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Mid-Century Modern

Definition: Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is a style of furniture design, product design, and architecture that began after World War II and continued into the 1960s. Often called "mod" and most definitely retro, this style is marked by simplicity, clean lines, organic forms, and materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. Though color is used quite a bit in post-war design, mid-century modern is typically less cutesy than the more pop-art offerings of the later 1960s.

Mid-century design flourished in Europe, particularly Scandinavia, and prominent designers from this period include Finland's Eero Saarinen, American pair Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and George Nelson. Many of the iconic designs are still being manufactured for sale by brands like Vitra and Kartell.

Join The Conversation
Tari007 Tari007 9 years
I like it.
chancleta chancleta 10 years
i just love mid-century modern for sure my fav classic clean lines with out being too modern soooooooo awesome!
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 10 years
mid-century modern, danish modern, scandinavian . . . . sigh. i'm in lust with this furniture, to the point of buying and storing pieces that i can't use.
Linny Linny 10 years
Mid-Century Modern is my favorite!
misslarue misslarue 10 years
My old boss had her house decorated in all retro. It looked great, just not my style personally.
bizzybee bizzybee 10 years
I'm a big fan of mid-century modern. The philosophy that design could be clean, elemental and functional still resonates strongly with me today.
redsugar redsugar 10 years
I love, love, love mid-century design and not just the furniture. I love the the signage, fonts and architecture from this time as well. My home was built in 1955 and it has modern lines, but would best be described as "ranch". One day I will have a home built in the style of Eichler or Jenkins.
studio524 studio524 10 years
Mid-Century Modern / Atomic Era designs rock my world. In fact, it is my world.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 10 years
I love the Ball Clock and Eames chair.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
one of my favorite styles. most of the stuff i have is some variation on this style. a lot of IKEA stuff is close to this style, especially their sofas.
ziggy ziggy 10 years
All the furniture at my old office was done in this style. We had the most comfy Eames lounge chairs (I still want one, they're worth the price). My team had our regular team meetings at Saarinen marble tables and Knoll chairs outside my office, or in the main boardroom (all Herman Miller) and we'd crash in the breakroom munching on free snacks on the Barcelona chairs. It was great! I guess, in retrospect, we were pretty spoiled -- but it's not like we didn't work ~hard~ there :)
Mel475 Mel475 10 years
I think it can be really cool if done in moderation - one or two standout pieces can add some excitement to a room. But I don't like the whole room like that - it tends to look a little old and outdated...
jason jason 10 years
I love mid-century modern pieces. We have a couple of Eames molded plywood lounge chairs (similar to the ones in the photo). Looking forward to one day having a pair of the leather lounge chairs and ottomans as well as the aluminum group chairs for the office (had these at an dot com during bubble 1.0 and they were ultra comfortable). I like that George Nelson clock, too!
sgdish sgdish 10 years
This style can be done well, especially if one or two pieces is added to a modern look. The problem is, most people tend to overdo and it turns into a room that looks old and worn...
CocoChic CocoChic 10 years
I love mid-century modern! It's my favorite era. I grew up with some van der Rohe chairs and an Eames lounger so it's in my blood!
girlboy girlboy 10 years
pretty ugly
vienvien vienvien 10 years
I never like the 70's or 60's home design trends.
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