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  • Gina Everett

Lets Go Retro - Mid Century Modern Design

Ten years ago Mad Men hit our TV screens and sparked a resurgence in vintage style. The sleekly styled actors and nostalgic interiors from the 60’s brought mid century modern style flooding back into our homes.

The Mid Century Modern period covers the 1940’s up to the 1970’s. Following art deco, it defines a post-war laid back lifestyle. Simple clean lines created modern living spaces which still influence today’s home styles. Advances in technology brought new materials such as moulded plastic, mass produced art and bright colours into homes. As well as redesigning the way families now lived around modern appliances such as fitted kitchens and TVs.

Mid century dining table and chairs

Original pieces can still be found through vintage furniture retailers and can be expensive. However the style created some classic furniture trends, which due to their popularity are readily available as modern reproductions. Boxy square sofas, wooden armchairs with boldly coloured upholstery and moulded plastic chairs such as the classic Eames eiffel chairs are now staples of a well designed home. Well crafted wood, from brands like Ercol and G Plan, created classic dining furniture and coffee tables which are now sought after design classics.

Modular storage is another popular feature. Large sideboards with a variety of cupboards and drawers as well as open areas to display ceramics, pictures and books.

Modern shapes replaced chandeliers as statement lighting. Task lighting was popular with angle poise lamps and standard lamps reinvented. Overhanging lamps and large lampshades are also typical of the era.

Textiles focused on bright geometric patterns echoing the emerging pop art scene. Geometrics and repetitive prints in bold colours contrast with the clean lines of natural wood furniture. Get the look with original patterns from Marimekko or modern designs by Orla Kiely.

Mid century modern chair with cushion

Recreating vintage style doesn’t mean your home will look old fashioned. The clean scandinavian styles which are popular with homeowners today are crammed with detail from mid 20th century design classics. Some of the original brands are still in production. If you want to explore mid century design for your home here is our list of retailers to check out.

G Plan Vintage





Lovely and Co

Orla Kiely


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