(cover from Herman Miller Mid-Century Modern Collection)
What is Mid-Century Modern?
A definition of “Mid-century modern“ is elusive to pinpoint.Overall the term describes the architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century(circa 1933 to 1965) however experts argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957.
“The timeframe is a modifier for the larger modernist movement, which has roots in the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century and also in the post-World War I period.” – Curbed
I grew up in Canberra in the 1970’s where the architecture and interior design was still a celebration of mid-century chic. It’s taken me a while to learn to love it again mainly because I’ve always associated it with outdated furniture and relics of the past. I’ve fallen in love now with those classical pieces that are ubiquitous with this style.
With a proliferation of low quality knock-offs, the original manufacturers and designers decided to re-release their classic, beloved mid-century modern iconic pieces. Online stores such as Design Within Reach have given access to the genuine article, once only available through certain channels or interior designers with connections. Amusingly the “within reach” part does not refer to the prices of these eternal, original, works of art.
As much as I’d love to fill my home with high quality originals, I’m afraid my budget at the moment only allows for the less quality replicas from places like Matt Blatt Replica Furniture. It’s not brilliant quality and the piece is reflective of this, but you can get the look (until the paint peels off, which has been my experience with a replica stool).