Why midcentury modern furniture is coming back
Modern furniture has been having a revival in the homes of young and older homeowners alike.
The history: Mid century modern furniture originated after World War II, many Americans shifted
their focus from life overseas or in domestic factories back to their homes. The minimalist look of mid century modern design come from a lack of resources following the two World Wars.
Minimalist perspective sought to emphasize function
In order to provide ways to open up homes to nature, such as natural light, and to guests with furniture serving its purpose with minimal materials and maximum form. You could say it’s a
collision of efficiency and furniture.
Most styles experience a cyclical track, they will go out of style but then will come back later again. For example, leather, a material used in many mid century pieces like Sofas and Chairs, those looks are timeless. Many new homeowners fascinated with a time when pop culture was at its height,
along with design and art, revival of these pieces is visible everywhere you look. Furthermore, the environmentalist movement matches perfectly with mid century modern design.
Most elements are natural and minimalist, meaning they offer a small environmental footprint and make statements that their owner is one of natural taste. Earthy hues, houseplants, and Wooden Furniture all add the airy and natural charm that mid century design encapsulates.
Lighting crafted of brushed metals in odd whimsical shapes is any hipster’s ideal look and brings maximum light to a space with maximum style and minimal materials and space. The idea of mid century furniture was to achieve functionality at a price point accessible to anyone and with fluid design lines and with minimal materials. There was no room for gaudy, over the top designs, and more and more homeowners and architects were seeking spaces that were open and airy.
Due to these requirements, new materials were also introduced into furniture design, such as tubular steel. Tubular steel was used in Chairs and furniture around the mid century since it could provide the strength required with less material and offered a comforting flex that cushioned and rocked with your movement without breaking.
This elasticity and movement in a streamlined design matched perfectly with the demands of the time. In addition to these steel pieces, fiberglass and plastic was also used to offer a cheap alternative that was also flexible and strong. Similarly, bent wood was used in pieces such as Coffee Tables, Lounge Chairs, Bar Stools, and more to offer a natural look with the same benefits as steel and plastic.
In terms of shape, many pieces such as benches and tables, sought to take up minimal floor space while offering maximum surface area on top. So many of these were top heavy designs in that the legs would taper to the floor and even angle inwards to conserve their footprint on the floor while still offering a wide seating or dining area at the top of the furniture.
Splashes of color were added to accessory pieces to complement the natural and minimalist Lounge Chairs, Tables, and Sofas. These splashes of color were found in items like dining sets, clocks, centerpieces, and even in larger pieces like Loveseats or Accent Chairs. It’s the combination of color, functionality, minimalism, low price, and natural designs that attracted so many buyers to these designs in the 50’s and 60’s and it’s those same reasons that still draw furniture shoppers to these looks today.
As new homeowners and tenants realize that they don’t need to live in a large space to be happy,
as movements like minimalists and tiny houses rise, the mid century furniture designs rise with it. With sleek furniture silhouettes and Sofas and Lounge Chairs that can fit in your studio apartment or small downtown house, all while offering a natural charm that is rare in urban living, it’s no shock that mid century designs and millennial homeowners and tenants are a perfect marriage.
Bold colors play to a generation that is expressive and open to creative designs and bold statements. Uniformity in combination with eclectic combinations of textures, patterns, and profiles gives homeowners the ability to mix and match while still maintaining a constant look throughout. It’s a design palette that offers freedom.
Freedom of movement, freedom of color, and freedom of style. They are pieces that are ergonomic and can make your small apartment just as comfy as your parents’ two-story house in the suburbs with a quarter of the space. Thin Dining room Table and Chair sets are easy to move, as many millennial’s and generation Xers find themselves moving often and rarely stuck to one dwelling for longer than a few years.
They’re big enough to entertain friends but not big enough to become a permanent fixture that you need three people to move across the room, much less out the front door and down three sets of stairs in your high-rise apartment. Open spaces make your small dwelling feel larger by opening up not only to other rooms (if there are any) in your home, but also to the Outdoors and nature.
Minimal decor with pieces such as houseplants means that your space isn’t cluttered like grandma’s and the plants help you to breathe fresh air in the heart of the city as additions like pothos ivy clean your apartment air.
As you can see, mid century modern furniture is in a full revival. And if it’s not here to stay for good, you can bet that it’ll be back at some point as it really does check the boxes of what every homeowner desires, maximum form and maximum function with minimal space. Sometimes the oldest trends offer the most complete designs, and that’s why they continue to resurface year after year.