7 Principles For Reimagining Mid-Century Modern Design
The word “reimagined” seems to be popping up a lot these days in the vocabulary of nearly every industry, process or outcome. It certainly headlines the work of many designers who are devoted to the creation of beauty and function in the world around us.
It’s a marquee in the artistic realm of reimagining mid-century modern furniture design. Whether it’s an architectural makeover of a classic mid-century Palm Springs home, the complete transformation of an interior space or the reinterpretation of mid-century furniture design, this power word is at the forefront of the conversation.
While it may be a term thrown around a lot lately, we haven’t really defined what it means in the context of our own world: reimagining luxury mid-century modern furniture design. Looking back at what spurred the original mid-century design movement, we gave some thought as to how the original imaginations influence how we reimagine furniture today.
Here are seven principles that guide how “reimagination” is expressed in designs today:
Creativity is the driving force
Creative thinking and vision originally spawned the mid-century modernism movement. This creative vision brought forth the new aesthetic and idea that form should follow function. And so, we believe, it should continue. At the top of our list, as Jeff Vioski, founder and designer of VIOSKI furniture, so aptly stated, “Reimagination means the continuation of creativity.”
For example, the Tuulla Chair is inspired by the creative reimagination of tufts. The chair looks as if it is made entirely of tufts. One element creates the whole chair.
Design for living
Back in the 1950s and early ’60s, the idea of designing for everyday living was new. It shaped the widespread revolution in furniture design that brought a whole new look and level of enjoyment to ordinary people. But life back then was much more formal. That was the era of moms reminding their children that “feet belong on the floor.”
Fortunately, life’s much more casual today. People have changed the way they live. Climbing into a chair or sofa (feet included) is not only normal, but completely acceptable. Reimaginations of mid-century modern design are still distinctively tailored, but are more relaxed for sensibilities of today.
Always remember comfort
Our lifestyle today demands comfort. After all, who wants furniture that’s not supremely comfortable? We consider every sitting position possible. Sitting up. Lounging. Slouching. Napping. You name it. Even if a furniture design is part of a high-end, luxury collection, comfort is always the first consideration.
Details should be necessary and simple
When we start a design, we strip away anything that isn’t necessary. Only then do we begin to apply creativity to reimagine elements to add back into the design. Design details are there for a reason. There’s nothing extra. Following the mid-century design originators, reimaginations should be characterized by clean simplicity.
Take the buttons on the Chicago I Sofa back cushions. They are put there to hold the fabric, so it won’t bunch on the curves. These buttons were a necessity first, but they then also double as a simple decorative design detail.
Furniture should be calm. It should not assault your senses. Through structure and materials, the great mid-century designers achieved extraordinary visual harmony with autonomous furniture pieces. This idea guides “reimaginators” as well. Each element should have clean lines. It should balance, not dominate.
Complement the surrounding space
The mid-century modern design movement was responsible for bringing spatial design to a new level. It brought the outside inside. Many early designers viewed furniture as an element to support an expanded architectural space.
Like the original designers, new designers need to envision how each piece of furniture will support the surrounding interior, even in today’s most open spaces. All sides of each piece are considered, so the furniture looks beautiful from any angle.
The era of modernism brought us good design. The balance between aesthetics and utility created a functional beauty that is still relevant today. We uphold this same timeless standard. We believe in quality, and in old-world hand-craftsmanship. In original designs that are both modern and functional. Everything we create must withstand the test of time.
What does the word “reimagined” mean to you? Leave us a comment, and let us know. Then go take a look at all of the mid-century modern lounge chairs, mid-century coffee tables, and mid-century lighting to reimagine your home’s decor.
Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.