Go mad for Mad Men and embrace mid-century modern
Love interiors? Pressed for time? Here’s everything you need to know about today’s most talked about trend
Minimalist. Traditionalist. Realist. No matter your interiors vibe, there’s a mid-century modern homeware buy to suit your every decor whim and daily need.
But what is mid-century style, and why is the world so utterly smitten?
Simply put, mid-century modern – or MCM – refers to the fashionable-but-functional furnishings that dominated the 1950s (or 1947-1957 to pedantic types). Pieces that now promise iconic – and lasting – appeal.
YOUR MCM CHEAT SHEET
- The Mood: Mad Men meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel while drinking a Moscow Mule
- The Look: Simple, clean lines and curves
- The Feel: Functionable, but fashionable
- The Wood: Durable-but-decadent teak, rosewood & oak
- The Colour: Cream boucle, ochre and blue
- The Icons: Eames lounge chair, Noguchi coffee table and Mario Bellini curved sofas
Marrying practicality with pizazz, mid-century modern is hassle-free homeware at its very best – enabling you to build a collection to mark your every life moment – from flat share house plants to first home-making rugs, and child-friendly (but fashionable) rounded tables to bound-to-be-an-antique teak. If in doubt? Make it mid-century modern.
Want to get more from your MCM? Buckle in for the 5 best mid-century modern buys…
Thoughtfully designed, the Symmetry Sideboard is both stylish and sensible – all brass-finished metal detailing, rounded legs and symmetrical woodgrain. So far, so MCM, right? But this sideboard goes one better. Built using sustainable acacia wood, the Symmetry perfectly compliments traditional teak and rosewood hues, but with the added durability of a hardwood.
The trick to mixing up your mid-century woods? Compliment, don’t clash – stick to warm woody buys for a truly modern take. And rest assured that this sideboard is spacious enough to store all of your real-life stuff.
The House Plant
Meet Strelizia Nicolai – aka the Wild Banana – all paddle-shaped leaves and glorious green. A house plant is a smart addition to any home but this waxy-leafed wonder delivers all the credentials of a mid-century must-have, minus any faff whatsoever. Perfect for any room in the house, simply pop him in a light spot and water weekly (just don’t let his feet get soggy). IMO? The best houseplant for mid-century interiors.
The Wall Art
The most important part of dressing your home? Keeping it personal – your home should always feel like you. And nothing feels more personal than a piece of PI. This abstract print by PI Studio is peak mid-century, all geometric shapes and nonchalant swashes of ivory, ochre and blue. Deck your walls accordingly. And if it doesn’t feel you? No problem, there’s the entire life of Studio PI to pick from.
The Floor Lamp
With a solid base and sustainable hardwood stem, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Hamilton’s Floor Lamp is simply sensible, and nothing more. But this lamp is much more – its warm-toned walnut stain and antique brass finish will satisfy all of your mid-century needs, while the natural linen lampshade filters just the right amount of light, creating a warm, ambient glow befitting any stylish room (where it happens). Gets the job done, and will make your heart go boom. And yes, the Hamilton: The Musical references were unavoidable…
Inspired by the gentle curves of a Venetian gondola, this unquestionably cool chair will transport your mind to San Marco – via Mad Men’s Manhattan. Part rattan weave, with armrests that scoop gently upwards, the Gondola Club Chair is consciously crafted for long-term lounging.
Consider it the smart persons’ buy, delivering good quality, classic design that is timeless. Team it with a rounded boucle 'conversation sofa’ if you so choose.
The Top 100
This autumn John Lewis has singled out 100 heroes that showcase how John Lewis products take a joyfully bold approach to enhancing all life’s moments.