Alexander Giray’s path to become a designer was not a conventional one, but was driven by both passion for mid-century design and determination.
Mid-Century Modern Furniture
In this section you will find mid-century modern furniture that we think are within the most representative of the mid-century modern style. Some of these mid modern furniture made the history of modern design, and are still in production, others are less known but equally iconic.
We believe that good furniture design should follow function, and not by coincidence this was the pillar for some of the most representative designers of the 20th century as Charles and Ray Eames or Eero Saarinen.
Overall, we hope to show why we believe everyone should invest in well designed mid-century furniture, as they would for a piece of art.
Modern Mailbox for MidCenturyHome
When people talk about “mid-century modern” it is often hard to disentangle it from a whole host of styles which emerged around the same period and displayed many of the same aesthetic elements.
As such, it is worth trying to isolate some of the things that distinguish the variations. And what better way than through a list of the chairs that defined them.
Arne Jacobsen studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen where he acquired a combination of practical and artistic training.
This unique combination enabled Jacobsen to design buildings, interiors and many different types of designs that beautifully balanced form and function.
From 1945 onwards, Jacobsen also designed furniture for mass-production. The Ant (1951) and the Series 7 chairs (1955) were…
The celebrated Danish architect and furniture designer Poul Kjaerholm’s elegant and rational furniture designs, such as the PK22 chair (1956) and the Hammock PK24 chaise Iongue (1965), were conceived within the Modernist idiom, they managed to avoid the alienating hard-edged aesthetic so common to the work of the Modern Movement.
The Charles and Ray Eames Dining Armchair Rod, or Eames DAR for short, was a revolutionary piece of design that changed ideas about furniture during the post World War-II era and beyond. The design came from the brilliant mind of Charles Eames when entering the DAR design in 1948 for a competition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art for low-cost furniture design. This wonderful design won second prize.
In 1948 Charles Eames participated in the International ‘Low-Cost Furniture’ competition organized by the Museum of Modern Arts with the design of La Chaise chair which was inspired by the sculpture ‘Floating figure’ created by the French artist Gaston Lachaise.
The organic design is voluptuous with soft curves giving pleasure to the senses. It is large but in all the right places.
Taking the beautiful and natural form of a tulip, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair had more complex issues to deal with on its path into mass production. It was not simply a fact of producing this beautiful shape and colour to imitate nature, but also considering bigger design issues in its construction.
Harry Bertoia had an unique and distinctive approach to design. For him there wasn’t a distinction between sculptures and furniture. As sculptors mould materials to ‘entrap’ the final work of art, so Bertoia moulded his seats to make space and air part of them: creating a floating effect. The Diamond Chair is probably the highest example of this kind of approach to design.
Charles an Ray Eames are considered one of the most influential contributors to pioneering Mid-century design. Their work extended not only in furniture but film, architecture and exhibition design as well.
Charles Eames, at the start of his career, took the early two-dimensional design of molding plywood further than Alvar Aalto’s and created three-dimensional contour molded plywood.
In 1938, a trio of designers in Argentina called the Austral group, presented the BKF chair, originally named Sillon BKF after it’s three creators, namely Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy.
The rigid steel-welded frame is economical due to it’s spare linear structure and is reminiscent of an asteroid trajectory.
Do you want to stand out from conventional chair designs? Are you willing to make a bold statement with furniture that speaks volume and have withstood the test of time? Mid-century furniture design is an exhibition of individual expression of freedom and creativity.
The Zanuso Lady chair was designed by Italian architect and designer Marco Zanuso in 1951, representing a turning point in the realm of upholstered furniture of the early fifties.
The Alvar Aalto 400 Tank armchair sets itself immediately apart from the previous designs of the architect; usually light in weight. However, with the 400, Aalto decided to emphasise mass and the appearance of solidity.
He wanted to make a clear statement about the actual range of physical possibilities that his laminated wooden furniture were capable of dealing with.
The mid-century modern period is also called ‘the atomic age’. Space adventures and technology innovations inspired many well-known designers to create pieces -as the George Nelson Atomic Ball Clock- to celebrate the incredible achievements of the period.
Many of those pieces became icons of mid-century modern design that we still celebrate today.
The combination of geometric or organic forms with upholstered colourful cushions, has something magic that attracts our attention. Within many materials and colors, however, we have a real passion for the wood and blue/turquoise contrast; somehow it always works very well. Today we decided to show you five Mid-century Modern seats with upholstered blue cushions to prove that, doesn’t matter the shape, this combination always works!
We selected five seating areas from iconic mid-century modern houses, to make you dream a bit or to get inspiration from. Check the notes for more details.
Mid century glassware is special, the sculptural and organic forms create an amazing effect capturing the light and decorating the room all alone. It often had a sculptural look, even if designed for a daily-use as table-wares, paperweights, platters and so on.
From the late 20s and across all mid century, designers began to replace craftsmen becoming real glass artists while manufacturers created series of functional
Mid-century modern houses focused on two spaces: living rooms and kitchens.
Today we have selected six mid-century kitchens that we like and, we hope, will inspire or just make you dream a bit.
Dark wooden -sometimes covered by bright colours like turquoise or light yellow- cabinets, together with big windows and polished countertops and floors create those contrasts that we like
In 2014 the eclectic furniture designer Jamie Hayon re-imagined one of the rooms of the first ever design hotel in history: the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, designed by Arne Jacobsen.
The remodelling was made in collaboration with the Danish brand Fritz Hansen(which manufactures most of Hayon’s iconic pieces) to celebrate Jacobsen’s Drop Chair 50th birthday.
2014 was a prolific year for 50s lamps re-editions. Below, we selected some of our favourite updates. Enjoy!
The post-WWII period was a new starting point for many people. The Americans embraced the decade of optimism by following the new trend of buying new objects to replace the old ones which brought bad memories of the difficult period.
Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor-designer with a predilection for the language of biomorphism that is clearly represented in the Freeform Sofa designed in 1946.
The sculptural background hugely influenced his works as furniture designer as it is also clear with the Freeform that looks as made of two large stones even with a dynamic and light appearance.
Eero Saarinen is internationally recognized as one of the American modernist designers that most of all contributed to reinvent the domestic and industrial design and spaces. Not only Saarinen was known and appreciated for his architectural works but he had a fundamental role within the furniture designs of the 1940s.
Occasionally, you meet someone that made of preservation and love for mid-century design his life and job: David Skelley is one of them.
David is a passionate collector of mid-century modern design that over 30 years ago opened a beautiful store in San Diego, to turn his passion into a business: Boomerang For Modern.
The use of contrasting materials as rope, painted and chrome-plated steel, sheepskin and a linen-covered cushion to design the Halyard Chair have not precedents in the mid century modern design.
Hans Wegner goal while designing this chair was not to prove the textural interplay of the materials used but his ability to create practical and innovative furniture in any other material than wood.