The era that gave us mass-produced furniture and the opportunity to “experiment” with our furniture is going back into the lush scenery of the famous AMC show, Mad Men. From Pete’s chic apartment to Draper’s domestic dream house, everyone seems to be buzzing for the mid-century modern, and rightly so.
With whispers of clothing lines emerging based on showbiz fashions and online forums full of questions about where to find Dan Draper’s office furniture, the trend towards the mid-century is firmly underway. Mid-century modern furniture – your grandmother’s furniture – is classic, cheap and easy to find if you know where to look. Outside of what is passed down by your relatives when you move from home to go to college, you can find these “antiques of the future” in thrift stores, real estate sales, antique auctions and online at sites specializing in modern mid-century.
Mixing these classics with your existing furniture is easy. In fact they look fantastic and add a lot of character when mixed with other styles. Furniture from that era has a smaller profile than many modern alternatives, so it works really well in smaller spaces. You can also reconnect these pieces to match them to your color scheme and still do it for less than the cost of new furniture.
- 1 Modern Danish
- 2 Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW)
- 3 Nelson Platform Bench
- 4 Isamu Noguchi coffee table
- 5 Eero Saarinen Tulip table and chairs
- 6 Eero Saarinen Womb Chair
- 7 Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer
- 8 Mies van der Rohe chair from Barcelona
- 9 Swan chair by Arne Jacobsen
- 10 Eames Lounger
- 11 Model 45 armchair by Finn Juhl
The most abundant and easy to find mid-century modern is modern Danish or Danish teak, as is sometimes known. As Amy Wells, Mad Director Set Director points out, when asked about her work on the set. “I want to make the Mad Men look real, as if people really had those pieces. It is important that they are imperfect, not iconic. Many people had modern Danish at the time because it was reasonably priced, and much still exists because it was so. well done “.
The names of some designers to keep an eye out for would be Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, NO Moller, Arne Jacobsen.
Finn Juhl was the first modern Danish furniture designer to be recognized internationally. He created a new style of Danish furniture that embraced the shape as much as it worked. The world noticed this, earning Juhl the unofficial title of father of Danish modernism. You can see more sideboards and examples of mid-century modern furniture for sale.
The 10 most modern mid-century collectibles to start your collection
Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW)
The team of Ray and Charles Eames, husband and wife, is truly American Modern Royalty. Together they made progress in the production methods of furniture for mass production. Their Wood lounge armchair is the emblem of their work.
Nelson Platform Bench
Designed by George Nelson, director of design for the Herman Miller Company, the bench has a light and airy quality while maintaining the warmth of the wood. Nelson was also known for his progress in creating modular furniture and shelving for the office and residential areas.
Isamu Noguchi coffee table
Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese-American designer and sculptor. His sculptural sensitivity can be seen in his most famous piece of furniture, this coffee table designed in 1954 for Herman Miller remains a timeless piece of design.
Eero Saarinen Tulip table and chairs
Finnish architect and designer, Saarinen was the father of the “Jetson” look. He is especially famous for his Tulip table and chairs. Coincidentally, it became the basis for the original Star Trek series session.
Eero Saarinen Womb Chair
Saarinen was also known for this design piece. The uterine chair was said to have been designed for Florence Knoll, who challenged him to create a piece of furniture in which he could curl up.
Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer
The Wassily chair is remarkable because it is one of the first chairs to incorporate folded tubular steel. Designed for the first time for Wassily Kandinsky, the chair has gained popularity and has since been mass produced.
Mies van der Rohe chair from Barcelona
The Barcelona chair was designed by Mies van der Rohe for the German pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition. The flowing lines of this chair make it a fresh classic today as it was then. Mies van der Rohe’s signature is on the frame of each original piece.
Swan chair by Arne Jacobsen
The Swan chair was designed for the atrium of the Royal Copenhagen Hotel in 1958. The chair, produced by Fritz Hansen, was innovative in its time because it was entirely made of curved synthetic material covered with upholstery.
This chair has long embodied the height of status and luxury. Designed to be as comfortable as an old baseball bat, the chair is certainly up to expectations.