What Makes Mid-Century Modern Furniture?
Mid-century furniture was at the height of its popularity in the 1950s: homes were getting smaller and furniture became mass-produced. Mid-century doesn’t always equal vintage. Unlike traditional furniture, mid-century designs were simple, streamlined and inspired by nature and geometry. Look out for these design elements to spot a piece of mid-century modern furniture.
1. Tapered Wood Legs
On any piece of furniture, tapered wood legs are one of the easiest ways to identify mid-century style. This design detail shows off natural wood in a clean, simple form. These legs don’t just look pretty. Lifting furniture on legs allows more light to pass through the room, making smaller ones feel more spacious.
2. Slim Proportions
Mid-century modern furniture generally exists on a smaller scale. Tapered wood legs give mid-century furniture a slender profile,and this furniture tends to be slim all over. Think sofas with narrow track arms, armchairs that play with negative space and tables that won’t take over the room.
3. Organic Shapes
Being inspired by nature doesn’t just mean using natural materials. Curved and organic shapes appear frequently, and mid-century chairs often match the curve of the human body. Patterned decor mimics the curves and geometry found in nature, like florals and rounded, abstract shapes.
4. Mixed Materials
Mid-century modern style draws inspiration from nature, but it also explores synthetic materials. Designers used innovative new techniques to mold plastic and bend plywood. The technology isn’t new anymore, but mid-century furniture still embraces mixed materials. Wood, metal, glass, fabric and leather all play together in mid-century design. It’s a mix-and-match dream!