What is midcentury design?
The movement spanned from about 1933 to 1965 and included architecture as well as industrial, interior, and graphic design. Designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Arne Jacobsen, and George Nelson created iconic furniture and lighting that are still highly coveted. The architectural style, seen in the work of talents such as Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, is known for its use of expanses of glass, flat planes, and a strong connection to nature.
What are the inspirations behind midcentury design?
The style grew out of early-20th-century Modernism, including the International and Bauhaus movements. Midcentury really took hold after World War II, thanks to new technologies and materials, and a newfound prosperity. The migration to urban areas, and thus smaller living spaces, also influenced the designs of the era.
What are the characteristics of midcentury design?
Emphasis on function
Democratic (in other words, designed for everybody)
How can you tell if a piece is midcentury?
“Identifying midcentury pieces isn’t always easy,” according to Meghan Lavery and Daniel King, the founders of Home Union, a Brooklyn-based boutique specializing in homeware from the era. “Midcentury furniture functions very well because of its simplicity and fine craftsmanship. But, generally, you can look for the obvious clues such as peg legs or hardware. Another great tip is to search for the country of manufacture—Denmark, Yugoslavia, Japan, Italy, and the U.S. are often authentic midcentury.” To put it simply, do your homework before you make any investments.
What colors work well with midcentury furniture?
The traditional midcentury palette ranged from bright hues in the 1950s to earthy colors in the 1960s, so the style works with a many different shades. Not ready for pops of red or olive upholstery? “Muted colors and pastels work really well for us,” Daniel and Meghan inform AD. “Especially pale pink. Neutrals never go out of style.”
How do you complete a midcentury-inspired space?
It’s all in the accessorizing. “For stylish touches, we tend to gravitate toward things we are passionate about and items we use day to day—leave out only what you need,” advise the pair. “We love plants, floor pillows, and rocks, but we do our best to remain clutter free.” Their latest obsession: candlestick holders. An easy way to prevent your space from looking too uniform is by incorporating furniture of different heights. “It’s best to not have everything be too low or too high. Mix it up,” according to the duo. “We love a low sofa and a low coffee table, but try adding in an arc lamp as a contrast in height and to complete the space.”