Like anything, trends tend to come in cycles. What was out of fashion one decade will eventually find its way back into the pages of your favorite style magazines. Right now, that’s what’s happening with Mid-Century Modern design.
This eclectic yet classic style bridges sturdy, traditional furniture pieces with rounded, unique, and vintage designs. Generally referring to products made in the United States between 1933 and the late 1960s (though some shorten that range to right about through the 50s), the Mid-Century Modern styles that you’re going to find lining the walls of your favorite home-improvement stores take inspiration from a few different decades.
Some people attribute the term “Mid-Century Modern” to the author Cara Greenberg, who in 1984 titled a design book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. The year prior, Greenberg had written an article for Metropolitan Home Magazine talking about furniture from a few decades ago and then got the idea to write a book about it, thus coining the term. Later, The New York Times confirmed that Greenberg was onto something, and Mid-Century Modern as we know it today — vintage, yet timeless — was born.
Mid-Century design was largely forged by a few famous architects and designers, one in particular being Frank Lloyd Wright. As the Smithsonian noted, Wright committed his career to marrying efficiency and simplicity, two of the trademarks of the style. As a designer, he created houses that featured open floor plans, streamlined kitchens, and large windows, brought together by hints of nature, all of which are still emulated in designs today.
In the last few years, Mid-Century design has been highlighted again through television shows such as Mad Men, and many manufacturers are including Mid-Century as a staple in their product lineup.
What is Mid-Century Modern Style?
If you’re still not clear on what classifies something as Mid-Century Modern, understanding the style profile will probably help you identify items that are Mid-Century Modern and piece them together more efficiently in your home.
Mid-Century pieces include sharp, clean lines. They are minimalistic, often include subdued colors, classic Bauhaus intricacies, and a 50s or 60s touch. Many Mid-Century furniture pieces are made of medium-colored woods, featuring smooth tops and rounded edges, splayed feet and legs, and gold brushed hardware. Another trait of Mid-Century pieces is that they are often heavy and distinctly sturdy.
Many modern Mid-Century homes will combine the style with other trendy pieces, such as Industrial or minimalistic. One popular combination is bright white walls and spaces (perhaps even brick, or another texture), wooden furniture, and plant life as decoration.
However, when it comes to making the perfect Mid-Century kitchen, the standards are a bit specific. If you’re looking to create a Mid-Century space on your own, you’re going to have to get clear on exactly which products align with the style. That’s why we selected our favorite Mid-Century faucets, sinks, pendants, and other features that will help make your home look as elegant and classic as you dream.
Mid-Century Modern Sinks
When it comes to choosing a Mid-Century sink, remember that despite modern trends, Mid-Century design did not use farmhouse style sinks, nor sinks with exposed features. (This does not mean that you can’t use one of these, but if you want to keep with the style, it’s best not to.)
The best Mid-Century sinks will involve undermounts or a bar-style sink. This depends on the placement of the sink on your countertop and how much space you need to occupy.
Mid-Century Modern Sinks
When choosing a Mid-Century faucet, remember to stick to gold or brass coloring as well as clean lines. A big part of Mid-Century design is retaining a sense of minimalism and focusing on the home’s architecture, so any hardware should be an added detail, not a focal point.
Mid-Century Modern Pendants
When it comes to lighting pendants, it’s all about maintaining the brass and gold colors and focusing on simplistic, small designs with eclectic touches. You’ve probably seen Mid-Century lighting fixtures in old-time cafés, or at least in some trendy restaurants now. Think of gold hardware, large, single milky bulbs, and angular fixtures.
Making a Mid-Century Moodboard
Before you dive into working on your space, it’s really important to get clear on what you want the finished product to look like. This is why it’s so crucial to create a mood board or at least a plan for what you want to do. This is especially true if you’re working with a partner or team.
You might want to consider collecting images of the kitchens of other people who were inspired by Mid-Century design as well. You can scour social media sites such as Pinterest and utilize hashtags. At the very least, compile photos of all the products, furniture pieces, and appliances that you’re going to be using, and make sure that they work together.