Although the style is based on designs popularized over 80 years ago, mid-century design continues to fascinate and enchant the American public. The clean lines and interesting shapes inherent in mid-century modern furniture blend seamlessly with current industrial, urban, and modern farmhouse decorating trends.

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Mid-Century Modern Furniture

In fact, the versatility of the style makes it a staple that will complement nearly any decor.

Function Over Form

The mid-century modern style was developed in the 1940s, influenced by the industrial boom resulting from World War II and fueled by new wealth. Furniture pieces were designed with functionality at the forefront, which was a big departure from the highly ornate furnishings popularized in previous decades. 

Mid century dining chairs are low sitting with curves intended to cradle the body and a narrow profile that maximizes space with a look that is eye-catching but not overpowering.

The famous mid-century modern credenzas were created for utilitarian purposes as storage pieces that have become prized over time for their usefulness as well as their beauty.

Versatile Color Palette

Incorporating a mid-century look into any type of decor is easy because of the versatile color palette characterized by the style. Because the mid-century design period spanned several decades, a variety of colors are still associated with the style.

Its beginnings in the 1940s saw an obsession with a combination of pastels and brights, with preference given to shades of pink, blue, and yellow. The 1950s leaned toward the use of bright colors, but by the 1960s those tones had muted to a more earthy look with variants of orange, green, and brown dominating the palette.

Bold accent colors like red, yellow, and olive green were utilized throughout the mid-century modern period, often contrasted with neutral blacks, whites, and grays.

Mixed Materials

Preferred for both its durability and its rich color, teak is the most common species of wood used in mid-century furniture. Oak and rosewood are also commonly found in desks, tables, and storage pieces from the period.

Industrial materials like glass, plastic, and metal were also incorporated into mid-century furnishings. Chairs with chrome legs and glass-topped tables were common pieces from the time.

Warmth was typically added through layered fabrics like upholstered sofas with wooden legs. The leather ottoman became popular during the mid-century period as a multi-functional piece that works as a storage or serving piece or as additional seating.

Organic Influences

Mid-century modern design is strongly influenced by nature, with the goal of bringing the outdoors in and paying homage to natural materials. Wicker is frequently seen in mid-century modern furniture.

Plants are often used indoors as decorative elements and to add a pop of color. Natural materials such as brick, stone, and wood are seen as accents or focal points in indoor spaces on fireplaces, exposed beams, and wall panels.

Find the Perfect Piece

Mid-century modern furnishings can be used to complement virtually any type of contemporary decor, from art deco to modern farmhouses.

With clean lines, interesting materials, and the ability to blend into a multitude of color schemes, furniture inspired by the 1940s to early 1970s can easily fit into today’s lifestyle.

To find the perfect piece, check out the beautiful options at Poly & Bark.

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