A Crash Course in Mid-Century Modern Design, and How You Can Get the Look

Mid century modern guide to furniture, architecture and design
Drawing of a Suburban House from a 1953 issue of House + Home
Photo from the archives of the author.

Mid-Century Modernism is ubiquitous – from Ikea to West Elm, Architectural Digest to Houzz, the sleek, clean style remains atop interior design charts almost ten years after its resurgence began (often accredited to the onset of Mad Men in 2007). This article provides a crash course in the movement's important figures, furniture and interior design styles. Continue Reading

Take a Look Inside this Clean, Modern Living Room Makeover

Curbly living room reveal. Shaw LifeHappens carpet.

The carpet is down. The furniture is in. The original Curbly House is officially on the market! We spent the last few weeks putting in long hours to get the living room (and the rest of the house) ready for showings, and we’re excited to share the reveal with you today! Read on to see how we designed a cozy living space that will (hopefully) help us sell the house quickly to a lucky new family who will enjoy it for years! Continue Reading

Get the Look for Less: Mid-Century Modern

Get the Look for Less: Mid-Century Modern

It’s no secret that we at casa Curbly are big lovers of everything mid-century modern (MCM). The classic, clean lines of this style of furniture make it timeless and easy to blend with different styles. But true MCM pieces can be hard to come by, and even harder to afford. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite MCM looks for a fraction of the price. And, while nothing beats the quality and durability of a classic MCM piece, these doppelganger will work for you while you save your pennies for a vintage Eames lounge chair or original Saarinen Tulip Table. Continue Reading

Roundup: 12 Mid-Century Modern DIY Projects

created at: 06/13/2012

It’s modernism month here at the Curbs so, naturally, a roundup of our favorite MCM-inspired DIY projects was in order! Happy DIY-ing!     

1. DIY Eames-Inspired Drinking Glasses

2. DIY Eames Hang-It-All

3. DIY Cathrineholm Candle Holders

4. DIY Asterisk Clock

created at: 06/13/2012

5. DIY Noguchi-Inspired Coffee Table

6. DIY MCM Chandelier

7. DIY Sputnik Chandelier

8. DIY George Nelson-Inspired Outdoor Slat Bench

created at: 06/13/2012

9. DIY Mid-Century Modern House Numbers

10. DIY Modern Bird Feeder

11. DIY George Nelson Case Study-Inspired Bed

12. Continue Reading

Vintage Advertising: The Role of Mid-Century Women

created at: 02/13/2012

From a distance we might admire MCM design, but in doing so it’s easy to forget the social ills of the era, one being the preferred role for women. These vintage ads from the era pretty much sum up those expectations.

Just in case the little woman forgets:

created at: 02/13/2012

And just in case she can’t cook, there’s always beer.

Apparently, women loved to caress their Hoovers back then.

created at: 02/13/2012

Manipulation always works.

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And, finally…hooray for domestic abuse.  Continue Reading

Make It: A Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed

created at: 11/01/2011

We’ve shown you how to turn suitcases into chairs and even picnic kits, but this might be my favorite vintage suitcase repurposing project ever!  

 

created at: 11/01/2011

As an avid dog lover and self-proclaimed “crazy Schnauzer lady”, I always get a little too excited when I see awesome DIY projects for pets.  So, you can imagine my enthusiasm (or can you? It’s pretty extreme…) for this stylish, retro-inspired dog bed created by Kathryn Ekloff from Mox & Fodder.   Continue Reading

Before & After: A Mid-Century Modern Makeover!

created at: 10/31/2011

Whether you’re on the fence, passionately opposed, or enthusiastically in favor of painting wood furniture (see Melanie’s recent post  “To paint or not to paint?“), you’ve got to admit that the “after” in this case looks pretty dang good.  

created at: 10/31/2011

Billie from the blog Billie Monster took this thrift store find to the next colorful level with a few coats of a fresh, spring green paint.  Kindly, she’s walked us through all the steps involved–check it out right here! Continue Reading

Eye Candy: Bubble Chairs

bubble chair

In 1968, after he conceived the Ball Chair, Eero Aarnio, a pioneer in using plastics in industrial design, created the Bubble Chair as a reduction of its predicessor. He wanted the chair to be light-filled, and since, as Aarnio maintained, “There is no nice way to make a clear pedestal,” it had to hang from the ceiling. Iconic in shape, the space-age design is as fresh today as it was 45 years ago. Original Eero Aarnio Bubble Chairs are still to be had. Continue Reading

Free Download: Icons of Modern Design (PDF booklet and vector art)

Icons of Modern Design Download PDF

It’s Modernism month on Curbly, and we’re exploring what it means to talk about modern design for the home. This week, we’re offering a really cool booklet of twenty-four iconic modern design silhouettes, along with the vector files we used to make them! We chose all our favorite designs by Eames, Nelson, Saarinen, and the best of the mid-century designers. Read on to see how to download the files.

You can use these however you want; print out the PDF and put it on your coffee table, make a calendar out of it, use them in any number of craft and art projects, or frame them as posters! Continue Reading