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A Brief History of Mid-Century Modern Design
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.
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.
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 acessories 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.
2017 Interior Design Trends: Art Deco Is Back!
Each year brings with it a new interior design trend. 2016 revived some vintage trends with an appearance of art deco features creeping in towards the end of the year. For 2017 it is predicted that art deco with have a significant influence on the interior design industry through the use of bold patterns, velvet material, and art deco furniture.
This trend is all about creating rich details and bold statements in your home. We reveal how the art deco interior design trend is making a comeback for 2017!
Pantone has announced the Colour of The Year for 2017 is “greenery” which according to Leatrice Eiseman represents refreshment and revitalization. The use of greenery is already prominent in the fashion, commercial and interior design. Earthy colours are becoming more fashionable this year and are a fantastic way of adding colour to rooms that have subtle colour schemes. Olive green, plush pinks, ochre and honey tones are suited to both bedrooms and living rooms to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
The art deco style is often characterised by rich colours and lavish decorative elements to enhance a room's appearance. In 2017 you can expect large, geometric shaped furniture featuring smooth brass and gold metals to create an elegant ambience. Investing in a few unique furniture pieces can help you to successfully achieve an art deco aesthetic and create character throughout your home.
The art deco vibe is not restricted to the use of colour and furniture. Using a quirky light fixture can be utilised as a design element to make the rooms in your home more memorable. Art deco lighting combines both function and strong aesthetic designs that focus on the use of sharp lines.
Materials and Texture
Texture is currently a significant theme in the interior design world for 2017. This year it is all about the velvet, whether it’s a stand-alone piece or using velvet on velvet. The use of mixed textures in your home is an excellent way to add an element of the art deco style to your interior. Try adding a stylish quilted duvet to your bedroom to make a statement.
If you would like to include an element of art deco into your home interior, be brave and embrace the use of bold patterns. The interior design industry takes inspiration from the fashion industry, and recently designers such as Prada and Marc Jacobs have been experimenting with tropical prints. Over the next few months, these prints will be replaced with nature inspired designs.
Wallpaper is experiencing a momentous renaissance in design, and there are a variety of patterns available to choose from. These include geometric shapes, bold florals and colour blocking and is an excellent way to update your home interior design.
If you’ve been inspired by this year's latest interior design trend, browse our selection of art deco furniture or call our specialists on 07799660323 to discuss your furniture requirements.
Art Deco Desks and Chests of Drawers are on the way
We have got two stunning Art Deco Desks in walnut both are having black leather inset tops and being fully polished and cleaned ready for sale if you are doing an office at home or renewing your workplace NOW is the time to be buying Art Deco as it is so in vogue
also for the bedroom we have two walnut chests that are just going through the restoration process one is a square top burr Walnut with wooden handles and the other is of very high quality, in blonde walnut with a shaped top, accentuated sides, ebonised base and bake-lite handles - it just oozes quality, i will put links in when the have finished in the workshop and photos are up on the web
The Classic Chameleon
The Classic Chameleon
Some pieces of furniture are literally timeless. They seem to have the inbuilt power to ‘defy the aging process’. Their style effortlessly merging with pieces that maybe much younger than themselves. Making them the ‘cougar’ of the interior world.
At The Furniture Rooms we know that such pieces are treasured and highly sought after. For these are the items that evolve with our surroundings, never to become outdated.
A chesterfield sofa falls very neatly into this category, much loved by many as a quintessentially ‘English’ piece. Like a chameleon it has the inbuilt ability to change its colours, whilst still matching the space in which it stands.
The Chesterfield sofa holds these merits, with potential for re-invention, still packaged together in its unmistakable quality and style. At The Furniture Rooms we stock a wide variety of these pieces at any given time. http://www.thefurniturerooms.co.uk/seating/sofas.html
Written by Kim Freeman
How to Beat the January Blues!
How to Beat the New Year Blues
Well it’s that time of year when we’ve all hit the January ‘Blues’! The New Year has been seen in, there’s been the tearful ceremonial ‘turning off’ of the festive lights and the winter woollies have firmly established themselves as the key item in the heart of our wardrobes, giving us all the appearance of multi-coloured yetis.
Yet we still try and keep a positive spin on the seasonal chill, looking ahead with avid opportunity for any excuse to decorate our glumly lit interiors. Whilst searching on our hands and knees for that errant bauble the cat bowled under the sofa, knowing that its bound to take till August to find.
Many take this time of a year to go into hibernation. Cocooning themselves behind closed doors with their noses gently roasting by the warm glow of a fire. Only stepping out for necessities like earning a crust and supermarket trips to stockpile tinned soup.
OK…so that may be a bit of an exaggeration but, the New Year does contain a certain amount of deflated emotions.
Personally, I always take this time of year as the ideal moment for a fresh start. Sorting through all the clutter that’s accumulated over the past 12 months. Bidding farewell to visual mess we all acquire.
Once the decorations have been taken down, its the perfect time to really see your interiors with fresh eyes. Things you didn’t notice before seem to jump out and shout at you.
SO, if your looking to reinvent your space and take advantage of a bargain or three. Remember that at ‘The Furniture Rooms,’ we have a whole showroom filled with vintage, antique, retro and contemporary potential on SALE. Just waiting to be explored!
The Art of the Lie-in
The Art of the Lie-in
Its Sunday, your staring up at the ceiling with a perpetual glazed expression, your brain in deep freeze, with the book you’ve been trying to read for the last month abandoned yet again by your feet, half drunk cold cup of tea on the bedside and the dog is doing his best to hi-jack the last vestiges of remaining space unused by you and your snoring, equally knackered husband.
This is the time when you try to formulate the day’s good intentions, willing yourself to snap back into reality and get your carcass out of bed. But, its hard to get inspired, when you’ve not had the best nights sleep and you cant bare to skim your eyes over the bounteous collection of miss-matched clutter you call your bedroom.
Its funny how when you decorate your home you always think of what the kids might like first, then it’s the renewal of the lounge sofa, way past its sell buy date, then it’s the new kitchen and all its appliances, the last thing you often think about is your own room and ONLY haven.
Now lets fast forward the story to one week later and imagine how it could be?
Its half past nine. You’ve woken from a deep sleep and almost feel refreshed, soft dappled light is gently filtering through the windows and your husband isn’t making enough noise to drown out a male voice choir. You’ve also managed to read more than the same three paragraphs. The story has progressed and ‘Eduardo’ has indeed satisfied your curiosity! For once you’ve enjoyed every minute of the Sunday ritual.
So what happened?
You decided enough was enough and went shopping! Taking the time to check out that shop "The Furniture Rooms,’ the one that has the intriguing radio advert and sell all those lovely pieces you keep spying in the window, then low and behold, your time paid off and you found it! An amazing set of bedroom furniture that would transform your Sundays.
A large Antique Empire Style Bow Front Wardrobe, French Empire Style Bedside, French Empire Style Chest and the icing on the cake…French Empire Style King-size Bed, all with heavenly inlaid Burr walnut. Your prayers have been answered and the dog you've decided will be demoted!
Written by Kim Freeman
Brand spanking New
Brand Spanking New
What do you class as modern furniture? Is it the something that is new? Something with simple lines and clean uncluttered design? Visually easy on the eye, yet stylish with a quality construction and lasting appeal?
It may seem that this is an easy question with an obvious answer. Surely modern design is a relatively young concept. Brought about in the last half century, along with the advent of the teenager and popular culture.
In fact, when reconsidered that may well be wrong.
Design has always taken its influence from the past. Looking back seeking inspiration and remoulding the items we see about us into a new form. Using technology to enhance with latest materials of the day and pushing the boundaries of product versatility.
When looking at pieces from the sixties and Seventies would it occur to you that they have actually been inspired by a much earlier era? The rounded corners, elegant handles and modular lines were in fact the key trademarks of the Twenties and Thirties. Cleverly hiding storage with ingenuity and graceful ease. All wrapped up and beautifully packaged in stunning woods with strong markings and warm patina.
Yet paired down a little further and fashioned from synthetic materials like wet look polyurethane and moulded plastics, they easily move into the later generation of the sixties. Only to revert back in the Seventies to more natural materials in answer to the backlash against the space age.
So the next time you see a piece of Art Deco furniture look more closely at its construction. It may be more versatile than you think. Has it indeed turned full circle and been reborn as a style that would suit out current interiors and add a little sparkle with simplistic ease. At The Furniture Rooms we have a large selection and can show you how modern it can truly be.
Written by Kim Freeman
If you have read any of my other blogs you may have had time to form a mental picture of my family and background. On reflection it has occurred to me that there might have been and still is a few characters amongst the bunch. This might well explain why I view things in a slightly ‘to the left and far behind’ sort of way. Although I will permit that ‘crazy lady’ is also a more simplistic and maybe suitably apt title.
This could explain why I tend to veer headlong towards objects that are a little more distinctive; it’s a physical reaction. Unleash me in a good furniture store and I regress to the level of an excited three year old that’s just been handed a large bag of sweets…and I think it all really started when I was about six years old.
My eccentric God Mother lived not far from us, in a rambling cottage, surrounded by a big garden with a constant supply of Persian kitties, red setters and the occasional large straying snake. As kids my twin sis and I thought she was fab! She would occasionally pick us up from school, heavily clad in a cloud of musky perfume and spoil us till we just couldn’t take anymore.
The overall experience was pretty heady, the highlight being her dinners; she was a master with chocolate, especially profiteroles. Not that we minded. We used to sit at this amazing chrome and glass table like a right pair of 'lady mucks' and you could see how excited we were to be culinary guinea-pigs by the visible amount of leg wagging going down. Over the years that table came to represent a whole heap of fun!
Even though I’m now older and apparently wiser, I still love the whole look of that era and that cool table and chairs. With its striking zebra upholstery and eye catching style. I now know that it’s as a beautifully made iconic Merrow Associates piece.
So, you can just imagine my reaction, when after thirty-three years a near matching dining set stands on display in front of me (Merrow Associates Table & Six Sixties Chairs). Well, it didn’t fail to impress me; it’s as fantastic and fun as I remember it! Waiting for some lucky devil to enjoy it as much as I did
A Dolls House Dilemma
A Dolls House Dilemma
It maybe considered that flat pack furniture is a modern concept? Held in the minds of many to be the domain of a certain well known and highly branded interior store. Certainly it has become a very slick and easy way to buy furniture. Especially when the items are bulky or have many integral parts.
Obviously we all know the down side…whom amongst us has enjoyed the divorce ranking pursuit of the flat pack on a Sunday afternoon? Good intentions in mind, instructions armed in one hand and Alan key poised in the other. Quickly turning to deep furrowed brow, tilting of head (apparently a different perspective aids comprehension of plans) and tutting of the lips? Culminating in a huge hissy fit, screwing up, pulverising of said instructions and ending with a large medicinal whisky.
And yet you started out so well, all parts lined up and accounted for (except for some reason, the proverbially incorrect amount of screws). Appropriately attired in faithful paint splattered baggies and fortified by large cup of tea. Now your ready for action, how could it possibly go wrong?
The problem is that unless you personally wrote the instructions and understand Cantonese, your generally gonna come a cropper. And all because that lovely quaint home you bought with the beautiful eaves and character filled interior, will just not consider anything bigger than a dolls house wardrobe through its door.
O.K so you’ve accepted that self-assembly is your only option. Now all you have to do is choose something in keeping with the period of your property. Here’s problem number two…The only choice you have seems to be made, from anything but solid wood and looks like it has as much character as a surgically enhanced pop star.
Well don’t despair! We have the answer… A range of French Painted Armoires (period wardrobes) that are made of solid wood, blending beautifully in any traditional space with the capacity to come apart panel by panel, fitting into most locations.
But best of all, we can deliver and re-assemble these lovely pieces, directly into your interior! So put away your measure, put away your crowbar and come and see for yourself how we can take the strain.
Written by Kim Freeman
The Ever-Loving Armchair
The Ever-loving Armchair
Its been steadily chucking it down ‘cats and dogs stylie’ for the best part of the day. My boots are gently drying by the fan heater, wafting subtle notes of ‘eau de sole’, readying my feet for another pasting on the return journey home. And the kettle has had to sing more than its usual repertoire to stave of the dull autumn gloom.
Yet strangely I am comforted. There’s a satisfied part of me that is soothed by the rhythm of the water as it stampedes on the roof. The snug feeling as I pull winters woolly warmers tighter around me and the clockwork regularity of checks for an ageing buildings incontinence. But, best of all… the soothing relief that will come from that first sinking in, feet up, of a good armchair.
Its at this time of the year, when I realize that I still haven’t got my bird-brain jivied into action and sorted out the quotes for the log burner. Which I so faithfully promised myself I would have fully installed by now. Log basket ample and burning with anticipation for my kids to have more time than I to appreciate it.
Yet, I can depend of my faithful armchair. Waiting in earnest, for me to throw myself through the door, neck a glass of wino and slump into its reassuring embrace. It’s the type of armchair that doesn’t need to shout its cool sophistication or brooding goods looks. Its just exactly what I need it to be…my blinkin saviour!
The one thing I have come to realise is that no two people will ever agree on their definition of the perfect ‘Butt Snuggler’. Were all going to choose something that guaranteed your nearest and dearest (namely your mother) would'nt give a second glance to.
But, that’s the beauty of The Furniture Rooms; we don’t ask you to think of one era or any particular style. We just offer you the widest selection of the best and let you decide. http://www.thefurniturerooms.co.uk/seating/chairs.html
Written by Kim Freeman