Mid-Century Modern Design

Fashion is all about the swinging sixties right now but don’t think this trend is just limited to your wardrobe as mid-century modern interiors begin to emerge. Interiors writer and enthusiast Rachel Humby explores how you can make this growing trend work in your home.

When it comes to style, the word ‘retro’ can strike fear into many a design-conscious heart. Often synonymous with the kitsch and wacky, it was cast out (or confined to the loft) through the nineties and noughties in favour of updating homes with neutral colour palettes and contemporary furnishings.

However, in the past few years the interiors world has seen a resurgence in popularity for the retro charm of mid-century modern style. Many believe that this is partly thanks to the hugely successful TV series ‘Mad Men’, which has garnered as much critical acclaim for its spot-on visual styling and historical authenticity as it has for the impressive cast and storylines. Viewers are enticed to look past the action and into the meticulously-researched classic sixties sets, which offer a wealth of mid-century interiors inspiration.

Additionally, for those less confident about fully embracing the look or tracking down original (and not to mention expensive) iconic pieces, there is now an abundance of retro décor inspiration on offer to suit all tastes, as well as smartly updated and accessible furniture reproductions which are perfect for complementing chic and modern interiors.

We round-up some of your favourite mid-century modern pieces to help inspire you:

SIXTIES INTERIORS

1. Mid-century modern design rejected the excessive detail and ostentation of the early 20th century in favour of pared-back, minimalism. This oak veneered ‘Smithfield’ sideboard represents this perfectly with its clean lines, hidden hardware and neat, tapered legs. Inset handles also retain the flat-fronted appearance.

2. During the 50s and 60s, developments in mass-production and engineering, plus a more open-minded creative outlook, resulted in the use of new materials such as plastic. These ‘Avignon’ chairs with comfortable moulded plastic seats are inspired by a mid-century design classic and sure to be a real talking point.

3. This ‘Hockney’ sofa is a celebration of mid-century furniture design. It features slim, tapered legs plus characteristic low-level seating. Clean lines keep it both classic and contemporary while the button detailing adds a quirky splash of colour – pick this out with bright cushions.

4. This ‘Pebbles’ nest of tables is a true mid-century staple. A lacquered finish enhances the natural colour and character of the wood grain (another prominent design theme of the time); while the distinctive rounded shape and tapered legs give it a stylish simplicity and timeless quality that will suit a variety of interior styles.

A few carefully selected retro-inspired homeware accessories will help pull a contemporary take on mid-century modern style together. Punctuate with bright colours and geometric or graphic prints, as well as pop-art inspiration. And of course, a set of stylish whiskey glasses à la Don Draper.

sixties interior

Shop the Edit – Clockwise from top left: Ben de Lisi Black and white ‘Geometric rug, Red retro wall clock, Bloomingville copper geo lampshade, Ben de Lisi pop-art inspired can print worktop saver, Ben de Lisi geo green tea towels, Set of six glass whiskey tumblers, Ben de Lisi Retro bread bin, Bloomingville porcelain geo bowl

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