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5 Mid-Century Modern Pieces That Never Get Old


Interior trends come and go, but one style that isn't going anywhere, anytime soon, is Mid-Century Modern. A style that was coined in the 1950s at a time when furniture was designed with functionality in mind - as opposed to the ornate detailing of the Victorian era - this experimentation in design was to infuse a new energy into homes.

Employing materials not used before - plastic, glass, plywood and aluminium - many of the designers from the era remain well-known, thanks to a modern-day resurgence in the style's popularity and the ongoing interest in Scandinavian styling. However, the popularity of the work of Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Noguchi - to name a few - owes itself, fundamentally, to the timelessness of their pieces.

Whilst innovative and modern in its day, Mid-Century Modern designs are relatively simple in form, organic in their curves, and designed very much with nature in mind. The idea during the period was to bring the outside in, but that's not to say that these pieces of furniture do not make a statement. Colour and design were just as important - another reason why Mid-Century Modern designs have stood the test of time.

So which Mid-century Modern pieces have remained truly timeless?

1. Chairs - There are many chairs to choose from, but it is hard to go beyond Hans Wegner's Plank (1953) and Wishbone Chairs (1949), both of which remain stunningly stylish in their simplicity.

2. Tables - In 1949, the Herman Miller catalogue described the Noguchi table as "sculpture-for-use" and I have yet to see a scheme in which this simple coffee table doesn't make a statement. On a more practical note, the Eero Saarinen Oval Tulip dining table is a very different beast, yet equally stylish in its own right.

3. Sideboards - The most well-known designer and manufacturer of teak sideboards in Australia is Tony Parker, but if you're looking for a Scandinavian style, look no further than Jorgen Kastholm.

4. "Poufs" or Ottomans - Covered in leather, hide or fabric, these functional, upholstered seats are the perfect way to add colour, texture and quirkiness to a room.

5. The Eames Premium Lounge Chair - It would be wrong not to include an Eames design in this list and this one deserves an accolade of its own. Personally, I think his side chair has been overused, but if you're searching for "class", elegance and an example of true craftsmanship, look no further than this stunning chair.

Stockists: Most furniture suppliers offer a selection of replica Mid-Century Modern pieces, but the most well-known stockist on the Northern Beaches is Matt Blatt, now in Manly Vale. For original pieces, try Ebay or Gumtree.

Photos: 1. Eames Replica Lounge Chair from Matt Blatt 2. Noguchi Coffee Table from Matt Blatt 3. Replica Plank Chair from Temple & Webster 4. Jorgen sideboard from Icon by Design.

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