What Does Mid-Century Modern Furniture Mean?

Most trends and fads go away after a few years, but every so often, one comes back with a bang. It’s especially true in the furniture world, and one trend that has returned is Mid-Century Modern. There’s currently a demand for vintage and imitation pieces in this style, but why now? How can you get your hands on some of this furniture?

 

The History Behind Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Correctly defining “Mid-Century Modern” almost requires a college degree in design, but we’ll do our best. Broadly, it describes furniture designs from the years between 1933 to 1965 (or more limited to the post-war decade of 1947 to 1957). The boom years after World War II had a huge impact on furniture and the materials that went into them 

In Canada and the United States, there was an expansion of cities and suburbanization after the war, and more people demanded modern-looking furnishings for their hastily built modern homes. Technology changed how production and development used a range of materials, and it was possible to explore different colours, textures, and forms. 

With more Canadians able to afford sets of furniture for their homes, manufacturers needed a style that appealed to most consumers. Mid-Century Modern is that style.

 

What Does “Mid-Century Modern” Mean For Furniture Design?

You may have heard the phrase “form follows function.” It means that the shape of the object – in our case, furniture – should relate directly to its purpose. It’s a hallmark of Mid-Century Modern, which has distinguishing features that give it an understated look that highlights its use: sleek lines, minimal ornamentation, and the melding of contrasting materials. 

Even while wood remained the material for Mid-Century Modern furniture, manufacturers used many non-traditional materials, including metal, vinyl, plastic, glass, plywood, and even Plexiglass and Lucite. Many of these materials haven’t aged as well as the wood around them – the vinyl of yesteryear is not the same as what you’d find today – but it only highlights how well real wood furniture ages.

More people look for this style because the styles that defined it – clean lines, little spectacle, real wood – are back in style. Add that to the demand for vintage furniture, and it makes a lot of sense! But what if you can’t find enough pieces to fill out a room?

 

Why Talk About Mid-Century Modern Furniture In 2021?

Demand for Mid-Century Modern pieces skyrocketed in the past few years. However, getting your hands on authentic living room tables, chairs, and end tables can be very expensive. Vintage furniture of all kinds was in high demand already, but because this specific style is appealing to many generations, it sells quickly.

It also means that iconic furniture from this era is easy to both imitate and accentuate. If you’re a big fan of the Mad Men look or want to fill out your living room with pieces that go with a hand-me-down, you can have it reproduced with a custom furniture maker.

If you have one piece that has set the tone in your room, build around it. You don’t need to commit to a complete set, but by staying away from too many patterns and within a specific colour range, you can add pieces of Wood On Steel furniture that work with it. We use natural, local wood from a wide range of trees – talk to us to see how our process can help you!

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