If you thought mid-century furniture designs were just a product for its time, think again! Today, mid-century vintage pieces are more popular than ever. Their 1950s style is ideal for today’s contemporary styles that favor an elegant and functional appearance. Since so many great vintage pieces have stood the test of time, it is still easy enough to incorporate examples of designer furniture throughout the home for a modern and trendy look.
There aren’t too many mid-century pieces that contain openly superfluous design elements or features. You want to see decorated carvings or appliqué pieces more reminiscent of pre-Art Deco periods. Mid-century furniture is designed to work in a design style that does not compete or seeks to show the functionality of the object. The style is evident, of course, but it improves the functionality of the article without staging it.
As for the shape
Many pieces draw inspiration from Art Deco design, when geometric shapes were all the rage from furniture to jewelry. A boomerang-shaped sofa while in some respects new and extravagant actually works well enough to embrace the coffee table and allow the occupants to interact better with each other. The rectangular, circular and square-shaped elements are also characteristic of the time.
Stylish elegant and slim
There is not much weight when it comes to the mid-century. The overstuffed sofas and chairs belong better to other eras. Furniture tends to be elegant and refined. You will not see an overabundance of fabric hanging or draped from pieces; you won’t see a frenzy reflected by other styles. The styles pay homage to the shape of the object by celebrating, not by masking it. For today’s urban looks, the style is quite suitable for the modern look that continues to remain popular.
The mid-century style ushered in all types of materials that had never been used in furniture such as vinyl, chrome and plastic. These unconventional materials could therefore be combined with wood, but light woods that have been highly worked and made elegant. You will find remnants of these alternative materials in today’s 50’s style diners who employ the same style with their chrome and vinyl bar stools and colorful decorative patterns.
Sophisticated and playful
While elegant designs demonstrate modern sophistication, many other mid-century designs convey a playfulness that is evident in the shape of the color. Sunburst-shaped watches, for example, in colors like avocado show a lightness that may have been a response to the emergence from the depression and the war years of the two previous eras. The boomerang, of course, is certainly more playful than sedated sedans of previous lounge decorations.
Today it is possible to mix and match these playful and sophisticated styles to obtain a modern look that celebrates the aesthetics of design. You will love adding various mid-century pieces to complete your overall modern decorative plan. Of course, not only were these items built with style, but they were made to last, which is why so many wonderful examples remain today!
by Marie Ascolani