Last night a woman came into the store looking for decorating help. She explained that she was completely overhauling her living room to a mid-century modern style. I let out a squee, and was super excited when she wanted me to pick out items for her. We always have some super great mid-century wall art, so that is where I first took her. She made sort of a crooked confused face, so I switched over to a great lamp that epitomized the look she told me she was going for. After a few minutes of talking, she just came out and told me that nothing I was pointing out was what she was envisioning. She kept telling me how she loved the decadence and curves of mid-century pieces, and how she wanted more of a romance to the look. I stopped her right here. The more she talked about what she wanted, the more I realized it wasn't mid-century at all! I started to describe pieces that sounded like what she was looking for, and you could see in her face it clicked. The look she was going for was more of an Old Hollywood style, or Hollywood Regency. I began to show her chandeliers, perfect little slipper chairs, and the kicker: our crushed velvet tufted black sofa.
We began to talk, and she thanked me for clarifying what it was she was looking for. She explained that she thought the style she wanted was mid-century, so that's all she kept searching for online. She didn't know how to find the style she wanted since she didn't know what it was called! We can all empathize with that! I can't tell you how many times I've been out to an antique mall, and I didn't know how to describe a couch that 'had legs that go like this'. Picture me making hand motions mimicking the legs to the very confused cashier. So, all of that being said, I'm going to give you a rundown on a couple of styles and the basics of each.
Let's start with Mid-Century modern. Mid-Century modern is a design form that describes a mid 20th century style, say mid 1930's to mid 1960's. This particular style focuses on the 'lines' of an object and is often characterized by its organic and uninterrupted forms. Materials that were popular during this time were metal, plastic, and wood (often bent ply). Below, there are examples of furniture and architecture that exhibit the ideals behind this movement.