8 Major Components of Mid Century Modern Design

Mid-century modern design, also known as MCM, was some sort of response to WWII. You might be surprised but such design basically is something that we consider a vintage style today. It was invented in the middle of the previous century at the rise of the postwar chaos. At that time, the world was trying to heal itself after the big war. While living in the war was full of traumas and horrors, simplicity and functionality became the main request of the following years. And that is what midcentury modern design is about.

If to talk about the title, then we need to recall Cara Greenberg, who is not a designer but a famous travel and design journalist. She wrote the first and the most iconic book about the MCM in the mid-80s and told how MCM invaded her mind for the very first time, “The chair looked alien, low and squat, with a molded seat and back resembling large wooden potato chips. Offered as part of an impromptu sale on a lower Manhattan sidewalk, it sat surrounded by the sorts of things people like me, a student and $4-an-hour office worker, were collecting at the time: Fiestaware, Coca-Cola signs, peanut-shaped coffee tables with blue glass tops. I bypassed all that and walked straight to the otherworldly little chair. I didn’t even think. I picked it up and paid the hippie seller 15 bucks, which seemed a grand bargain even in early-’70s dollars.”

1. Specific Wood. Midcentury modern furniture pieces made of teak achieved a huge popularity through the post-war decades. Of course, ‘the most popular’ means that there were less popular but often used materials, like oak and rosewood. Teak was preferred for its durability and richness of colors and textures, so almost all the cabinets, chairs, wardrobes, and tables of the 50s and so on were made of teak. Each designer will be happy to work with these ideas.

2. Diversity In Everything. Although mid-century modern pieces made of teak were authentic to that period, in fact, a lot more different materials and shapes came to light back then.

Mid-century modern pieces can be easily made of glass, metal, and/or vinyl. Also, almost round sofas were the hallmark of the period. And have a look at this gorgeous glass coffee table! Be sure that each furniture market is big enough to find something when you are looking for a midcentury modern piece.

3. Less Contrast Between Textures. When you are dealing with wood for your midcentury modern furniture, make sure that all wooden textures fit each other. Such harmony is very important for the midcentury modern style, otherwise, the whole design will crash and your furniture simply won’t play a part.

Filling your midcentury modern living room with furniture which is full of clean lines is required.

4. Color Must Be a Priority. The post-war world shortly became full of bright colors. Have a look at the midcentury modern style interior below, for example. The designer did extremely good research and creative work for this project.

Back then, bright colors were necessary for people. And many designers agree that we should pay a lot more attention to vibrant color schemes when dealing with midcentury modern style design.

The furniture market nowadays is full of many authentic and brand new midcentury modern pieces, so you can choose basically whatever you like to make your interior unique and extraordinary. Designers will kindly help you with selecting the right pieces if needed.

5. Make Your Living Space Alive. Although there is a lot of brightness in the midcentury modern design solutions, we should keep in mind that the late ’40s, ’50s, and so on were the era of bringing more and more functional pieces to the interior.

In fact, no matter how many organic pieces were placed in your house or how much nature was brought inside from the outer world, you will always need contemporary technology to live your life with comfort and to make your home feel modern. Try to create such a design where each piece stands for some function and the function can be easily understood by looking at each particular piece.

6. Functions Should Be Critical. Designers and architects agree that creating a mid-century interior shouldn’t be something about turning your house into a museum. In the future, you will basically live your life in that place, so it must remain full of modern functions and technologies. Stay a part of the beautiful modern reality while becoming a part of the extraordinary mid-century style movement.

7. Maintain a Positive Outlook. Generally, mid-century modern furniture can be different in shapes and textures. One of the most required things is a positive outlook for the future which should be visible and understandable throughout the design, as it was the main purpose of inventing and/or developing such an interior style. Each designer will be grateful for an opportunity to work on such a project.

8. Thoughtful Choice. Ask yourself if you are trying to save the right balance between the desired vintage interior and modern equipment. Keep in mind that mid-century pieces were made more than half a century ago when people’s needs were extremely different from ours and there were no smart houses. That’s why selecting the right piece should be thoughtful. Ask a designer for help, if needed.

To sum up, a lot of wood (but not only!), clean lines, and pieces with rebel spirit – MCM style stands out from other design styles. It allows you to become not only the designer of your home but the editor of your extraordinary life story where each page must be full of kind and bright vibes.

Cara Greenberg stated that she was “as tired of hearing that mid-century modern is having a “resurgence”, as she was “of hearing that Brooklyn is “really hot now”. Mid-century modern is not “resurging.” It’s an abiding style whose best designs are immortal. When something attains that level of design purity and sculptural assuredness, it is bound to be rediscovered again and again by each new generation,” she wrote in her intro to the book’s 1995 edition, and it’s still happening.