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Design From A to Z: M Is For Mid-Century Modern

by Erin Austen Abbott

Design A to Z on Design*Sponge From interior design to architecture to typography, we see an ode to Mid-Century Modern in many modern day designs, making it a staple in today’s home settings. Ranging from the 30’s through the 50’s, Mid-Century Modern in architecture and interior design, worked to create an environment that brought the outside in, with large windows, open floor plans, straight forward clean lines and a minimalist form. This forward thinking added simplicity to the family home, while giving it a state-of-the art feel.

Sometimes a Mid-Century Modern home was complete with built in shelving in the den or living room, kitchen cabinets that had tucked away counter space, that pulled out when needed, or laundry baskets built into bathroom walls, making each home of this time, very functional, yet unique. Along with the sometimes space-age like home design, much of the industrial design of this time used wood in a modern way, such as the Eames Molded Plywood chair, Noguchi table, or the sleek style of a Danish Modern designed piece of furniture, which is another aspect of the Mid-Century Modern era.

In typography, we’ve all seen it, Futura, Helvetica, Sans Serif… these are typefaces that brings a certain air of modernism with a vintage feel to print. They were sometimes cold in style, but warm in the way used, leaving the Mid-Century Modern era one that blends the two, warm and cold design, in a natural way. All three are commonly used today, in everything from movie credits to stationery to print ads, which just demonstrates another way that Mid-Century Modernism has held true and still stands strong. We can thank Wes Anderson for making Futura a more common type these days.

Over the years, we have featured a lot of really great homes, here on Design*Sponge, filled with some beautiful Mid-Century Modern design. Here are just a few to have a peek at. Enjoy! — Erin


Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: From the pops of color in the fun art to the low bench to the pink molded fiberglass chair, this room exudes the style of Mid-Century Modern.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: The Dwell Hotel, in Chattanooga, is filled from room to room with high end mid-century modernism.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: Mixing vintage pieces with modern, gives this Ohio room a timeless feel.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: Adding in lots of color juxtaposed with the natural elements and wooden furniture, was an important part of the mid-century modern era, like in this North Carolina home.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: Keeping it California cool, this home in Long Beach flows from one room to the next, with the Mid-Century Modern style filling each corner.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: Touching on the typography and industrial side of Mid-Century Modern, this New Jersey couple know just the right touches.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: In Oregon, the industrial side of the era fills this home office. We often think about the wooden desks of the time, but metal desks were also part of the Mid-Century Modern look. Adding in the Eames chair completes the look.

Design From A to Z on Design*Sponge

Image above: This Paris apartment has a laid back feel, filled with vintage finds and Mid-Century Modern staples.

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