I have had a longtime love affair with history, beginning with my history minor in college and culminating with my historic home obsession. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and Pinterest looking at photos of old saltbox-, colonial- and farmhouse-style homes, beehive ovens, stone walls, exposed brick, fieldstone fireplaces, old barns, wide-plank wood floors (even better if they’re made from old barns!), seeded glass, antique ceiling beams … I could go on for hours.
Consequently, it’s taken me a long time to come to appreciate mid-century modern style, with its sleek, uncluttered lines, organic and geometric forms, minimal ornamentation, and non-traditional materials (this, according to thespruce.com).
Mid-century modern emerged in America based on earlier styles, such as Bauhaus, which began in Germany, and the International Style, which grew from the Bauhaus style in America, according to the website. New methods of construction and new materials, such as plastic, dramatically influenced later mid-century modern designers, and a wide range of colors, from neutral to bold, and a graphic use of black and white, prevailed.
Names such as Charles and Ray Eames, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and, of course, Philip Johnson, whose New Canaan-based Glass House attracts visitors from all over the world, have become synonymous with the term mid-century modern. There’s even an HGTV show, called Desert Flippers, devoted to flipping homes in in Palm Springs, Calif. — an area renowned for its plethora of mid-century moderns (think the Rat Pack, martinis, palm trees, and poolside living) — to which I’ve slowly become addicted.
While New England isn’t famous for this style of home, we do have our share, and our April Home Personality, designated, “Mad for mod,” is dedicated to the mid-century modern style home. I drooled over the photos that the Realtors submitted for this category, almost imagining myself living in one. As long as I could have some old wooden beams and maybe a little seeded glass mixed in with the Marcel Breuer tubular-steel chairs or a Paul Evans straight-lined sofa, I think I could be very happy.