Mid Century modernism has always had a strong following, especially among artistic types such as architects, graphic designers and interior designers – to name a few. In 2013, trendy items making the strongest comeback in this design era are lighting and décor accent pieces.
In the late 1950s, Sputnik sparked the Space Age of Design, a period of Mid century modern style. Technology development and innovations in science drove the design aesthetic not only in architecture, but also in industrial, commercial and interior design. These influences continue to impact design some 60 plus years later. We find interpretations reflected throughout our culture in the way modern architecture frames exterior vistas through the use of storefront windows or glass walls with flat roofs, and in crisp, clean modern tile designs.
Consider the work of Austrian American architect Richard Neutra, who was one of the most influential modernist architects of the period. He was described as creating an “innovative stylistic balance between domicile and environment.”
Here’s a wonderful interpretation of Mid century modern design today with dark floors and the use of a tiled accent wall above the fireplace. Take note of the window wall systems that open the rooms and bring the outside in.
Today, we define the return in popularity to this design style, which originated in the ‘50s, as Retro-Futurism. We love the combination of linear and curved outlines in the furniture, the orb-like extensions of the lighting fixtures, and the mixing of traditional paired with Space Age-inspired furniture that lends to a delicate balance. Very low profile furniture and the juxtaposition of wide chaise frames with slender legs beside slender accent tables are characteristics of Retro-Futurism.
Italian lighting manufacturer, Stilnovo, produced one of the most iconic symbols of modern Space-Age design. The original “Sputnik” chandelier was produced in the 1950s. Consumers can find originals available at sources such as 1stdibs.com. Newer versions can be found at varying price points, all boasting space-themed names like the “Orbit” or “Satellite” chandelier.
Isn’t this chandelier a stunning feature in this dining room? What a statement in modern style. The Space-Age style light fixture fills the room with its delicate orbs and sparkling imagery.
Metallic decor is making quite a comeback in today’s design. We’re seeing metallic in all design avenues, including interior design. Metallic in the small details, especially vintage brass, is a terrific way to add a touch of glamour to any space.