A Brief History of Mid-Century Modern Design

Mid Century Retro Sideboard by Finn Juhl
As an antique furniture dealer, The Furniture Rooms are keen to keep up with the transformations in interior design. Here we explain a brief history of the mid-century modern design and some of the key developments during this time.
The term Mid-century modern is frequently misunderstood and is a broad term used to describe the architecture, interior design and furniture in America during the period after World War II to the mid-1970s. It is important not to be confused with the art deco design trend which was popular during the previous era of World War I.
The phrase was first used when art historian, Cara Greenberg, published her book in 1984. She describes how and why mid-century furniture developed and identifies some of the iconic designers between the 1940s until the late 1960s.
Retro Armchair
The earliest movement of mid-century modern design is said to have happened in Europe between the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1920s vehicles were becoming more popular and one of the significant changes to modern homes during this time was the addition of garages. Carports were another feature that appeared in-house designs during this time. It was only towards the at the end of World War II that modern design movement started to progress.
Towards the 1940s US soldiers returned home with their families which create a huge demand for tract housing. These houses were a simple design, and often builders took shortcuts so that they could be built at a faster pace. Houses also became larger in size and consisted of a commercial construction that represented the mid-century design emphasising clear lines and stylish angles.
Mid-century modern furniture design reflected these characteristics and introduced more curves, geometric shapes and stylised angles investing in new technologies. Mid-century modern furniture is designed to a high standard and pieces tend to be timeless.
Retro Sideboard
During the baby boom era in the late 40s and 50s, architects and designers experimented with new forms that focused on the flow of moving inside and outside. These structures also aimed to create more privacy for homeowners. One of the most prominent features of mid-century modern design furniture is that it is also designed to be multi-purpose and furniture pieces were not restricted to having a single function. Household accessories also consisted of simple designs and reflected the new era. Some examples of well-known designers during the period of mid-century modern design include Arne Jacobsen, Ray Eames, and Harry Bertoia.
The end of the 1960s resembled the end of the mid-century modern design style and the occurrence of new housing began to slow down, and new design tastes developed with the advances in new technology.
Whereas today when the phrase mid-century modern design is used it refers to a retro style of interior design that many contemporary designers still use as an influence for the current day.
We have a range of mid-century furniture for sale, call us today on 07799660323 to discuss your furniture requirements or browse our extensive furniture collections today.