I recently showed what a cute little blue house would look like in three different exterior color palettes. This week, we look at a handful of palettes on a recently renovated ranch-style home in Austin, Texas. The homeowner wanted to make her house stand out against a sea of white and tan homes in the neighborhood, and having a bold-hued front door was also of upmost importance. Check out four renderings of potential palettes, as well as the final, winning scheme.
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.
Loft apartments always have a distinct feel. Their openness, combined with their usual amounts of streaming light, makes them instantly appealing for most urban dwellers. Who wouldn’t want more light and a sense of more space in what’s usually a more crowded area? But lofts can also feel a bit cookie cutter, especially when the original space has been mass-converted to support loft living. A dozen or more lofts with the same feel and layout can feel stifling. This loft, designed by Indot, takes the idea of a traditional loft and plays with it using geometry, color, and texture. Don’t think that lofts are just limited to red exposed brick and neutrally painted walls.
I spent the first 18 years of my life occupying Harry Potter–size quarters in an otherwise spacious house—and feeling as if I was the lucky one. And though I’ve since gained a bit more elbow room, I’ve been gratified to watch the tiny house movement mushroom in the past decade. (And yet frequently let down by the twee hippie-gnome lairs that await beyond so many downsized front doors.) More architects ought to join the downsizing crusade—but, fortunately, enough have that the seeds of first-rate minuscule design have been planted. Here are some standouts, many of them from Remodelista and Gardenista’s own greatest-hits archive.
N.B.: One man’s hut is another’s palace. We tend to be generous in our definition of tiny: Our selections here range in size but most are under 300 square feet.
Guralnick, M. (2015, May 20). Small-Space Living: 13 Radical Tiny Cottages. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from http://www.remodelista.com/posts/small-space-living-13-radical-tiny-cottages-designed-by-architects?utm_source=Remodelista/Gardenista Subscriber List&utm_campaign=d26f58a198-Remodelista Daily Mail Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_447a717cea-d26f58a1
image © cecile septet (all images courtesy of RMDM)
french firm RMDM architects have recently completed ’10 very high performance apartments’, a social housing building within the 18th arrondissement of paris, france. with the encompassing urban block undergoing transformation, this pair of structures offers a home to lower income residents while an outdoor area for repose creates a vegetated buffer zone between the building and densely developed district. an entry elevation clad with vertically sliding aluminum cassette panels in three tones of white to gray activate the facade projecting a structure which is entirely closed off from the surrounding environment or dynamically adjusts to the daily activity of dwellers. the hinges allow the shutters to be opened in diverse degrees, offering privacy and protection from solar gain.
a U-shaped plan wraps an open-air patio to benefit each of the units from natural daylight. living spaces are oriented to overlook the dynamic and communal spaces. two of the roof wings feature terraces while a row of inclined solar panels mirror the exterior’s aesthetic and support hot water production. (db)
db, lauren. “RMDM architects: 10 very high performance apartments – social housing, paris.” designboom. N.p., 16 Jul 2012. Web. 16 Jul. 2012. <http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/22427/rmdm-architects-social-housing-in-paris-10-very-high-performance-apartments.html>.
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)>.