Whether you are a fan of Mid-Century Modern design and decor or not, it remains a hugely popular design style with consumers for good reason. I’m a design fan who is not married to one particular style and personally admire the style’s minimalism and how it can be softened with more feminine and comfy elements to feel fresh. I’m not crazy about every Mid-Century Modern interior out there, especially not the austere ones that take themselves too seriously and lack any hint of a sense of humor. It has to have soul. But you have to admit Mid-Century Modern design is: great for small spaces and apartments, functional, unfussy, clean-lined, easy to find, affordable, and a look that blends with many other styles.
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Need proof of how it is friendly with other design styles and can blend with 18th Century antiques? Look at how Pamela Pierce pairs a MCM Saarinen table with pretty and non-Mid-century modern decor:
She’s a genius. BTW. Here’s the Saarinen table topped with marble if you must have it!
Last month, I thrifted the perfect Saarinen table with a fiberglass top for a design project I worked on in Clearwater, FL. Man-a-live, I wanted to bring that baby home for myself! After cleaning it up and crossing my fingers it would fit through the kitchen doorway of a condo, we even set the table for a Swedish pancake feast! The homeowners wanted to incorporate (and mix!) their existing French Country chairs so we did. The signs of wear gracing the table top’s edge do not bother us, and we have no plans to touch it up. Here’s a shot of our candlelit feast:
Here’s a replica if you need a brand new one:
Mid-Century Modern style emerged in the mid-1930’s to the mid-1960’s, and a 2016 article in the NY Times quipped: “A snarky Tumblr that lampooned the ubiquity of Noguchi coffee tables couldn’t kill it. A brief flirtation with 19th Century Victoriana didn’t usurp it. Midcentury is the decorating style that won’t die.” How about you? Do you want MCM to die?
Not everyone is happy about MCM’s apparent immortality. One of my favorite bloggers was bemoaning the trend on her blog the other day for its lack of prettiness. She is not alone. Co.Design has called Mid-Century Modern the pumpkin latte of interior design (ha!). But I’m not surprised the MCM trend endures. Can we truly call it a trend anymore? While it may lack pretty factor, it is abundantly rich with handsome masculinity. I mean Brad Pitt may be prettier, but George Clooney? Handsome von handsome and with his years of earned wisdom, more attractive than ever.
Maybe Mid-Century Modern is the George Clooney of interior design.
MCM is not ornamental, glitzy or frou frou, and if you think about trends in American culture, its appeal parallels a longing for more authenticity, less fluff, and less stuff. Paring down and living with less is likely not going away soon. Apartment Therapy compares Mid-Century Modern design to a style of denim: “It’s more like the skinny jeans of interior design: attractive, versatile and with a staying power perplexing to tastemakers and retailers everywhere.”
Who were the famous designers of this style? To name a few: Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames (and Ray Eames), Alexander Giarard, Eileen Gray, Arne Jacobsen, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, Verner Panton, Jens Risom, Eero Ssarinen, and Edward Wormley.
If you read this blog, you’ll know Hello Lovely favors timeless and tranquil interior design and especially how those qualities are interpreted in French Country, Belgian, Scandinavian, and shabby chic decor. But there’s plenty of room for simple, lovely design, including MCM. If you haven’t noticed, we’re crushing on Leanne Ford and her way with Mid-Century Modern goodness (and her signature WHITE!). She injects personality, warmth, and quirk into her designs incorporating Mid-Century Modern pieces. In fact, if you want your Pinterest account to BLOW UP with repins and follows, JUST PIN THIS LEANNE FORD IMAGE and watch it happen.
Today we’ll tour two MCM spaces lightened up with white, light, and softness. It’s a flavor of Mid-Century Modern Design I might characterize as: A Clean, Serene, and Natural Interpretation. The interiors were designed with help from The Studio at One King’s Lane and include designer Jenni Kayne’s living room and actress/activist Sophia Bush’s guest cottage.
Meet me at the finish line and let me know your sentiments about Mid-century Modern design!
I have a crush on this lamp!!!
The price tag on this modern magazine rack may rack yer frackin brain…
Any thoughts on Mid-Century Modern design’s enduring appeal, Saarinen tables, or Clooney?
If you’re a fan of Jenni Kayne’s organic, natural, minimal modern style, find more here.
Drew from Property Brothers fame recently renovated a 1920’s Hollywood home and placed quite a few affordable Mid-Century Modern decor pieces in it, get the full scoop here.
Peace to you right where you are.