Vintage Furniture: What Defines Midcentury Modern Furniture?


You’ve heard the term at cocktail parties, you’ve driven by a store in a cool part of town with a sign in the window, yet you still wonder what signifies Midcentury Modern furniture design? Glad you asked.

Vintge Harry Bertoia Chair - Mid Century Modern Style

Let’s start by defining the time period, roughly 1935 – 1970. I’m sure when you think of this period certain names pop into your head. For architecture it’s Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, or Richard Neutra, for furniture maybe Marcel Breuer, Harry Bertoia or Isamu Noguchi (shown above.) Every designer bringing his own style to the table.


Many of the reasons this style is so popular is because it’s timeless, even today places like Knoll or Design Within Reach sell recreations of the original design, why? Because these designs can work in any environment and compliment any space. And even 70 years later still exude a progressive look.

Mid-century modern furniture can not be covered in one article, but it is an inspiring style and period, as much as it is a philosophy for living. Strip away the excess and boil down to the essence of what makes a great chair, a great building, or a great lamp. Then simplifying it and turning the idea on it’s head.  It’s a style where everything seems to serve a purpose. Every piece just fits.

More Vintage Articles
1. Danish Teak Chairs Found On A Farm
2. Marcel Brueur’s Wassily Chair
3. Totally Obsessed With Danish Teak

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