in some places and downwards in others. How about styling your walnut Magnus coffee table with some hardbound books, ceramic vases or a pot plant to create an interesting vignette?
Add pops of colour
The mid-century colour palette consists of earthy hues and saturated colours like daffodil yellow, burnt orange, dark red and sicilian olive, but if this colour scheme is a tad too overpowering for your home, you can modernise it by using neutrals and muted colours. Start with a palette using black, warm white, grey, earthy greens and navy. The safe way to incorporate bright pops of colour is through accessories like cushions, wall art and rugs. Moroccan rugs work well with the style while adding colour and an eclectic twist.
Mid century style has evolved and adapted to our times, giving us a way of living that is modern, functional and stylish which adds to its allure and popularity. Long may it live!