Interior Definitions for the Mid Century enthusiasts

Yes, it’s part two in my definitions series, where last we talked about Architectural styles of the mid century. Now we move on to decorating and furniture. Most people think of “modern” but frankly that was one small part of midcentury style, so here’s my attempt at the styles common to the time.

French Empire and English Regency

Formal usually of mahogany, and rely on simplicity of line and fine workmanship for their beauty. The French Empire style is typified in this country by Duncan Phyfe, a New York cabinet maker direct from Scotland. (from “Ladies Home Journal: Book of Decorating” 1957)

French Provincial

French Provincial comes, as the name implies, from the Frnech provinces. In the late eighteenth century, when the French court was formally devoted to the elaborate designs typical of the reigns of Louis XIV and Loui XV, this much simpler style was growing up. Marie Antoinette, withe her play at “country life” was party responsible for it’s popularity, but the backborne of the movement came from the country people. (from “Ladies Home Journal: Book of Decorating” 1957)

Further reading: French Provincial Furniture
Retro Renovation starts her description here 

Danish Modern

Scandanavian design had its great period between 1925 and 1975, hence the name Danish Modern. After World War II, Scandanavia became synonymous with the forward thinking aspects of postwar design and craft that emanated from these Northern countries; suddenly, Danish Modern became an exportable commodity. In contrast to the severity and utilitarianism of design inspired from the theories of Bauhaus, Scandanavian designers proposed a greater emphasis on natural materials and organic shapes. In this way the geometric lines and hard contours gave way to softer and more irregular biomorphic shapes in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Instead of steel and glass, plywood (generally a light color) was used as raw material which provided suggestive shapes that adapted better to the human body. To the delight of domestic connoisseurs, architects and manufacturers entered into a unique and rewarding collaboration during this period of design; this in turn raised the standards, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Noteworthy names associated with Danish Modern include but are not limited to: Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen and Verner Panton. (source Mod Livin)

Now, the one missing here is Colonial. I have yet to find a good definition for the style, so please let me know if you find one, and as always, please email us if you have additions/changes or suggestions! We’re always adding to this new section!

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