Mid-Century Modern design is a classic style that incorporates clean, unadorned, simple lines and feels as fresh today as it did in 1962. Given its timeless look, the style sits as well in a contemporary update like this Wythe Avenue home, as it does in a circa 1896 Church Hill home.
The designer of these iconic lounge chairs from the 1960’s, Warren Platner, outlined the definition of a ‘classic’ as “something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it”. We agree, and we feel the same way about the antique Eastlake slate mantle that shares the space.
Available at every price point, mid-century’s appeal spans generations; for Millenials it might be the cool Mad Men vibe, and for some Baby Boomers it’s a return to their youth and a simpler time. The Platner chairs above were inherited by that lucky Churchillian, but if an original Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman aren’t in the budget, you can find the look for less. Stroll around West End Antiques Mall and Project1 on any given day and you’ll spot pieces by iconic mid-century designers like Milo Baughman, Adrian Pearsall, and Jens Risom. You’ll also spot very affordable selections from Lane Acclaim and Heywood Wakefield.
This pair of chairs by Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin is available at Barkhaus Moderne in the Great Room at West End Antiques Mall.
Lane Acclaim Coffee Table from TEEGEEBEE Mid Century in Building 2.
The pared-down aesthetic of Mid-Century Modern fits seamlessly with our 21st century reality. Today, as our phones continue to shrink, our televisions hang on walls or hang out in our handbags on mobile devices, and audio/video collections live in a cloud not on a shelf, we no longer need purpose-built furniture. Remember telephone tables with a cubby for the yellow pages, entertainment centers housing a huge betamax, and computer desks with CPU compartments? Yikes! But we date ourselves!
More than likely, today we simply require two drawers in our desks where we can stash the iPad, hide the chargers and access a few pens. Pens? Don’t really need them anymore either since we have lighting fast thumbs! This desk by Arne Vodder is a perfect example of the extraordinary prescience and ingenuity of mid-century modern designers.
The desk’s compact design fits neatly inside today’s smaller urban spaces but expands with the convenience of the flip-down leaf. The added feature of the left/right sliding drawer unit is sheer brilliance.
Still have a little too much stuff? This 1960’s teak secretary by mid-century Danish designer Børge Mogensen, provides a pull-out desk and ample storage. You can hide your desk-top clutter behind the tambour doors; slide the desk back and you’re left with one handsome, multi-tasking bookcase.
Not quite sure how to inject a little mid-century pizazz into your more traditional space? Well, download a little Frank Sinatra, mix yourself a Mai Tai, and be inspired by a few ideas on our Pinterest board here.
Click the image below to see some of our latest mid-century modern offerings.