A Mid-Century Modern home design can be summed up in two words; simplicity and functionality. We can thank the Mid-Century Modern design for popularising clean lines, the incorporation of diverse materials and organic curves. Designers at the time had to turn to innovative means for new materials. Who knew that working with what you have would inspire designers to this day? It was a monumental design movement that continues to influence artists and designers today. And quite frankly, we love it.
HOW DID THE MID-CENTURY MODERN DESIGN COME ABOUT?
It was a reaction to the glitz and glam which adorned architecture and design until the 1940s in the USA. It came about in the wake of World War II, prioritising simplicity and functionality after a period of rationing.
Following the war, the US was coming into its power as a global influencer in economic, political, cultural, and technological industries. As soldiers were returning home, it signified a new period of peace and prosperity. So it only makes sense the design world was about to be shaken up.
Whilst the world was rationing, designers had to turn to cost-effective solutions for the materials they had. But this didn't mean their design flair was limited. In turn, it gave them new freedom, a reason to turn away from traditional materials and follow more abstract and sculptural aesthetics. And we haven't looked back.
New materials and manufacturing techniques meant there were way more creative opportunities for designers. It was now cheaper to manufacture items in bulk. Whilst some designers went overboard on the details, the Mid-Century Modern design opted for the classic look, which is why it's still so stylish. Its defining characteristics, simple and functional, allowed Mid-Century modern to remain forever chic.
Mid-Century Modern and Australia
Mid-Century Modern migrated to Australia in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff. He brought his German architectural flare to Australia, using timber and glass panels along with concrete blocks and floating panes to create some of Perth's most iconic Mid-Century Modern homes. You can see his influence reflected in classic Mid-Century homes around Dianella, City Beach, and Floreat.
These fresh ideas towards modern design were a huge hit. Mid-Century Modern is reflected around the world, and it is a style that we, at Oswald Homes have a big soft spot for. Enough history, you want to hear how to incorporate the timeless Mid-Century Modern design into your home! If you're looking for a style that is simple with a hint of character, the subtle retro touches and design quirks are sure to win you over.
OUR FAVOURITE DESIGN ELEMENTS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN
It is streamlined, fresh and poppy, with nods to retro nostalgia. Like we said before, functionality is vital with as minimal fuss as possible—uncluttered living spaces with a mix of traditional and non-traditional materials to contrast against each other. Think subtle layering in stone, glass, timber and steel with soft and natural tones. The incorporation of these materials may be normal to us now, but at the time it was breaking away from traditional architecture practices. And it wasn't just these natural materials making waves in the design work. Perhaps most synonymous with Mid-Century Modern is the adoption of plastic in furnishings thanks to its practicality and cost-effective properties. Plastic dining chairs are a lasting legacy of the period with its simple design, clean and smooth finishing.
The open-plan layout allows you to move seamlessly through areas. It is always light and airy. In Mid-Century Modern home design, there is a vast range of colours to use. Graphic black and white is always a standout, along with softer muted colours reflecting the outdoor environment. However, we do love splashes of colour! Think sophisticated olive greens and teal-blue details.
Furnishings are a chance to add the Mid-Century retro flare. Vintage oversized light fittings, metallics and geometric shapes against simple, structural furniture. Detailing in your Mid-Century design should be minimal, so think carefully about which items you choose to pack a punch. The pace should feel timeless and be simple to serve its function. The key characteristics of Mid-Century Modern design!
We love reinventing our favourite design movements. Mid-Century Modern continues to inspire architecture and design to this day. Let our take on the classic Mid-Century Modern home inspire you.
But what's the difference between Mid-Century and Mid-Century Modern?
Whilst similar in name, they are from different periods as the Mid-Century design developed in the 1930s. They are under the same umbrella essentially, sharing minimal design and reflecting Scandinavian design notes. The subtle differences are in design flair, one reflecting a post-war world and the other not quite yet as optimistic. They are still used interchangeably by budding designers, take a look at the work of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who was a key figure in Mid Century design development.
Have you browsed Oswald Home's take on the Mid-Century Modern design? It's the home design our clients in Perth keep falling in love with. Now that you understand the key elements of the design, you can see why. Our surroundings in WA are already so pristine, home builders should aim to incorporate our surroundings indoors. Mid-Century Modern is ideal for this through emphasising volume, light and open living spaces. Paired with a simple design, it screams opulence without having to be flashy about it.