Monthly Archives: May 2014

How to Capture Midcentury Modern Design in Your Home

EVOKE homes are characterized by the clean, simple lines that flow throughout the home. That’s why we love midcentury modern interior design — furnishings within this design scheme are known for their effortless simplicity and fit solidly into the contemporary design sensibility we try to cultivate in each home. Here are some tips for capturing midcentury modern design for yourself:

Smooth Walnut or Teak Tables

Midcentury modern design

Hesse Dining Table by Joybird Furniture

Smooth wood tables made of walnut or teak on tell-tale tapered legs are prominent in midcentury modern design. Look for tables made of solid wood to maximize durability. You can lighten the heavy look of solid wood by choosing a piece with a glass top to create a greater feeling of openness.

Low to the Ground Furniture

midcentury modern design

Gus Modern Atwood Sofa in Muskoka Surf

Another signature of midcentury modern home design is furniture that sits low to the ground or features a low back. For an authentic midcentury look, you will want to select furniture pieces that blend upholstery and wood elements, such as wooden arms or legs.

Tufted furniture with a sharp, rectangular frame is a solid bet as well as statement pieces in bold colors like avocado and mustard. If you prefer a more understated take on this design, consider furniture pieces in neutral tones.

Wallpaper Makes a Comeback

midcentury modern design

Vintage-inspired wallpaper

Wallpaper has made a resurgence in recent years, and high-quality wallpaper can truly make an entire room come together. However, modern homeowners should use wallpaper sparingly so that they do not overwhelm a space with either color or pattern.

This is particularly good advice if you are drawn to bold wallpapers, which are best suited for an accent wall or in a single room of the house. If you do choose a bold wallpaper, adopt a minimalist approach to selecting artwork and other wall décor. You won’t want your wall art to be fighting for attention with your wallpaper. Midcentury modern wallpaper is characterized by geometric shapes like circles and diamonds, but don’t feel limited to those options.

The Midcentury Modern Credenza

midcentury modern design

Mid Century Teak Credenza Cabinet by Peter Hvidt and Orla Molgaard Nielsen

Few items bring a retro sensibility to life in a home more than a solid wood credenza or sideboard. As with dining tables, midcentury modern credenzas are often raised up on tapered legs. They also feature storage space; sliding wooden doors or cabinet-like “swing-out” doors hide items out of sight for a clean look in the home. These pieces make excellent entryway pieces and work equally well in bedrooms.

(Images via JoyBird.com; AllModern.com; Vintage-Retro-Design.com; and Etsy.com)

Be Transparent: Clear Furniture in Modern Design

Minimalism is among the most prominent themes of modern home design, and one of the secrets to achieving an understated look in your home is to create open space any way you can. Using transparent furniture is one way to create the illusion of open space while still allowing a variety of functional pieces in your home. Take a look at some of the examples we’ve rounded up below.

The Modern Glass Coffee Table

clear furniture

Low table by John Houshmand

While not a particularly new idea, glass coffee tables remain an effective way to foster an open feel in a living space while allowing visitors to see straight through to a handsome rug beneath. To keep a glass table from looking too stark, we recommend selecting a piece that incorporates organic elements like reclaimed wood to add warmth. The piece above by artist John Houshmand is essentially a glass box with black walnut slabs embedded within for interest.

Wood Table with Clear Chairs

clear furniture

Louis Ghost Chairs by Kartell designed by Philippe Starck

Another setting where clear pieces work well is in the dining room, the room in the home that tends to hold your bulkiest furniture. You can slim down that bulk by pairing clear acrylic chairs with a sleek wood table.

Not only are these chairs easier to clean than fabric chairs, but you can effortlessly soften the look of them with a neutral, faux fur throw pillow for a bit of texture.

Alternatives to Glass or Acrylic

transparent furniture

Metal mesh chairs

Not everyone appreciates glass or acrylic features in their home because of how notorious they are for collecting smudges and fingerprints. To preserve a transparent look while avoiding entirely clear furniture, you can select mesh pieces. The chairs above still allow natural light to pass through and the metal mesh is fine enough not to block your line of vision.

A Single Clear Piece

clear furniture

Bare Bones Ghost Chair by benforgeydotcom on Etsy

If you only wish to dabble in clear furniture, consider incorporating a single transparent piece in a living space to gauge how it fits in with the rest of your home decor.

This artisan piece to the right combines a simple sheet of acrylic with found driftwood. As with the coffee table above, the integration of an organic element breathes life into the clear chair, making it a true statement piece. The bench below demonstrates a similar concept.

clear furniture

Contemporary Organic Bench made of driftwood and acrylic by benforgeydotcom on Etsy

(Images in order of appearance via JohnHoushmand.com; PrettyStuff.tumblr.com; RedCanary-Austin.com; Freshome.com and Etsy.com).

5 Outstanding Modern Outdoor Furniture Ideas

At EVOKE, we design modern homes that maximize indoor-outdoor living. The idea is not only to capture a feeling of openness by providing a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces, but also to connect today’s homeowners with nature so that the home is a tranquil retreat from hectic modern life.

Now that the sun has started to emerge this spring, we’re more inspired than ever to get outside. Here are five stand-out modern outdoor furniture ideas that get us excited about a sunny afternoon on the patio.

Modern Outdoor Furniture for Entertaining

modern outdoor furniture

Tommy Bahama Outdoor Living Aviano Collection

Wicker has long been a staple of outdoor decorating because it’s both sturdy and resistant to mold and mildew. Consider a modern take on wicker patio furniture by avoiding staid white wicker and selecting pieces with contemporary design elements like cut-outs or a unique, flowing form. Lately, we’ve been seeing mid-century modern patio furniture growing in popularity.

Outdoor Statement Pieces

modern outdoor furniture

Foglia Collection from Corradi USA

We love the way the whimsical, leaf-patterned cut-outs used in this outdoor seating set have the dazzling ability to cast pleasing shadows across your patio as natural light flows through the perforations. Cut-outs help reduce the bulky feeling of traditional patio furniture, creating a feeling of openness.

modern outdoor furniture

Baby Acapulco Chair by Innit Designs

Retro-inspired chairs, such as the Innit Designs Baby Acapulco Chair to the right, are a great alternative to cut-outs by allowing light to filter through the bars of the frame.

These chairs come in a broad spectrum of hues, allowing you a variety of options for adding a pop of color to your outdoor space.

Bistro Tables for Cocktails

modern outdoor furniture

Contempo Bistro Furniture from Vermont Woods Studios

Modern bistro tables in bold colors are good options for homeowners whose outdoor space is limited. Bistro seating provides just enough space for people to enjoy cocktails with a few appetizers, keeping them close for conversation. The set to the right is a particularly good choice for eco-conscious homeowners, as it is constructed of recycled plastic lumber. This material has the look and feel of real wood while being low maintenance with no need for weatherproofing.

Outdoor Furniture for Sunbathing

modern outdoor furniture

Charles Outdoor Chaise Lounge by B&B Italia Outdoor

For some homeowners, an outdoor space is less about entertaining and more about creating an outdoor oasis for relaxation and soaking up sunshine. We love the modern design of this outdoor chaise lounge which was designed with just this purpose in mind.

(Photos in order of appearance via TheLivingQuarters.comCorradiUSA.comInnitDesigns.com; VermontWoodsStudios.com; and SwitchModern.com)