Mid-Century Modern | A Review

mid century modern lighting at farrey's

Even if you are not a design fanatic, chances are you’ve come across the term “mid-century modern” design or you’ve been in a room featuring this unique design at one point in your life. Mid-century modern is a design concept that never seems to lose relevance or traction.

People’s preferences and lifestyles are ever-changing, courtesy of the ever-developing technology and universe dynamics. Architecture design, style or interior decor are in a constant state of flux as the generations advance. In recent years, an increasing number of people are favoring mid-modern design style in their homes because of its simplicity and ease of integration. That said, you might be wondering what ‘mid-century modern’ style is exactly.


So What Is Mid-Century Modern Style?

Mid Century Modern is a style of interior, architecture, products, and graphical design which generally portrays design development of the 20th century in a modern design. Many times, Mid Century Modern is used to describe the design style used in the middle of the 1950s.

The phrase was first used by author Cara Greenberg in 1984 in her book “Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s”. The term was sort of just made up, but it became famous when her book gained popularly. Mid-century modern design is also seemingly timeless, thanks to its quality and consistency across all the decades since the 1950s. 

Considering the timelines, mid-century refers to the period between the mid-1930s and mid-1960s. Although some have argued that it’s limited to the period between 1947 and 1957. The Mid Century Modern design idea is championed by designers and creators who believed that designs that look futuristic and developed are great avenues for social change

Mid-century modern design was built based on several critical ideals such as post-war modernism and Bauhaus style. As you will notice, fixtures, furnishings and interior décor items such as mid-century modern lights are less glamorous and are based on design-for-all roots. Some of the ideals include prioritizing functionality, simplicity, and minimalism.


Characteristics of the Mid-Century Modern Design

One of the main characters that stand out in this design is color. The main color theme in the Mid Century Modern style is warm and natural such as wood color. Other common colors used include olive green, orange, mustard, yellow, or even pink, turquoise, grey, and black. These are the colors that match the aesthetic value and integrity of the nature of the Mid Century Modern Style.

But a few have argued that when used for interior, these colors feel a little stiff and less interesting. Many designers today have, however, managed to make these colors interesting by varying the sheen, texture, materials and design elements to make the interior look interesting.

When it comes to lighting, mid-century modern lighting fixtures tend to be artistry and airy. They are typically characterized by neutral color tones and thin, straight lines. While we see a lot of wood, when metal is used, this design tends to lean on the warmer side with the likes of bronze and brass.

The beautiful artistry element in the mid-century modern lighting is brought about by the use of geometric designs and basic shapes like rectangles, triangles, circles, and squares. If you pay enough attention, you will also notice that the mid-century modern lighting is common with lamps like chandelier or Arco standing floor lamp. While shapes and designs are great, this kind of design emphasizes functionality and effectiveness.

Some of the popular mid-century modern lighting fixture designs include the glam pendants, chrome chandeliers, aviation lighting, multi-arm pendants, and floor globes –most of which are generally sleek and streamlined.

Overall, the mid-century modern design style consists of understated, classic look and clean lines with minimal fuss. Fixtures and design elements are also generally sleek and uncluttered with geometric and organic forms that priorities function. You will also notice minimal ornamentation and a preference for neutral and warm colors.



The biggest benefit of the Mid-century modern design in the ability to remain ever-relevant and integrate seamlessly into any time period. This is mainly due to its minimalistic design and priority for function. As you can already tell, mid-century modern lighting and décor will remain timeless for decades to come. This means you don’t have to worry much about having to redesign or replace fixtures and décor every after a few years just to stay on-trend.