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What Is Mid-Century Modern, and Why Do We Love It So Much?

We all know that styles are cyclical and, of course, the world of interior design is not exempt. The best aesthetics will be popular again and again. Right now, mid-century-modern design is making a comeback and, if you ask us, it’s for good reason.

What is it about this aesthetic that keeps us coming back for more over half a century later? We’ll tell you why mid-century modern will never really leave us — and how to work the style into your interiors while making sure they are rooted in the new millennium. After all, sometimes the old way of doing things really is the right way.

What Is Mid-Century Modern?

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, you’re already familiar with mid-century-modern design. In fact, the term was coined in 1984 by author Cara Greenberg. She used it to discuss the signature looks of the 1960s in her book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.

Though the moniker has become a bit broad in the past few decades, it’s most commonly used to refer to the styles that became popular in a post-World War II landscape. While there may be a few variations, most people agree that this time period extends from 1945-1969.

Interestingly, this style doesn’t just refer to aspects of interior design. It is commonly used as a descriptor for any architecture, furniture,  accessories, materials and technologies that grew in popularity after the end of the war.

It Showcases Simplicity

When you look at design projects that follow a mid-century-modern style, the one thing you won’t see is tons of excess. Rather than requiring a bunch of ornate embellishments, the mid-century look is all about stripping items down to their barest elements and letting their function become the star.

Keep this in mind when it comes to choosing the items that will fill your space. Look for furniture that has clean lines and, if needed, multiple uses. Stick to décor items that are modern or geometric in their aesthetic.

This concept should also be taken into account when it comes to designing the layout of your space. Rather than cluttering up the room, focus on choosing one strong focal area that will dictate the room’s function. For example, consider using a statement table in your dining room or creating an inviting seating area in your living room. Then, don’t be afraid to step back and allow negative space to play a key role in your design.

It Lets Us Play With Color

Of course, when you focus on bringing simplistic shapes into your space, it becomes necessary to add a layer of visual interest elsewhere. The mid-century-modern look does that by incorporating bold pops of color. Brooke Schneider, a designer based in Long Beach, Calif., explains it best:

“When homeowners think ‘color,’ they often think of the bright hues of the mid-century time period. With clear, cheerful colors, the 1950s exhibited a new American outlook of optimism that was comfortably removed from the drab war years.”

Don’t be afraid to go big with shades like blueberry, citron or fire-engine red. Just be sure to avoid mixing multiple loud colors like they did in that time period. Doing so might make your space look more outdated than retro-inspired. Instead, focus on tempering one colorful statement piece with more neutral hues to ensure a modern twist on this style of design.

It Connects Us With Nature

Since mid-century-modern design is all about simplicity, it makes sense that this school of style would harbor a strong connection to nature. In particular, those who are looking for ways to embrace sustainable design may be interested in what this aesthetic has to offer.

First, it’s important to consider how nature can affect the layout of the space. In mid-century architecture, large windows often play a key role. But anyone can work off those principles by making windows the focal point of your space whenever possible and making sure that they stay unencumbered from heavy drapery.

As for the design elements to fill your space, focus on choosing items made from natural materials such as wood, metal and leather or cotton textiles. Don’t be afraid to bring the outside in by adding greenery to accent your design.

There’s a reason why mid-century-modern design is present in our consciousness after over a half-century since its debut. Whether it’s the clean lines, bold colors or connection to nature, this school of style is currently making a big comeback in interior design.

“What Is Mid-Century Modern? – Freshome.” Freshomecom What Is MidCentury Modern and Why Do We Love It So Much Comments. 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://freshome.com/mid-century-modern/&gt;.
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Transition of a Fortified Italian Farmhouse

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Once upon a time, Arrighi was a watchtower peering over Tuscany and all along the Niccone Valley, with an adjoining fortified farmhouse. In recent years, the dwelling known as Castello di Reschio, in Umbria, Italy, is the result of a meticulous restoration that resulted in a luxurious L-shaped main house, and a standalone guest cottage.

Once the fortified farmhouse and watchtower, the impressive five bedroom main house is approached via a large paved courtyard beyond the entrance gates, past the sweet guest cottage that contains a double bedroom, en-suite bathroom, library and fully-fledged kitchen.

A glass encased external staircase tower is flooded with sunlight, and soaks in the extensive view over the very private and unspoiled 2,700 acre Reschio Estate, filled with rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, chestnut and oak trees, extensive infinity pool and pool house.  (HOUSE TOURS)

HOUSE TOURS, . “Transition of a Fortified Italian Farmhouse.” home Designing. N.p., 18 Jul 2012. Web. 18 Jul. 2012. <http://www.home-designing.com/2012/07/transition-of-a-fortified-italian-farmhouse?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: home-designing (Home Design Ideas)&utm_content=Yahoo! Mail>.


Photographing For Catalogs: Petra Bindel

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Check out this beautiful work by photographer Petra Bindel, for Swedish brand Stringfurniture, her work is crisp, bright and showcases classic Scandi-style interiors at their best. Bindel’s work has consistently appeared in Elle Interiors and Elle Decoration magazines, popped up in Dwell, and appeared across billboards and book jackets.

With 16 years in the business, the photographer has worked with some of the best stylists in the business to build an impressive body of work, about which she enthuses: “I don’t think there is anything more fulfilling than to work with talented people. It’s inspiring and the feeling of creating something together drives me forward and makes me want to do more”, and indeed she is prolific.

The pictures we see here of the String® system–a range of versatile shelving combinations that provide bespoke storage arrangements–exhibits the products in rich imagery, full of depth and clarity, and framed to perfection; the simple lines of the furniture take on an artistic, architectural quality, full of balance and careful geometry.

See more of Petra Bindel’s stunning photography portfolio, and read about her current inspirations, news, and impressive endeavors with a glittering list of industry greats on her blog: www.pertabindel.com.   (Home Designing)

 

Home Designing, . “Photographing For Catalogs: Petra Bindel.” Home Designing. N.p., 05 Apr 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2012. <Photographing For Catalogs: Petra Bindel>.

 


Inspiring Contemporary Home Invaded by White: Vivienda en Llaveneres

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Spanish interior designer Susanna Cots designed the interiors for a project entitled Vivienda en Llaveneres and located in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, north of Barcelona, Spain. The design approach is said to be inspired by the tranquility of the neighboring sea: “White predominates and gives to the space a personality that attracts order, and is complemented by colour. The design stretches out to the sea from every part of the house, to allow Nature in. The kitchen, dining room and bedrooms are parallel to the sealine, allowing the exterior to enter the house in many ways, such as through the cubicle that houses the cupboard and the guest bathroom. The outside surface is integrated with the suite’s flooring, the bed head and the bathroom, achieving the same exterior-interior effect”. Enjoy the design ideas displayed by these interiors and let us know which detail would you consider integrating in your own home.  (Freshome)

Inspiring Contemporary Home Invaded by White: Vivienda en Llaveneres. Freshome, 02 Apr 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. <http://freshome.com/2012/04/03/inspiring-contemporary-home-invaded-by-white-vivienda-en-llaveneres/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: FreshInspirationForYourHome (Freshome.com)>.


Potential for Collapse – Reverse Dowry

Akke Functional Art
…a unique element of modern design of signature pieces designed to inspire and provoke.

all images copyright by Robert Lowell Photography

Yberg, Axel. Akke Functional Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar 2012. <http://www.akkefunctionalart.com/potentialforcollapse/reversedowry_1.html&gt;.


pay attention to small details

The importance of details in interior decoration

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When designing or decorating a home it’s always important to pay attention to small details. Of course, the other elements like the color theme or the big furniture are also important but it’s often the little details that make the difference between a bright and fun home and a beautiful but boring one.

When I say small or little details I don’t necessarily refer to the actual size. Such detail can also consist in the texture or color of the floors for example or in the way the pattern from the wallpaper matches the furniture. When you usually find yourself in the spot when you’ve done everything you had to, you’ve furnished and redecorated the house but there’s still something missing, that means it’s time to add some more details.

This means you can add some colorful pillows on the sofa for example. This would add some color and would also make the room seem more inviting. Also, you could choose some pictures of artwork to display on the walls. Flowers are also a common choice when it comes to decorations.In the end, the most important thing when decorating a home is to be careful at the way the materials combine and the way the colors and textures work together. Make sure they don’t clash and always try to see beyond the obvious.  {found on Alhvem}

(Ganea)

Ganea, Simona. “The importance of details in interior decoration.” Homedit. N.p., 25 Nov 2011. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. http://www.homedit.com/the-importance-of-details-in-interior-decoration/.