Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Architecture To Design

Harry Bertoia Diamond Chair Lifestyle Image

At Pash Classics, we love mid-century modern furniture for many reasons, from its timeless style to its iconic nature. Through the years, it has been easy to apply the term to any modern furniture or interior emulating that style. 

In this blog, we will discuss the history of mid-century modern furniture, the reasons for its popularity and how you can recreate this interior style for your home.

The Beginning Of The Mid-Century Modern Design Movement

Post-World War II, designers had to look for more efficient and cost-effective ways to produce their best mid-century modern furniture designs to keep up with the demands of a rising population. Homes were smaller, so the furniture had to be more compact and practical, all fitting the movement perfectly. 

In the United States, it was named Mid-Century Modern, whilst, in Europe, it was called the Bauhaus movement, named after the design school that had a big impact. The Bauhaus school existed from 1913 to 1933, and it was an innovative and influential art school in Germany. The school offered a revolutionary new approach to art by combining fine arts (like painting and sculpture) with handicrafts like weaving and typography. 

There was a newfound optimism and prosperity in the late 40s, 50s and early 60s that led to the development of innovative, new materials and technological advances.

The term Mid-Century Modern was used years after the actual design movement. Cara Greenberg released a book in 1984 called “Mid-Century Modern: Furniture Of The 1950s” and so it has now become known as such. Its retrospective outlook on the furniture of the 50s urged a sense of nostalgia within the public and opened their eyes to innovative designs.

Why Everyone Loves Mid-Century Modern Furniture & Interiors?


Online connections and communication mean we live in a trend-driven society. Everyone can be updated on the lost or latest trends very quickly, and the fact that Mid-Century Modern style has mesmerised us all for nearly a century, and we see no sign of it stepping down, shows that some interior design styles and trends are born to last.

Still feeling as fresh today as it did 70 years ago, the mid-century modern style emphasised the importance of form and function, making its designs inclusive for all homes. While a key element was the function of each furniture piece, they were also designed to introduce art and sculpture in the form of furniture. A lot of designers pushed their boundaries, which resulted in a revolutionary era in which people could buy mid-century modern furniture with ease.

Mid-Century Modern Features

As previously said, homes were smaller but with large windows to bring the outdoors indoors. They incorporated open-plan spaces to make the interior feel larger and provide a flow from room to room, whilst architecture used clean lines, also found in the mid-century modern furniture design.

Interiors used many natural materials, such as wood, leather, and cotton and combined them with the modern materials of plastic, fibreglass and vinyl. Sleek lines met organic curves,  the designs were famous for connecting with nature, and designers used this as one of their sources of inspiration, whilst they acknowledged the beauty of raw materials but with contrast. 

While designs were understated, they incorporated many graphic patterns and lively colours to brighten a home. Bold pops of colour were and still are a signature of Mid-Century Modern homes. In case you’ve missed it, we have a great article packed with valuable inspiration on How To Create A Complementary Colour Scheme In Interior Design.

Also, mid-century designs are characterised by minimalism as they never bothered to hide how they’re constructed. Chairs and tables often include simple yet exposed metal or wooden pin legs. Mid-century modern buildings and furniture would display simple geometric forms and crisp, clean lines. And unlike Art Nouveau or Baroque designs, there are no swirling leaves and ornate decorations to be found here. Did you know that we’ve created a “style quiz” to help you find out if you’re a minimalist or a maximalist? Make sure you won’t miss it!

Influential Designers Of The Era

Eames Elephant in our customers open plan living space
Eames Elephant | @jw_bespoke_archi

Many renowned and iconic mid-century furniture designers shaped the design world for years to come with their innovative ideas and modernising techniques.

The two of the most influential modern furniture designers also worked in architecture, graphic design and art, which is why their designs still influence the world today, a great example being The Iconic Eiffel Chairs

Another famous Finnish-American industrial designer brought us streamlined furniture with a space-age and futuristic feel. His innovative designs were essential components of the modern movement. His pedestal base designs were to remove the “Slum Of Legs”, with the table and chairs providing more space and an ability to fit under one another perfectly.

Moving on, another mid-century modern furniture designer from Copenhagen embodied the minimal yet contemporary designs of the era. His designs may look simple, but each took him years to master as he was using new techniques that resulted in perfectly executed designs. With little additions or components, these designs make a statement with their beautiful, smooth form.

And lastly, one of our favourite Italian designers took an industrial material and mastered it to become an eye-catching piece of furniture. His range of Wire Chairs is beautifully individual, with each wire having subtle waves to create a form that fits the shape of your body.

Why We Love Mid-Century Modern Furniture Designs & Interiors

The main reason we love mid-century furniture design reproductions is their versatility to mix within a range of home interiors. Furniture pieces seem to be able to adapt to the environment they’re placed within and always look effortlessly stylish when they do so. 

For example, our iconic Iconic Chairs can be seen in industrial, modern, minimal, farmhouse, bohemian and many more interior decors.

These designs constantly appear in films, TV programmes and fashion due to their effortlessly chic and practical designs. They are still a common choice for interior design projects and will reappear for years. 

The designers’ commitment to functionality has made these designs timeless because the use of mid-century modern furniture can’t and never will go out of fashion! 

Final Thoughts

Stylish, versatile and adored by many, mid-century modern style is sure to influence the world of interior design for many years to come. 

To conclude, this style appeals anew to each rising generation of young people. However, mid-century modern furniture design hasn’t been bested by any other movement since, so it remains the style of our own time, not of some antique past. And it still looks absolutely gorgeous, what do you think?

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