The 1950’s saw a great deal of importance put on creativity and unique design features in architecture, furniture and automobiles. Eager to showcase what they felt would be a taste of the future, designers incorporated newer materials and design elements in their work, which became collectively known as “Mid-Century Modern”.
Today, with the help of shows like “Mad Men”, mid-century furniture has experienced a huge resurgence. Today, we are going to look at a few of the aspects that buyers should look for in good mid-century furniture.
The design element most closely associated with the Mid-Century modern style are clean lines. Looking at furniture from the early part of the century, a majority of the pieces are adorned with flowing, wavy, almost floral lines and design aspects that focused more on look then functionality. Most authentic mid-century pieces you will come across will feature clean, geometric shapes, lines and features. It represented a push towards minimalism and simplicity, as well as comfort.
While many mid-century pieces incorporated traditional materials like wood, we began to see a shift towards the use of man-made materials as well. Fiberglass, Plexiglass, Lucite, and Bakelite were preferred because they could accommodate the designers innovative ideas in a way that traditional materials like wood could not. Designers also felt that incorporating the mass produced plastics into their plans could help make better designed furniture more accessible to people.
Not only did mid-century modern pioneers want to make statements with their designs, but with their colors as well. Wanting to move past the classic “cigar room” style that prominently featured dark-stained wood, mid-century modern designers wanted to use colors that popped. Mid-century modern design features bold, bright colors like reds, yellows and greens, as well as two-tone color ways like black and white. Designers used the vivid colors as another representation of the bright future they hope their pieces can be apart of.