Whether flipping through a design magazine or scrolling through your Instagram feed, you are sure to spot an iconic tulip table or Charles Eames style chair. As other design trends have come and gone, the Mid-Century Modern furniture craze has yet to subside, and in many ways has only flourished. With their high-quality materials, sleek lines, and functionality, these furnishings can feel just as relevant today as they did in 1950.
Originating in the 1940s-1960s, the Mid-Century Modern movement was based in functionality, simplicity, and an organic elegance. Many designers of the period championed the concept that good design could be for everyone, not just the wealthy. The material itself was used to create the design and dynamic beauty of the piece, instead of relying on decorative ornamentation. New technologies gave way to new materials, such as vinyl and resin. Ray and Charles Eames, designers whose pieces have continued to symbolize the Mid-Century movement, wanted to produce furniture that was not just the best it could be, but also could be used by “the greatest number of people for the least amount of money.”
House Beautiful issues from 1960, Curbed
Many designers and critics regard the Mid-Century Modern design aesthetic as honest and appealing. These qualities have helped the pieces stay relevant in a quickly changing world. As interior designer Christopher Kennedy states, “The style is about simplicity in building materials, eschewing excess adornment, having a connection to the environment, and surrounding yourself with fewer things but things that have meaning. Those qualities are always going to be in style.”
The MoMA’s exhibition titled “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” from 1941, Curbed
Many Mid-Century Modern pieces have another wonderful aspect: an ability to be both the focal point of a room while also seamlessly blending with other furniture and decor around it. At Jean-Marc Fray, the Mid-Century Modern pieces in our gallery look fantastic when mixed with the many styles found here. Whether paired with Louis XVI or Art Deco, the Mid-Century furnishings layer beautifully. You can find pieces by many of the most famous Italian Mid-Century Modern designers in our gallery, such as Marco Zanuso, Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa, and Carlo di Carli.
Still can’t get enough Mid-Century Modern furniture? Stop by our gallery or search our website for more Mid-Century finds, and let us know in the comments which iconic pieces from the movement you adore!