I love looking through photographs of beautiful rooms. I spend a lot of time exploring Pinterest and home decor magazine for inspiration and ideas. It’s an easy way to mentally “try out” design ideas without actually changing my own surroundings. A lot of the rooms I find attractive are not in keeping with my personal design aesthetic or the style of my home. Today let’s explore Mid Century Modern, or MCM.
MCM or Mid-Century Modern is hot right now. The term calls to mind Danish & Scandinavian design influences, with a style characterized by simplicity, democratic design and natural shapes. Many people equate MCM firmly with decor of the 1950s but the actual term applies to styles developed from the 1930s to the 1960s. That’s a pretty wide range and within that range, many people find a style to suit their personal tastes.
Midcentury modern’s emphasis on pared-down forms, contemporary patterns, natural materials and a seamless flow between indoors and out create a medley of functional comfort and chic style. The look bridges the organic and the man-made, with one foot in the natural world and the other in brave new territory that still has the power to surprise us today. Source: Wikipedia
While MCM can be a little sparse with the focus on clean lines and open space, I find that mixing in a few more traditional and more ornate pieces warms up a space. The colors typically associated with MCM are bright and organic: Avocado Green, Sky Blue, Orange, Goldenrod, Wheat, Buff, Browns, Blacks and all manner of Neutrals. If those colors aren’t especially lovely to you, most pieces can be reupholstered to fit in with your design palette. The pink sofa below illustrates this point perfectly!
Whatever style you choose, feel free to put your own twist on it. For instance, I live in a turn-of-the-century cottage which I’ve decorated in what might be called “Mid-Century Comfort.” It’s a kind of a fusion between Southern Traditional and Mid Century Modern. It works in my 1920s cottage but it wouldn’t work in a sleek, ultra-modern condo.
I have filled my home with furniture from the 1950s-1970s because the nostalgia fills me with a sense of comfort and the pieces work well in my home. A large yellow floral sofa with clean straight lines sits amicably in the company of a velvet upholstered mahogany slipper chair. A simple wooden telephone-table holds court in the corner of the living room. Gilded framed oil paintings share wall space with crewel works and images reminiscent of the work of Alfonso Mucha.
I like to think that my home might be typical of a real 1960s home; a few antiques mixed with organically acquired modern pieces. The dining and kitchen have been combined by knocking out a wall and creating an open lofted space much in keeping with MCM style. In the dining area, I’ve combined a 1950s formica dinette set with an antique mahogany curio cabinet while a pair of vintage cabinet sewing machines pull double duty as makeshift mini-buffets. A large simple wooden buffet that I acquired by happenstance serves as the main sideboard.
The point is, I’ve chosen to feel my home with items that I find beautiful and comforting. The furnishings and decor as a whole don’t fit neatly into any one design-style but it works.
I think William Morris summed it up best when he said this:
What do you think of MCM? Do you incorporate it in your home decor or are you planning to? Conversely, do you think it’s absolutely horrid? Let me know! I love to hear what styles strike a chord with others.
As always, if you’re in the market to buy or sell a home in Atlanta, I would love the opportunity to earn your business. Please give me a call 404-564-2609 or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org