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!

share this:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

More articles:

Retro Roadtrip: The Historic Route 66 Motel, Tucumcari, NM

The Historic Route 66 motel was built in the International Style that was enormously popular in the mid 20th Century.  In typical Palm Springs fashion, each room except the suites feature curtain wall, floor to ceiling windows. You can just see Don and Megan Draper pull up out front for a 60’s weekend away! The lobby is probably one of the most distinctive mid-century modern (MCM) public spaces in any small economy motel built during

Read More

1950’s Modernism: A guide for the clueless.

What is characteristic of Modernist architecture? Do the major design features involve steel and glass? Was the design machine-inspired? (does it look somewhat like a machine?) Do the upholstery’s and fabrics look like those found at www.maharam.com? Does the design lack unnecessary details? Does its form follow its function? Does the design emphasize linear qualities? Are there a lot of horizontal and vertical lines? So, when exactly did Modernism develop as an architectural style? Modernism

Read More

War Seemed More Relaxed in the 1950s

In today’s society, the mere mention of a bomb on a social networking hub could have the police knocking on your door. The term “terrorist threat” is held by loose standards as children and young adults could face jail time for inappropriate comments made to friends in jest. Would this kind of behavior been worthy of so much attention in the 1950s? When you look back at Cold War memorabilia, it seemed more like the

Read More

The "You've Made My Day" award goes to……

Happy Valentines everyone! Pam over at Retro Renovation nominated me for “You’ve Made My Day” – isn’t that totally sweet! I’m just sad I can’t nominate her back, her blog gives me a smile every day – for example, you HAVE to watch this video! Anyway, my nominations for the “You’ve Made My Day Award” (and it was tough to pick…like picking between you’re children! 🙂 ) Jen at The Blog at Ranch Revival (we

Read More