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In the world of Interior Design, few styles have survived so steadily like Mid Century Modern. Since its development, and especially since the 1950s there is upward popularity and interest in architecture and furniture from that period. This excitement continues without major setbacks to the present day.

A living room of clear Mid Century Modern influence

And because of this huge popularity, the use of the term Mid Century Modern is hugely widespread today. At the point of seeing lots of offers in furniture and decor elements that are doubtfully labeled as MCM, without any criteria. Mid Century Modern furniture is used just to give a famous tag to an item of indistinct furniture and catch the attention of the public.

 So, what is really Mid Century Modern Furniture, and what furniture can be labeled this way? Let’s share some thoughts about it.

What is really Mid Century Modern Furniture?

Mid Century Modern is an architectural and artistic movement led by some of the most influential architectural figures of the XXth century. Some people state that it covered the timeframe of 1933 to 1965, and some people a shorter period. Nevertheless, the vast influence of its principles in the world of décor and interior design can be traced to our present.

We can consider that MCM is the natural evolution of what is been called previously like Modernism, the movement originated in the Bauhaus School, which was born in Germany at the beginnings of the XX century (1919-1933).

The Bauhaus School, with figures like Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Paul Klee, was the first group that made a clear break with the traditional European architecture and design. Though, when the II World War looks unavoidable and Germany gets immersed in a total pre belic euphoria, the movement fades and its principal figures arrive in America, where they developed brilliant careers.

It’s from that period (1933-1939) where we can locate the beginning of the Mid Century Modern period. Famed architects and designers like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, among others, that came originally from Europe, joined with American born designers like Charles Eames, Florence Knoll, or Harry Bertoia. They combined a huge creative force with the advances in technology, industrial engineering, and even medical sciences, to revolution architecture and interior design.  

Some of the names associated with Mid Century Modern style:

  • Le Corbusier
  • Charles Eames and Roy Eames
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Florence Knoll
  • Eero Saarinen
  • Niels Diffrient
  • George Nelson
  • Isamu Naguchi
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,, designer of the Barcelona series

Some of the principles that oriented the architecture, furniture, and design in Mid Century Modern are:

  • Functionality comes first. Design is committed with functionality.
  • Forms follow functions
  • Experimental use of materials, in the search of efficiency and scales economy.
  • Bold choices of colors
  • Ergonomics at the center of the design

Some of the most renowned items in Mid Century Modern furniture

During this lapse, a lot of furniture classics were designed and many of them were produced on big scales. Here are some of the most famous items:

  • Le Corbusier series: LC1 Chair; LC2 Grand Comfort Chair; LC5 Sofa Bed. (1929)
  • Barcelona Chair (1929)
  • Barcelona Bench (1929)
  • Tulip Table and chair (1956)
  • Eames Lounge chair (1956)
  • Noguchi table (release 1947)
  • Freedom Chair (1999)
  • Arco Lamp (1962)
LC2 Chair
Mid Century Modern furniture

This movement had its lapse of major innovations during the 1950s and 1960s when began to decay. Later, in the mid-1980s, a solid resurge and interest from the interior design world put the movement again in the mainstream. A sample of this phenomenon is the major success of the book: “Mid Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s”, by Cara Greenberg, that became an instant hit and grossed the list of most selling books of the New York Times. It’s very interesting to notice that the term “Mid Century Modern” was coined by this writer, and was never used before.

The interest from interior designers originally focused on the vintage market evolved and reached the big audiences. As a result, many furniture products that were discontinued, retake the production again, and by the mid-1990s Mid Century Modern furniture was again in the markets in America and Europe.

Since then, in the remaining decades, the sales of furniture Mid Century Modern consolidated the movement as one of the big trends that move the market of home décor, among other major trends like Country, Bohemian, and the spectacular rise of Scandinavian in the 1990s, powered by the phenomena of Ikea.

Today, Mid Century Modern keeps alive as one of the big trends in décor and Interior Design, along with Scandi, Country, Bohemian and more recently a revival of French Art Deco. TV Series and movies like Mad Men, settled in the sixties, portrays a scenery where furniture and Interior Design are a strong feature.

Are new items of Mid Century Modern furniture been designed today?

When it comes to label what is “Mid Century Modern Furniture”, and what is not, the criteria to follow is the design fidelity. Nowadays, many of the original pieces of furniture by the masters of MCM, are produced by its original design houses, and for replicas houses. For both of them, the fidelity to the original design determines if we really have an MCM furniture piece or if we don’t.

As it occurs always with successful labels or brands, there are lots of opportunist companies that use the label Mid Century Modern as an umbrella to give some special light to a low-quality production.

If you are willing to buy an MCM furniture piece and appreciate the added value of quality and good design, is convenient to look for reliable dealers.

Barcelona Designs is your trustable and expert store in Mid Century Modern Designs, with the best offers of quality replicas of Mid Century Modern Style furniture. Give yourself the opportunity to experience these classics of all time.