Tag Archives: home design

Mid-Century Modern Endures

In design, the adage is that “everything old becomes new again.” Since the late 1990s, many designers and creative types have abandoned the “shabby-chic” ethos for 1950s-inspired mid-century modern. The clean lines and simple finishes of mid-century design are functional and beautiful, and now available at almost any price point.

Even though most design trends last a few years – see the aforementioned shabby-chic, 1920s Spanish, and art Nouveau – mid-century modern remains popular with designers and consumers alike.   You need only to flip through a home magazine or stroll through a mass retailer like West Elm or CB2, and it’s all variations on the Eames-chair-and-tulip-table theme.

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Photo from The New York Times

Why does mid-century remain so popular?  Its wide appeal makes sense, because it was designed specifically to be lived with, rather than show pieces – it is democratic and made in simple shapes with classic materials – so it seems timeless and goes with everything.  The pieces are beautifully functional and they lend themselves well to smaller spaces and urban environments like city lofts.  Its simplicity is universally understood and appreciated.  Mid-century modern is also uniquely American, so it’s easy to find – both the antique versions and reproductions at modern retailers.  

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Photo By Interior Designer Amy Lau

Designers caution that you should not use midcentury exclusively – filling a room entirely devoted to a theme looks too deliberate and not reflective of personal taste.  You’re not trying to recreate a ‘Mad Men’ set in your home, after all.  But melding mid-century modern basics with some personal, interesting pieces can create an elegant interior that’s uniquely yours.

Consider mixing a pair of clean-lined mid-century chairs in an otherwise traditional space, and add some mid-century accessories like drum lamps or a spiky-legged coffee table to tie it all together.  Or use mid-century seating against a rustic wood dining table for an interesting mix of modern and traditional.

Finally Cure Yourself of Decro-Phobia with 3 Easy Steps

You have always wanted to change-up your living room and finally replace that horrid wallpaper that has been in the foyer since you moved in, but sometimes that task can seem so big that it prevents you from ever starting. Put an end to your decorating paralysis and rid the worries brought on by decro-phobia.

Step 1: Start-up Your Imagination

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The only rule here is to design for yourself. Figuring out what you want will be difficult if you keep second guessing yourself because you are concerned what others might think. Throw those thoughts aside and design with absolute freedom. Let your imagination run wild and create a design that fits exactly what you want.

Step 2: Break It All Down

Don’t look at this project as one daunting task, but an amalgamation of little ones. You aren’t redecorating a room, you are first choosing your color scheme.

Next begin painting or applying wall coverings to the walls and ceiling.

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After you can get to re-upholstering your furniture, and adding in your accent pieces like rugs and throw pillows.

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Finally, we add the final non-upholstered and accessory items. Bring in your side tables, photos, lamps, plants, etc. Breaking up a huge job into small steps will make it much easier to tackle.

Step 3: Seek Help

Getting a second opinion from a professional (like those super great guys at Beckenstein Fabrics *nudge nudge*) can do wonders for your tension. Sometimes just a little bit of affirmation can rest our minds and assure us that we are on the right track.

Beckenstein Fabrics and Interiors is a complete resource for designers and DIYers alike.

Beckenstein Fabrics and Interiors is a complete resource for designers and DIYers alike.

The added bonus is that an expert can solves a problem before it happens. Maybe your patterns look great as a sample, but are too overpowering for a three piece sectional. This is a mistake many people make by blind ordering and is easily solved by asking for a professional opinion.