What Is The Difference Between Mid-century and Mid-century Modern?

What Is The Difference Between Mid-century and Mid-century Modern?

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The furniture and the way it is set in your home is a visitor's first impression. Traditional furniture was focused on how practical and grandeur the decor looked. With the advent of several styles suited to the minimalist trend of the latter 1940s, furniture has always followed specific trends, with each era carrying its distinctive design style. 

The mid-century design emerged in the 1930s as a precursor to the mid-century modern style. The style stuck to believing in simple form serving function. But what changed during the evolution? How did the world war change how people viewed a room's interior aesthetics?

What Is Mid-century Design?

When you break down the twentieth century into parts, the design language helps distinguish them from each other. Mid-century design is often correlatively used as mid-century modern, but the differences lie in the details. By the 1910s, innovation in furniture started picking up the pace against the backdrop of the first world war. The WWI era induced rapid industrialization and an influx of money worldwide. And by the 1920s, the general public was getting accustomed to spending the money they earned through their jobs. 

A simple style defined by clean lines and curves that flows into the design seamlessly, mid-century design is looked at as an understated look. The materials and neutral colors elevate every room it is in. Furniture in that era reflects people's connection with simplicity within the functionality. New technologies and natural materials like exotic woods were slowly taking the mid-century decor to the luxury level. The contemporary designers of this era built on the royal aspect with intricate shapes and exotic woods, whereas the period that followed this was one of revolution.

What Defines Mid-century Modern Design?

Modernism has pitted itself against royalty and the monotonous nature of royal furniture. The plastic chair was the most prominent invention of interior design in this era. Throughout the 1940s, WWII took over, inspiring several designers to look beyond wooden chairs. Post the second world war, people's spending habits evolved into settling down and a consequential real estate boom.

With the use of manufactured materials over wood, the Eames company could produce chairs at a much faster rate. Designed by Charles Eames and Ray Eames, the company's legacy lasted for over 40 years into the 1980s as the revolutionary mid-century modern designs were taking over the market. Eames's ground-breaking progressive furniture design exploited design movements with technological advancements. The egg chair by Arne Jacobsen is an example of how designers push what's possible with organic shapes that break apart from the typical rectilinear design.

The design is still relevant as that's the first image that comes to your mind when you think of a chair. With simple lines and neutral tones, several design trends followed what was organic and simple to sit on. The period of renewal and prosperity meant economic growth was driving the contemporary designs out of where they were relevant. 

Evolution of Furniture Across Eras

Mid-century styles reflected royalty for all, whereas the mid-century modern styles continued with the Eames principle of "making the best, for the most, for the least." With mass manufacturing systems impacting the culture and development of modern pieces, sleek lines and geometric shapes started flooding the market. Designers like George Nelson filled the furniture design space with innovative designs for all pieces of furniture.

Colors of mid-century modern decor vs. mid century decor

The feel of mid-century furniture pieces also stands for modern today; contemporary designs and spaces continue to embrace the classic pops of color. The mid-century modern furniture went a step ahead to embrace bold colors and smooth lines in the decor styles, unlike the mid-century deco. The color palette involved various color schemes, from playful and accent colors. At the core of the design philosophy, the idea is to make something new and identifiable at the same time at affordable prices. The colors can be distinguished when you put a contemporary style decor against mid-century modern furniture. Popular design styles of the era focussed on bringing variation with colors like bright greens to emerge as the room's focal point. 

Shapes of mid-century modern vs. mid century pieces

The structure and shapes of mid-century modern pieces were down to modern designers choosing what niche they wanted to dedicate to the design. Far from the contemporary style, the structure departs from vintage pieces to bring comfort to all. The integration of functional structures over conventional chair models also allowed new colors to get added. The use of colors like olive green and soft greens took over the evolution as chairs became increasingly common worldwide. Contemporary reproductions of vintage mid-century designs saw an uptrend at the end of the 20th century. As the iconic design was making a comeback from the lull it faced during the era. Original designs became an extension of the prior art, but concepts continue to develop with advanced materials and proper development over a design to make the chair unique.

Tips for Decorating A Mid-century Modern Room

Now that you understand what mid-century modern design styles are all about, using the concepts to design your room will help you bring the key elements to life.

1. Build the furniture around the statement pieces

Construct the design around one or two pieces. The key feature is using the design elements to find the perfect fit with compatibility and complement your pieces.

2.Color play within art pieces

Retro colors are always in style, and choose the proper color at the right place—experiment with where you want the focal point to be.

3. Simple and organic look

Reach an organic look by looking around the pieces of furniture as well. The windows, the light sources, and the wall's colors complement how the pieces fit in.

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