In the 1950s and early ‘60s, famed designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Harry Bertoia started creating beautiful furniture from wire. Grid seats curved over simple frames were as comfortable as they were eye-catching, and tables were crafted atop a striking base that seemed to elegantly float. The look was a striking complement to the sleek wooden and upholstered furnishings that were also popular during this era. And the organic and airy silhouettes helped streamlined small rooms, making them feel open and airy.
Today, you can still find some of these original pieces, with price tags that start well into the hundreds or thousands, or you can pay homage to the era with furniture inspired by the look. Check out these beautiful wire chairs, bar stools and tables that feature Midcentury Modern designs, effortlessly—and affordably—upgrading the look of your modern space.
Midcentury Modern is a classic style that never grows old. It came to be in the mid-1940s. According to the remodeling and design website Houzz, “[Midcentury modern’s] uncomplicated, fresh aesthetic arose from a desire to propel postwar America into the modern era and recast design through a bold new lens.”
The style puts an emphasis on simple forms, contemporary patterns and natural materials. Here are five of its signature characteristics.
Clean lines. Midcentury Modern furniture features simple lines and taut upholstery. The look is understated and there is minimal ornamentation. The Bradley Gray Tufted Chair is a great example. Designed with the sleek scale in mind, it’s covered in soft grey linen and features a tufted back and birch-finished legs.
Organic shapes. Complement the straight lines of Midcentury Modern seating with tables that feature graceful curves and geometric or organic shapes. Cocktail tables are an important furnishing in this era (think about the cocktail hour on the TV show Mad Men.) The Rocket Cocktail Table is a perfect example, with its faux metal top and pecan wood base. The eye-catching design is chic and sleek.
Wood. Furnishings in Midcentury Modern rooms are often crafted from wood with finishes that showcase their natural beauty. The dark walnut finish of the Casarano Midcentury Desk showcases the sleek curves and contrasting white drawers.
Statement light fixtures. In a streamlined Midcentury Modern home, every piece counts. Add a style statement with an unusual light fixture or lamp or pendant with clean, geometric lines. The tripod base of the Dryer Floor Lamp is a Midcentury Modern classic, with its wood base and textured shade.
Neutral hues with a jolt of color. Midcentury Modern rooms use neutral tones as their base, but the look is completed with pops of strong color in wall art, throw pillows or decorative furniture. The Pascal Chair combines the beauty of a natural wood frame with a bold red seat for a look that’s retro and fun.