Ever since the 1960s, the mid-century modern aesthetic has been going strong, with both avid followers and detractors in the interior design industry. After some time, it became clear that this is a style that simply just would not die, and we can name a few key reasons for that: the timelessness of its designs, the cultural importance of the architectural projects that have to do with it, you name it, mid-century modernism is here to stay.
This is why, at Manhattan Home Design, we like to talk about what makes such a style great, and why we make it our mission to bring it to as many people as possible. We like to envision mid-century modernism as a comprehensive set of practices that can be applied to any home without much hassle, and also without having to get a lot of furniture.
However, we have to admit that getting the furniture you need is something that is going to be key for your space when you decide to go full mid-century modern. But don’t worry, we’re not talking about spending thousands upon thousands of dollars, a simple touch of furniture here and there can make your interior design MCM (and great).
But why is Mid-century Modernism still a thing? You ask…
Well, first and foremost, ease of use. There’s a good chance you might already have some mid-century modernism in your home, and this is because the designs that made the style great were all about making things as easy as possible. In the years after the Second World War, practicality and resourcefulness is what drove the most famous designers to produce something that would last.
It hasn’t always been this way though, you would be surprise to learn that during the 1980s mid-century modernism was not really in vogue, in fact, its comeback is much more recent. Nowadays we are going back to that need for practical applications, and even minimalism. Most people say that this is because of technological advancements, but it might have something to do with the current economic landscape.
In short: houses are getting smaller, furniture is getting more expensive, and there’s just a lot of options (but not all of them affordable). This is where the beauty of mid-century modernism shows. The timelessness of its objects allows for them to be placed seamlessly anywhere, and the appeal that they have (most of the time) comes from their elegant simplicity.
So, how do I start making my home into an MCM space?
This is a question that we have already answered before. In fact, the first thing you gotta do is check out our short guides, which will point you in the right direction. The second thing would be to consider some pointers that we’re going to give you below:
- It’s all about clean spaces
Cultivating the mid-century modern aesthetic is all about finding the right balance of furniture and space, and you achieve this by making choices that make your space look cleaner. This means getting rid of all the clutter, and being smart about what you buy. Furniture-wise, you don’t need much to follow the MCM aesthetic, just a centerpiece (which can be one of these best-selling icons), and some stuff to put around it.
- Color palettes and materials
Even though you can find just about anything when it comes to materials and mid-century modernism, most people will choose lighter stuff like wood, plastics, and fabrics like leather or wool (when it’s time to go a little upscale). These materials are intrinsically tied to that feeling of practicality, and to the minimalist aesthetic. Mid-century Modernism, in today’s parlance, has a lot to do with keeping your house in order (literally and figuratively).
We have written some articles in color psychology that you can use to learn more about putting a space together. We will probably also write more articles in the future featuring other colors, so stay tuned. When it comes to materials, think about IKEA furniture. This type of practical furniture is very MCM (at its core), and this is because it comes from a very MCM tradition, which is Scandinavian furniture making.
- The replica market (and its benefits)
This is where mid-century modernism starts to get fun. Think about the chair in the image above: you’ve probably seen it before, perhaps countless times. This is one of the earliest Eames DSW plastic chairs featuring their trademark Eiffel tower base, a design that has become as ubiquitous as it comes in today’s homes. It’s very easy to get one of them, but you wouldn’t know that they have their origin in this particular style.
The replica market today has made it easier for people to discover and enjoy mid-century modernism, another reason why they style isn’t going away anytime soon. Items that cost thousands of dollars now have competing models that you can get for a third or a fifth of the price (but you have to be very careful with where you choose to get them).
In the end, we at Manhattan Home Design will always have your best interests at heart. Think about these objects that you see in these images as the remainder of an era in which people where motivated to do things in the right away, as shown by Charles and Ray Eames philosophy of Good Design, for example.
This is what stays from the older mid-century modern movement of the 1950s and 60s, and what makes it relevant today. We want to pay homage to those designs, and provide you with quality items that you can get somewhere else, but certainly not at this level of quality.
We’re having a lot of discounts right now, so head on over to our website to find out what to buy, and keep reading this blog by following the links we’ve provided (in orange) if you want to learn more about what makes mid-century modernism great.