Mad Men, I Dream of Jeannine and American Hustle have more in common than you think. All showcase examples of Mid Century Modern design. A style that’s highly coveted today.
Here are 10 Signature Elements of Mid Century Modern Style: The Architecture of Ideas
Residential Architecture was simple and emphasized horizontal lines; lots of windows and an open flow from room to room. This created a new way for modern America to live. Mid Century Modern Landmark Architects: Frank Lloyd Wright of Chicago is considered the greatest American architect of the 20th century. Other whose vision shaped Mid Century architecture were Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Both fled to the US from Nazi, Germany and eventually taught at Harvard School of Design. Also, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who founded the Second School of Chicago at the U of Chicago.
Geometric Lines – Gable roofs and the flat rooftops were common.
Seamless Flow from inside to the outside – Many elements from exposed brick, wall of windows, courtyards, patio and sliding glass doors were included in Mid Century Modern homes to create easy access to outside.
Birth of the Open Floor Plan – Homes were built with wide sweeping floor plans, partial walls, and built-ins a style that’s coveted today.
Screened walls in geometric shapes defined room spaces and create privacy. Often screens added texture to the room decor using ornate graphic designs or etched glass panels especially when they were backlit.
The Box and the Curve were distinctive furniture shapes of the time
Furniture design was clean with details emphasized over ornamentation. Many new furniture shapes were inspired by geometric shapes and organic forms.
Multiple Elevation / Split-level Spaces – stairs were used to delineate separation between living spaces. rooms (Ike & Tina turner) ounge areas stepping down into the pit.
The Color Palette
The predominate color palette for Mid Century Modern was earth-tones with olive green, pumpkin, mustard and umber popular. In the 1960s psychedelic colors appeared in fashion. Soon it was common to see bright accent colors such as turquoise, neon green, yellow and pink included in home decor.
MID CENTURY MODERN COLOR PALETTE
1950s Living room in vintage Mid Century Modern colors
Natural wood is Sculptural and Simply Elegant
Geometric Patterns in Textiles, Wall and Floor Coverings
Bold graphics using geometric patterns
The clean lines and minimalist approach adds a timelessness to Mid Century Modern style that’s still attractive today. It’s funny, I never thought very much about the furniture I grew up around but today I wish I’d kept more of it. I’d love to have an Arne Jacobsen egg chair. How about you.
Are you in the market for Mid Century Modern? If so, what are you looking for? Or how do you plan to incorporate Mid Century Modern furniture into your decorating style?