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How to arrange the interior in the style of mid-century modern

The style of mid-century modern appeared in America in the mid-1940s: the war was over, and people wanted comfortable furniture, democratic and life-affirming interiors. The name of the style came up with the American journalist Kara Greenberg in the eighties and described it in her book “Mid-century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s”.

The style of mid-century modern appeared in America in the mid-1940s: the war was over, and people wanted comfortable furniture, democratic and life-affirming interiors. The name of the style came up with the American journalist Kara Greenberg in the eighties and described it in her book “Mid-century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s”.

Today the modernist style of the mid-century (as this style is sometimes called here) is again in vogue, thanks in large part to the Mad Men series, incredibly popular in the West, where the 1960s interiors of America took a special place. What is so special about mid-century modern and how to design the interior in this style yourself – we understand today.

Style DNA
When and where did it appear: USA, 50–60s
The basis of the style: simple shapes, smooth lines, dark wood, muted palette, geometric patterns
Bright names: Charles and Ray Imzy, Harry Bertoya, Ero Saarinen, Arne Jacobson
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5 rules of interior design in the style of mid-century modern
1. The layout should be open.

Open space – the basis of the planning of housing this period. Welcome to the floor window and at least partitions. For zoning, use through shelving, openwork or sliding partitions.

2. In decoration, rely on natural and affordable materials.

In the mid-century modern interiors, you can see a lot of dark brown wood: the ceiling, walls, and floor often get finished with them. The effect of stylized decorative panels in the spirit of the fifties can be created by pasting several walls with wallpaper imitating wooden surfaces.
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However, along with the use of natural finishing materials in the era of the mid-century are actively created and artificial. Mid-center modern is primarily about democracy, so feel free to use cork, varnish, plywood, and laminate. Our favorite is Haro Oak Portland laminate.

But the Venetian plaster, brick walls, bare loft ceilings with an open lighting system and any classics – taboo.

3. Furniture should be of simple form and high quality.
Distinctive features of furniture of 50–70s: smooth lines, refusal from sharp corners and streamline shapes. The furniture legends created during this period are the Eames Lounge Chair from Charles and Ray Eames, the chairs from Arne Jacobsen, Iero Saarinen and Werner Panton, the Marshmallow sofa by George Nelson.
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In addition to the typical for the era of the mid-century modern pieces of furniture on thin, spaced legs, actively used furniture made of plastic and plywood. These are affordable and at the same time very ductile materials – what you need to create recognizable curves of chairs, tables, armchairs.

4. Muted color palette + geometric patterns
The main color range of mid-central modern is a combination of warm ocher tones, mustard, bottle, plum. Gentle Elegance olive or sea buckthorn wallpaper is perfect for this style.

And as accents in the interior you can include geometric patterns of juicy, but not too active tones. These can be seen from Orla Kiely, Marimekko or Scion: these brands are big design fans of the 50s and 60s. The patterns of that time are a little ironic, even for children: the influence of pop art in the late fifties.

5. There should be a lot of light
The aesthetics of aerodynamics influenced mid-century modern philosophy. That is why many models of lamps resemble spaceships and shiny flying saucers: Vistosi SP BIANCA chandelier is a typical example. However, lighting fixtures of simple, laconic forms in brass or chrome, like the Flos pendant light, are also popular.

In any case, designers who worked with light in the modernist era of the mid-century, converged on one thing: lighting should be diverse and multifunctional. So there is a side and local lighting, floor lamps, table lamps. Vivid examples of this trend are the Artichoke Poule Henningsen ceiling lamp and the Arco floor lamp from Achille and Pierre-Giacomo Castiglioni.

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