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Mid-Century Design Style

The Mid-Century style design is a popular design style that is appealing for many. Like other mainstream design styles, the Mid-Century style features specific aspects that define it as such. In this article, we will take a look some specific characteristics of the Mid-Century design style. We will also consider some influences that guided its progression.

Background of Mid-Century Style

So, from where did the Mid-Century Modern design style come? The style is from the era encompassing the time between the 1930s-1960s. Often times though, the name refers to looks from the 1950s and 1960s. The term Mid-Century Modern began to be used in the 1980s and has continued to grow in popularity.

The design style grew from economical shifts that happened on the world scene after World War II. As designers and architects relocated and continued to work, these developments played a role in the emergence of this design style.

Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern

All design styles have characteristics that distinguish them from others. While some design styles may share certain design aspects, the Mid-Century design style will feature very distinct marks. The marks can appear in the design elements, the furnishings, and the architecture. These characteristics include the following:

  • Simplicity
  • Functionality
  • Material Contrast
  • Combining of Traditional & Non-Traditional
  • Use of Color for Visual Interest

Design Simplicity

Like other design styles such as the Minimilist Design, the Mid-Century design style is one that conveys simplicity. The lack of clutter in spaces that use this design style contributes to the simplistic feel and appearance of the room. Clean lines and the absence of many knick knacks and decorative figures keeps the area looking clean and easy on the eyes. A lack of ornamentation also keeps Mid-Century style spaces looking simple.

Functional Design

The design style is also functional. This is very logical, since simplicity produces the need for functionality. After all, when you keep the elements simple, it naturally bears the need for the elements that are in the design to be functional. Furniture will have clean, simple lines and perhaps function in more than one way. Multipurpose furnishings allow the space to remain simple.

Traditional & Non-Traditional

The use of material in a Mid-Century Modern design means sticking primarily to a certain selection of materials. The materials most commonly found in the Mid-Century design style include:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Vinyl
  • Plywood

So the use of a variety of materials is an important aspect of designing in the Mid-Century modern style. The natural textures of wood and the smooth textures of glass are both welcome in this design style. Event the many textures that can be created using metal can be used to enhance and accentuate this style of design. Specific techniques are also used in conjunction with textures.

Contrasting Materials

The technique of contrasting textures is a skill that is used in Mid-Century Modern style design to add visual interest and depth to the space being designed. Combining natural surface made of wood and very smooth metal and glass textures can stir interest and draw attention to key areas of the room. But material contrast is only one method of adding visual interest to a design, there is another one that is commonly used; color.

Color Usage

Another way visual interest is created is through the use of color. Creatively using color to add interest is a technique that many design style make use of. However, in the Mid-Century Modern design style, like others that feature simplicity, visually interesting color schemes become more important. This is because there are fewer ways to generate focus. As a result, you will often see color used to draw attention to areas of the room that the designer wants highlighted.

In conclusion, the Mid-Century Modern design style is a simple, functional, and clean looking look that has the feel of the 50s and/or 60s that uses color and textures from that era to create visual interest. Using this design style does not mean that you must use old materials from that time frame. It simply means that the look and feel with convey a sense of being there.