Beginners Guide: Mid-Century Modern.

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So, if you’re like me, there’s that one episode of Fixer Upper that features a Mid-Century Modern home, and you can’t quite put your finger on what that means exactly.  I was watching that episode the other day, and decided I’d do a quick run-through of that style for today.

Mid-century modern is based on décor styles that originate between the mid-1940s and 1970. It focused on modern elements and moving the nation forward after WWII.

So, what are some aspects of mid-century modern?

 

  • Open spaces that invite the outdoors, indoors.

Picture of the Miller House, home designed by Richard Neutra; a "Desert Modern" home, built 1937. Photo: Yuval Y. 

Picture of the Miller House, home designed by Richard Neutra; a "Desert Modern" home, built 1937. Photo: Yuval Y

Midcentury Modern homes had big big windows, and open floor-plans. 

Think: wide windows and sliding doors that opened to patios

 

 

  • Straight Lines & Flat Planes

Schindler Chase House in California, home designed by Rudolph Schindler; built 1922. Photo: Allan Ferguson

Schindler Chase House in California, home designed by Rudolph Schindler; built 1922. Photo: Allan Ferguson

Mid-century modern homes are big on straight lines. In midcentury modern homes with gabled roofs, the main beam of the roof is often highlighted with a different color than the rest of the trim

 

Changes in floor level

Pinterest Find! Source: Core 77

Pinterest Find! Source: Core 77

Unfortunately, I don't think the step-down into my laundry room qualifies as a "mid-centiry modern" element. Mid-century modern homes frquently used changes in the elevation of their rooms to denote changes in space(from livingroom to kitchen, etc.) It's where we see the emergence of the "conversation pit" 


Mid-Century Modern architects

So, here's where my art historian jumps out. I feel like I would be remiss not to include a few mid-century modern architects. Even though modern art isn't something I study much of, I love architecture!

  • Rudolph Schindler, 1920

  • Richard Neutra, 1930

  • Eero Saarinen, 1957

  • Ray Kappe, 1960

  • Frank Lloyd Wright - side note, if you are ever in Florence, Alabama. Definitely drive by the Rosenbaum House! It was designed by Wright in 1938 for Stanley & Mildred Rosenbaum. They do tours Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m,and Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m.  Their website can be found here

View from Backyard of the Rosenbaum House, 1938. Photo: M. Doogie

View from Backyard of the Rosenbaum House, 1938. Photo: M. Doogie


Are you a fan of Mid-Century Modern? Let me know in the comments – I think its really cool! 

Have great weekends!

xo, Lauren

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