Mid Century Modern – A Flashback Of the Future

Mid Century Modern – A Flashback Of the Future

It is not an exaggeration to say that Mid Century Design is one of those rare phenomenons to have endured decades of design revolution. Even when it was not exactly ‘trendy’, it has always been in the background, sub consciously influencing the way we decorate and furnish our homes.

Mid Century Design – A Post War Reinvention

Mid Century design at its essence was about a new way of living, especially in western countries like America which were still recovering from devastation of the war era which lasted till the nineteen forties. Before both world wars, the Bauhaus style was gaining popularity in the 1920s but couldn’t come to full bloom owing to people’s shifting priorities from art to survival.


The Bauhaus style featuring straight lines and geometric patterns

The post war era saw a revival of this style which itself was an artistic spin on industrial design. The 1950s were a time for redesigning and reinventing the past and the bauhaus style got its own modern spin, resulting in delicate lines, curves  and use of industrial materials which were mass produced during war, to create furnishings and decor for suburban homes mainly belonging to the generation of Baby boomer, looking to start fresh in the nineteen fifties.

Beauty Of Form And Function

Designers harnessed wartime technology and used materials like plywood, metal and fiberglass to create designs which were molded to comfort the curves of the human body. Designs of the time certainly had a ‘sculptural’ quality to them as pieces of furnishings like the ‘Womb Chair’ were made for utmost relaxation. This is when the term ‘form follows function’ was first coined. Similarly, art made during this time period also started to reflect a similar sensibility, introducing a delicate curvaceous touch to the industrial and geometric aesthetic.

Furniture from the period includes the famous Womb Chair and oval shaped tables

Timeless Minimalist Appeal:

Elements like clean lines and geometric shapes gave Mid century design a minimalistic appeal, so much so that even when it was recycled and updated to match the latest trends, it retained its ‘modern’ appearance. This unique quality combined with its nostalgic charm have made mid century the perfect for Millennial homes, giving way to an evolved look known as ‘mid century modern’.


A modern interpretation of the mid century look

The bridge from Mid Century to Mid Century Modern

Mid Century design is known for its use of a subdued color palette, giving prime importance to shades like browns and greens which were considered low maintenance with a high ability to camouflage dirt and grime. This style was developed in the shadows of war when home maintenance was a less serious matter to pay attention to, and the color palette reflects that. In modern day, this translates to a style which is perfectly suited to a fast paced urban lifestyle with no pretenses or ornamental flair.

The modern interpretation of mid- century design retains classic elements of this style, such as use of a subdued color palette and artistic geometric patterns

Organic Influence

Despite the similarity, there are subtle yet powerful nuances to mid century modern design which set it apart from Mid century design. Despite staying true to the sculptural geometric nature of the art, mid century modern also takes equal inspiration from nature. Its motifs nod to this theme and a prominent use of abstract leaves, flowers and wood textures can be observed, adding a much needed juxtaposition to the modern, man-made aspect of this design movement.

A sneak peek into the making of V Living’s Retro Modern collection which pays homage to the mid century design movement through its modern interpretation

Modern Retro: V Living’s Adaptation Of Mid Century Modern 

Paying homage to the core characteristics of Mid Century Modern, the Modern Retro Collection features colors that lend a strong sense of nostalgia with their sepia-like undertones for an ‘aged’ look. Accent colors in the collection feature muted yellow, green and red with gray serving as a true neutral.

Development of Retro Modern Collection – At A Glance. Featuring trim cards and color swatches that set the tone of this collection

Influences of geometry, textures and nature are tied together by use of contemporary prints which have been adapted to create an ensemble of cushion covers, storage baskets, table runners, aprons and other home essentials.

Quilted Patchwork Pillow Covers and Kantha Quilt Sets from the Retro Modern Collection

Besides the elementary use of mid century inspired prints, the collection also features a more subtle and updated take on this aesthetic through use of patchwork quilting for cushions and Kantha embroidery for quilt sets. Together, these elements come together to create a well rounded collection for a modern home.

Mid Century design tells the story of its time yet it is the perfect canvas on which one can imagine home decor which is suited to current times. This unique blend of art, functionality, and nostalgia has a place in every home because of the effortless charm it offers as inspiration.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.