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Mid-Century Modern Design: We Love It, So Should You

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

If you’ve looked at a home magazine or furniture store between 1953 and today, you’ve seen the Mid-century modern style in action. It’s a classic because it’s simple but eclectic, modern but vintage, balanced but not boring. The look has been popular for a while, and it’s still big today - but don’t call it played out! Mid-century modern (or MCM, as we say in the biz) is not going anywhere. It’s one of our favorite design styles, most of all because it looks GREAT in apartments.

What is Mid-century, anyway?

Mid-century modern design isn’t really locked into a specific set of years - although it was especially big in the 1950s-70s. Its popularity today proves that it’s more than just a fun throwback. Here are some of the qualities that define the mid-century style:

It’s simple

Mid-century modern gets its ‘modern’ from every interior designer’s favorite two words: clean lines. Trace your finger over a Mid-century photo, and you’ll see that you can move across the edges of furniture and decor in a single straight line. It’s very soothing on the eyes.

It’s natural

You’ll always see gorgeous natural wood on display in MCM homes, as well as other earthy materials like stone and cork. There’s also an emphasis on ‘organic shapes’ - instead of perfect circles and squares, furniture can have edges that are soft, wavy, or even lumpy!

It’s bold

Designers use neutral main colors in Mid-century spaces, but they’re also not afraid to use some funky tones for contrast. This does wonders to keep the room interesting.

Why do people love it so much?

Mid-century design is a smash hit across ages, genders, and cultures. By staying cool for over 70 years, it has certainly stood the test of time!

One big reason for its popularity is that the simplicity that defines this style is universally liked and understood. MCM is both traditionally masculine in its clean, modern surfaces and feminine with its softer edges. The ‘less is more’ decoration also means that it catches the eye without going too far. It’s got something for everyone!

Another reason to love MCM is that it can be expressed in a huge variety of ways. It can work well with lots of architectural styles, so you don’t have to have to put Mid-century furniture in a Mid-century house (although that does look amazing!). If you choose to go Mid-century with your home, you can really make it fit your personality.

Is MCM right for me?

Short answer… probably! As we just mentioned, there are lots of good reasons for the enduring appeal of this style among many different types of people. The biggest selling point for MCM furniture is that it’s easy:

  • Easy to find in stores - and at every price point

  • Easy to maintain - those straight lines are easier to clean

Just know that with all the Scandinavian designers involved, it may not be easy to pronounce.

You can also put your own stamp on the MCM aesthetic. Dark leathers or light-colored twills? Super retro or cutting-edge modern? You can tip the scales either way without losing the Mid-century essence. There are also many derivatives of MCM that mix different eras’ styles and sensibilities. Even IKEA is MCM-inspired!

At Loving Quarters, we’re Mid-century fans because it’s great for apartments. Furniture is often smaller in scale than some other design styles, meaning that it’s better for small spaces. MCM got popular after World War II, when smaller homes and urban apartments became the norm, . Many Mid-century furniture items are designed to be easy to move around, so they’re still great for city dwellers today!

Because of its universality, versatility, and adaptability, Mid-century modern design will never go out of style. We love it, and you should too.

What do you think? Are you a fan, or do you like another style better? Join the conversation in the comments section or @lovingquarters on Instagram.


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