Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mid-Century Modern

I pay a lot of attention to set design when I'm watching a movie or television show. Often, I'm paying more attention to the decor than I am the plot - I've been known to rewind a movie to catch the dialogue because when Starlet whispered to Leading Man, I was too busy admiring her sofa to hear what she said.

For the record, I love furniture and I love design: almost all of it. Wanting to live with it all the time and being able to admire it are, for me, two distinctly separate things. I don't want to live in a cottage/country home, but I can walk into one styled that way and swoon with the best of them. Likewise, the gilt-rich furnishings of the White House's historical rooms would be too much for me to encounter every day, but that doesn't stop me from lingering on every photo of every side table and settee, thinking about the craftsmanship and wondering about the hand of the fabric. There are few design styles I dislike altogether.

Which brings me to mid-century modern. More and more, I've come to realize that when I'm watching an episode of Mad Men, or a movie set in the fifties and sixties, I love the furniture. Sure, some of the plaids are screaming for Marsha and Jan Brady and occasionally, the stain of the wood seems dated, but overall, the crisp, clean lines of mid-century modern always look classic to me, like they could be dropped into a 2010 house and play the role of a newly purchased piece just fine.

So, some eye candy:

The character Don Draper's office, in AMC's Mad Men (image found on

An Elle living room, image sourced from Apartment Therapy:

From Metropolitan Home:

From blog.vastudc:

I'll probably always prefer to live in rooms that are a mix of traditional and modern - this girl needs a little bit of gilt - but if I had to choose a very close, second runner up: it would be mid century modern, purely.


It is entirely possible my admiration for mid century design stems from the chairs, since I have a bad, bad thing for chairs - more on that later.

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