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It may the be the year 2016. However, some homeowners are going back in time to explore the unique furniture designs of the 1950's and 60's. While it may seem strange that so many people are attracted to furniture from this time period, it isn’t hard to figure out why once you understand what makes mid-century modern furniture so special.

For many people, having mass-produced modern furniture in their homes in recent times has lead to more interest in the designs of yesteryear. Although, the ingenious designs of mid-century modern furniture became popular over 60 years ago, the underlying principles behind these designs are still relevant today. Mid-century modern was all about creating furniture with clean lines made from quality materials, that was also unique, yet functional.

The Living Room Sofa Is Most Important

In addition, designing your home in the mid-century modern aesthetic is a bit of a treasure hunt because you can incorporate items from many different sources, including flea markets, furniture stores, and even yard sales. In addition, with so many options for mid-century modern furniture, you can find just about anything you want if you know where to look.

mid century sofa

Since the living room is one of the most important spaces in your house, it is only natural that you might want to start there with the updates for your home. In addition, creating a mid-century modern aesthetic in this room is easier since you won’t have to remove appliances or engage in a complex remodeling project, in most cases.

As you look for furniture items, you should start with a statement piece, such as a sofa. Here’s what makes for a perfect mid-century modern sofa so that you know what to look for as you shop:

1. It Should Look Similar to Lines From That Era

If you want the perfect mid-century modern sofa, look closely at the details at some of the most popular brands from that era, George Nelson or Noguchi. You’ll find that mid-century modern sofas should have wood legs, not be too oversized, and have tufting or some other detail. Wood was also chosen as the perfect material to highlight the rich upholstery and to ensure the stability and durability of the sofa.

mid century sofa

 

If you think that you should head to the antique store to find a sofa, you might want to reconsider your decision. Even though vintage sofas seem awesome, you'll never really know where they've been or what's been on (or in) the cushions and upholstery. In addition, finding a vintage mid century modern sofa that can fit perfectly with the rest of your modern decor is extremely challenging.

As a result, purchasing replica furniture is about the closest that you can get to purchasing a mid century modern sofa that is historically accurate in its design and also offers contemporary updates that will match your modern decor. In addition, you’ll also get the excellent craftsmanship that comes along with high quality replica furniture. Mid century sofas look fantastic next too all wood furniture in the house, from brands like Ethnicraft.

2. It Should Come With Options

You'll also need to decide whether you want to capture the 1950s and 60s aesthetic exactly, or if you'd like to update the upholstery of your sofa to a more modern option as the color preferences that today’s furniture shoppers have are very different from what furniture shoppers back then were looking for.

One idea is to keep the furniture style but change the color to something a bit more contemporary. Using neutral colors for the upholstery can allow you to enjoy the shape of the sofa without the mustard, avocado, tangerine and other garish colors that were popular for furniture then. The brand Gus Modern has some amazing options for these types of sofas.

3. It Should Be Built to Last

A major reason why there has been so much interest in mid-century modern furniture in recent years is because furniture made during this era wasn’t only stylish, it was also well-made. The chair designs were ergonomic and the tables were uniquely shaped to match almost any space requirements. The sofas were upholstered with tightly-woven durable fabrics. As a result, functionality is a very important feature that defines the mid century modern sofa.

mid century sofa

While cheaper, less durable materials soon came to rule in the world of cheap furniture, most people soon discovered that poorly constructed sofas with low quality materials are terrible investments.

These days, people want furniture that will stand up to everyday wear and tear for years to come and they are willing to pay a bit more for it. Choosing a mid-century modern sofa that features a solid wood frame with leather or tightly-woven fabric upholstery will ensure that your sofa is designed to last. The sofas from Innovation are a perfect example of the design and diurability.

Find Your Mid-Century Modern Sofa

The nostalgia for the mid-century modern look is not showing any signs of becoming just another relic of the past. In fact, it seems that as time goes on more and more interior designers are incorporating the unique furniture elements of that time.

If you are considering purchasing a new sofa, this site is a great place to start.

 

Shop Our Mid-Century Sofas

modern outdoor furniture

Finding outdoor furniture for your home is tricky. Not only does the furniture have to be attractive, it must also be able to withstand the elements so that it will last for years to come. Finding outdoor furniture that is ideal for your home means that you evaluate every furniture option based on several factors before you select the best choice. To help you make the best decisions for your outdoor space, here are the top 5 things to look for in modern outdoor furniture.

1. Quality

Outdoor furniture has to be able to stand up to hot summers and cold winters to make it worth investing in. Furniture that is made from aluminum, plastic or PVC are good options for outdoor furniture because they can stand up to changing weather conditions and don't require much in the way of maintenance. One amazing brand for aluminum furnture is Fermob, with dozens of outdoor desings. Steel and wrought iron, on the other hand, will rust easily if they are not weatherproofed or painted on occasion.

modern outdoor furniture

Pay attention to the fabrics, as well. Fabrics that are intended for outdoor use are generally fade resistant and are UV protected. They should be able to stand up to outdoor use for at least a few seasons. When you are select fabrics for outdoor use, opt for fabrics that have high thread counts and are made from heavy duty fabrics.

You should also inspect the furniture to ensure that it doesn't have flaws that could cause it to wear out before you anticipated having to buy new furniture. Make sure chair legs are solid and sturdy. Furniture that uses stainless steel screws are a better option because they won't rust. For wooden and wrought iron furniture, make sure that the furniture has been properly weatherproofed with the coatings covering all exposed surfaces. Wooden furniture may also require UV protection.

2. Style 

When you shop for modern outdoor furniture, you want to make sure that your furniture doesn’t only serve its functional purpose. Selecting furniture that is also beautiful can add to the outdoor experience. Look for furniture that features handcrafted details, natural materials, and modern upholstery patterns for the best results. Brands like MamaGreen do an excellent ob if using high quality fabrics along with craftsmanship for many tears of use.

While it’s nice to think of your outdoor space as your own personal oasis, you also need to consider the neighborhood that your home is located in. If your outdoor furniture is visible to the neighbors or can be seen by people walking or driving by your home, opt for outdoor furniture that blends in with the exterior of your home. You shouldn't select furniture that will take away from the curb appeal of your home.  

modern outdoor furniture

Many times people don't realize how much comfortable outdoor furniture can improve their experiences. However, you should remember that comfort is just as important for outdoor furniture as it is for indoor furniture.

Choose furniture that can be be used with plush cushions, especially for sofas, chairs, loungers. The cushions will help to keep you cool on hotter days and will allow you to enjoy your outdoor furniture for hours.

To ensure that you furniture doesn't attract mold and mildew, opt for outdoor furniture that has cushions with lightweight fillers. You should also select cushions that feature the same patterns on both sides of the cushion so that they can be turned periodically to ensure that they retain their shape.

4. Functionality

If your outdoor space is limited, you should invest in outdoor furniture that has earned top ratings for functionality. Some ideas are sectional pieces that are modular, or versatile tables with expandable tops. You may also prefer chairs that stack so that they can be easily stored away when not in use. To make it easier for you to move your outdoor furniture, choose furniture pieces that are lighter in weight or have wheels. The products from Cane-Line accoplish this with style.

If you want to make the most of your outdoor space, choose furniture that will comfortably fit in the space. You shouldn't choose furniture that is too large or too small for your space. Before you shop, measure the area that you plan to furnish. Leave up to 2 feet of space between furniture pieces for high traffic areas and 1 foot of space between each furniture piece to ensure that the items don't look crowded.

modern outdoor furniture

5. Materials

When you shop for outdoor furniture make sure the materials not only work with your aesthetic, but for your space. If you're close to the ocean, it’s best to get outdoor furniture that is made from  316 grade stainless steel to prevent corrosion due to mist from the ocean. One option for amazing duraility is concrete, like the products from DeWulf.

If you have small kids and are in a very hot climate, be careful with metal that gets too hot so that the children don’t get burned on furniture that has been out in direct sunlight. Wood furniture is a better option and won’t get hot enough to burn skin. Wicker is also a good option if you have children because it is easy to keep clean. 

We’re all familiar with the top Italian brands from fashion to automotive designs. Brands, such as Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, and Ferrari, are globally renowned and offer the best that Italian design has to offer. This unique perspective extends to the home, as well. Italian-style homes are often extremely luxurious to the point of being breathtakingly beautiful or offer smart designs with just a touch of opulence.

italian design

However, what does Italian design even mean? Let’s take a quick look at the origins of Italian design so that you can get a better understanding of what Italian design actually is.

Traditional Italian Design

Historically, Italian design dates back to the Renaissance era of 15th century Florence, Italy. This period was dominated by architectural stone combined with baroque décor. Upon entering today's Italian-style homes, you'll find similarly inspired styles that blend Modern Italian with the Old World Ornate Italian designs.

italian design

The Italian tradition of understanding beauty, art, and the good life can be found in almost every aspect of the home. Italian-style homes aren't just luxurious, they literally offer top-quality detail and the finest craftsmanship from the walls, to the floors, and furniture. It’s about timeless design in all things.

Marble, terra cotta, and stoneware of all types plays an important role in defining the look of Traditional Italian-style interior design. Not only are the colors carefully chosen, they also are intricately placed to create a look that is elaborate, yet elegant.

Gilt trim is extremely popular in both Modern and Traditional Italian design and you'll find it everywhere from tile to furnishings and accessories. Adding items to your home that feature gilt trim is a defining look that you should consider if you prefer the layered luxury of Traditional Italian design for your home. The stately elegance of Traditional Italian design should be reflected in every room of the home, include the bedroom and especially the bathroom.

Modern Italian Design

However, the tradition of Italian design didn’t end. It has continued on even today. In modern times, Italian designers continue to be revered for their attention to detail and innovative style choices.

Modern Italy has produced some of the greatest furniture designers in the world, such as Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass. Gio Ponti was one of the most important designers of the mid-20th century. Although he is revered in the architecture and art worlds for his work, he also designed furnishings under the name Domus Nova, creating a series of chairs that were considered highly innovative for their time. These designs were the Superleggera and Distex and the Billia lamps, which are still well-known.

Ettore Sottsass is another furniture designer that can be considered as one of the biggest influencers of Modern Italian design. Born in Austria, Sottsass grew up in Milan. His designs are bold and stand out for the use of bright colors and fun shapes. Sottsass’s work along with Memphis, as the group called themselves, spans many types of furniture items and borders on the impractical. However, his work does reflect an individualistic and sometimes quirky take on everyday objects that can be used to make a home interesting and unique.

italian design

As a result, Modern Italian interior design is vastly different than the homes of the earlier centuries. However, it still has many things in common with its historical predecessor. In Modern Italian homes, you'll still find plenty of open, well-lit spaces. In addition, the designs also try to bring as much of the outdoors into the home as possible. This might be done by adding giant windows or floating ceilings.

Modern Italian design has also taken on somewhat of a more modest approach with urbanization increasingly requiring interior designers to make more careful choices in the use of space in smaller homes. Modern Italian-style homes that look uncluttered and offer plenty of storage options are preferred by many.

To keep in line with tradition, minimalist furniture with clean lines and sexy curves are still welcome. A couple examples of this style is the brand Modloft or sohoConcept. Although simple black and white colors may be found throughout the home, occasionally, you will find a decidedly over-the-top decorative element, such as a gleaming chandelier.

italian design

How to Recreate Italian Design in Your Home

If your plan is to design your home in Italian style, it is important that you can identify the right décor and invest in only the best quality furniture. You may even want to consider hiring a designer to help you put your ideas together. When it all comes together you can create a look that is uniquely yours yet mirrors the principles of sophisticated design.

Whether you are inspired by the traditionalist designs or would like a modernist approach, just invest in the best items you can afford and use unique items whenever possible!

Let's face it. Chairs aren't just for sitting. In fact, most people select chairs for their homes for a variety of reasons, including the aesthetic appeal and ergonomic qualities they provide. However, many people fail to appreciate just how much chair design has changed over the last century.

 

So where exactly do these modern chair designs come from? Here is a brief history of modern chairs and the American and international designers that made the movement possible.

 

chair design

 

Prior to the late 19th century, the value of furniture had been based on the amount of time that an artisan spent on the piece and how ornate it was. However, as new technologies emerged and industrial manufacturing methods began to make furniture production cheaper and easier, furniture design began to change. As a result, modern furniture designers began to design furniture that was intended to reach the masses, rather than creating furniture solely for the elite.

 

With the advent of modern furniture also arose the concept of creating pieces for functional, practical reasons, a concept that was heavily influenced by the simplicity of Japanese design and the spread of Japonism across Europe.

 

With this change in focus, modern furniture designs were created to be more practical with regard to style and color choices. The materials used to design furniture also began to evolve with more pieces using plastics, steel, molded plywood, and glass in order to lighten the footprint of the furniture, which was actually a working philosophy of the Deutscher Werkbund school.

 

At the same time, the Bauhaus school emerged and became highly influential as the members of Bauhaus worked to combine intellectual, practical, commercial, and aesthetic concerns through art and technology in furniture design and all other aspects.

 

 

 

As all of these influences came together, many furniture designers made significant contributions to the development of modern furniture, especially the following designers whose works are highly recognizable even today.

 

Le Corbusier (1887-1965)

Swiss-French architect, urban planner, writer and furniture designer, Le Corbusier, who is credited as one of the pioneers of modern architecture, his architectural works span Europe.

 

Japan, India, and North and South America. However, these projects have faced significant criticisms for being too authoritarian in their designs. Despite this, his work as a furniture designer remains highly recognizable today as the creator of the revolutionary LC4 Chaise, a chaise lounge.

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe creator of the Barcelona Chair and Ottoman is recognized as a leader of the German modern movement. Mies, also served as the Vice President of the Deutsher Werkbund and the Director of the Bauhaus from 1930 until its closing. The Bauhaus closed in 1933 as a result of pressure from the Nazi regime. Mies then immigrated to the United States in 1938.

 

 

After forming an architecture practice based in Chicago, he designed the Illinois Institute of Technology. He later met Florence Knoll to whom he granted exclusive rights to produce his furniture, including the Brno chair, MR series, and Barcelona collection. Replica versions of Mies' furniture are still being produced by Knoll even today.

 

Charles & Ray Eames (Charles, 1907-1978; Ray, 1912-1988)

 

The Eames were a husband and wife team of American furniture designers who became recognized for the Eames chair. Combined bent plywood, along with molded fiberglass, the pair created some of the 20th century's most influential modern furniture designs. These chairs remain highly prized even today for their sleek looks combined with simple functionality.

 

Eero Saarinen (1910-1961)

Eero Saarinen, a Finnish architect and furniture designer, is most well-known as the designer the Tulip chairs and tables and the Womb Chair. Saarinen was also a friend of Charles Eames and Florence Knoll, two individuals whom he grew close with after meeting them at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

 modern chair

Saarinen pushed the boundaries of modern furniture at the time by incorporating curvilinear forms which had not been seen previously in the work of the furniture designers that came before him. His other most well-known projects include Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. and The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Isamu Nogchi (1904–1988)

 

Isamu Nogchi was a Japanese-American sculptor and architect. After coming to New York in the 1930's, he began to make a name for himself with large public sculptures. His famous furniture designs include the Noguchi Free Form Sofa and Ottoman, which he developed while working for Herman Miller beginning in 1947. Throughout his life, he retained a deep connection to Japanese culture which helped to fuel his diverse and eclectic work.

 

Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971)

 

Jacobsen was a Danish architect and designer who got his start as a mason. He later studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he won a silver medal for a chair he designed at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.

 

 

He was the one of the first to introduce modernist ideas to Demark, helping to create the industrial furniture that influences Scandinavian design even today. His most well-known furniture designs are the Swan and Egg Chairs. His architectural works include the SAS Air Terminal and Royal Hotel Copenhagen.

 

George Nelson (1908-1986)

 

George Nelson, an American industrial designer, was the director of design at Herman Miller for nearly 30 years from 1945 to 1972. While there he was responsible for recruiting other well-known designers, including Isamu Noguchi and Charles Eames. He also designed a number of his own furniture items for which he is still widely recognized for, such as the Coconut Chair and Marshmallow Sofa. As an early environmentalist, his goal as a designer was “to do much more with much less.”

 

Shop New Classics at Viesso

If you're looking for exciting modern chairs for your home, you shouldn’t have to settle for just any chairs. Here at Viesso, we offer a full range of designs to match your exact needs. To get some inspiration for your next home project, check out our collection of modern chairs.

 

Shop modern chairs

In these more brisk months, we’re looking to new additions in our interior design in order to bring some warmth back into the home. Décor Aid’s interior designers were tasked with taking a look at some of Viesso’s best pieces and curated a list of new additions for your space that will undoubtedly make you feel right at home. Read on to see the top picks in comfortable home furniture that is sure to delight.

 

Verve Table/Floor Lamp

 

It’s no secret that traditional Japanese inspired paper lanterns are trending right now, but this multi-purpose table and floor lamp elevates the style to a familiar mid-century modern feel, making it easy to incorporate into your space. This simple silhouette doesn’t feel cold or bare, and instead encourages a lighter-than-air feeling through the streamlined shape. Lighting is crucial to make a space feel more welcoming and provide warmth, so the addition of a lantern like this in the laid-back form of a floor or table lamp provides a necessary luxury.

 

With its semi-opaque paper, the light seems to bring a warm glow instead of a harsh brightness, and with a nod to Japanese influence and mid-century modern design, the clean lines and crisp white add a fresh feel to the space. The oak wood in the stand is soft and light, bringing a natural spirit to the piece as well.

 

This lamp’s delicate size makes it ideal to be placed atop a nightstand for a bit of extra light, but also has enough of a presence to be used as a floor lamp on its own, gently complementing a seating arrangement.

 

 

 

Reflect Hand Loomed Rug

 

Color is one of the most direct ways to add warmth, so look to pieces that can add comfort through their use of familiar shades. The Reflect Hand-Loomed Rug incorporates soft hues of purple and yellow, paired with an array of earthy tones, providing enough versatility to build an entire room around. This rug also works well with both dark and light hardwood flooring because of the deep shades at play, but with light intensity. It will pop against a light wood but provide contrast for a darker one.

 

The earthy tones in this rug act as the perfect base for your room, and allow it to gain some warmth from the ground up. It will also act like a soft complementary accent to the space instead of pulling attention from the scheme of the room, so the natural colors will have you at-ease instead of distracted. The hand-loomed nature also adds charm and artistry, which have a comfort all their own.

 

 

 

Rebecca Wood Arm Chair in Orange Wool

A classic mid-century silhouette that doesn’t skimp on comfort, the Rebecca Wood Arm Chair boasts a familiar silhouette in a relaxed form. Mid-century furniture can at times appear threadbare, with not enough cushioning to create a comfortable seat. This piece however creates a thick cradle with a deep set seat and a slightly reclined back so that you aren’t forced upright. The trusted, smooth silhouette is warm and encourages you slide right into the seat.

 

Our designers suggest going for a more vivid color to act as an accent, like Orange wool. The warmth in this shade is undeniable, and when paired with an addition like the Reflect Hand Loomed Rug, will enrich the colors within both pieces. This shade dares to be noticed and brings a sunny disposition to any space.

 

Sweep Rattan Round Basket

 

As the perfect home for your miscellaneous decor, rattan baskets always seem to convey a cozy charm. Whether your childhood was peppered with rattan beach chairs or your backyard was filled with rattan patio furniture, something about the material inspires a twinge of nostalgia for the outdoors. The unrefined appearance gives a natural feel that allows you to get a bit more comfortable in your space, and setting one by a lounge chair with easy access to toss a few books or blankets in doesn’t make you feel obligated organize all your items neatly.

 

Our designers love using rattan baskets as a way to display decor that isn’t being used, but still add to the room. For example, a big plush blanket that complements your couch so well needn’t be banished to a trunk or a drawer, and books you’ve finished reading can still act as decorative items. You can also find a new home for a climbing plant or an unruly stack of magazines.

Stacked Storage Unit

 

Looking for a relaxed way to display decor without it appearing cramped or crowded? The light shades of this white oak storage unit feel fresh and bring a breezy approach through bright neutrals. While some bookcases appear bulky and just take up space, this stacked storage unit is thin and low, providing enough space for you to display your most precious items in style.

 

Fill an empty corner of the space that needs direction, or use the unit as an improvised divider between designated areas of the room. The backless open areas within the unit also allow for sunlight to stream through instead of blocking it out, creating a lighter, brighter, and warmer space.