27 April 2013


Via Flickr:

Published 1961

Fantastic French Design Book

Here's another cool living room/den for you.

While I really like the overall look of this room. There are two things that bother me. First, the fuchsia color on the furniture. Secondly, well... While the art on the back wall is perfect for the setting, it's a bit to small to be the only art on the wall. This piece by itself would have been fine. As long as they had a nice lamp, maybe teak/danish modern or chrome sitting to the right of it on the shelf. Otherwise I would suggest one or two more paints of the same size as you see in the photo now, or possibly one painting, but a little larger.

These are my thoughts, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens by Mod Dog
Better Homes and Gardens, a photo by Mod Dog on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
Better Homes and Gardens

Decorating Ideas 1960

Once again, better homes and gardens proves that living is, in and of itself the art of a mid-century home.

Using just one well sized, and well placed paint, this living room is decorated to an appropriate degree. Using well placed common use items such as books and decor coffee table, along with furniture of varied colors and textures, an abundance of art isn't necessary. In addition to the daily/common use items, a small selection of glass and ceramic ware is placed spaciously on the book shelf to add dimension, color and texture to an otherwise bairn space. Adding to the overall comfort and style of the room without overbalancing the aesthetic of the room. More books would work well also. However, without leaving spacing between groupings of books could easily create a top heavy fill to this room. Some links may be affiliate links that provide amidst mod with a small, but necessary income when you buy these products or products from these vendors.

26 April 2013

1953 Modern Living Room

Via Flickr:
Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Image from the Mid Century Home Style collection.

As follows with Part 1 of my blog post "Art For The Mid-Century Home -Pt 1: Starting With The Basics." You can see here that the art was selected carefully so as to be that subtle touch that you notice after a few minutes, but without the room would seem lacking. Also, notice that the art in the room does not take up most of the wall space. Instead, smartly placed shelving and sconces provide artistic elements while providing the room with a 3d texture feeling. Texture is not to be under rated when dealing with a vintage retro or mid-century, modern or not, interior.

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25 April 2013

Art For The Mid-Century Home -Pt 1: Starting With The Basics.

It's been some 6 years since I started Amidst Mod as a blog. At the time, we where trying to decorate our loft where we lived. I was in a limbo between vintage, retro, mid-century and contemporary modern. I had very little direction in my design life. Just about anything bright, and outstandingly modern or retro in style was the dish of choice. In fact, looking back, I sort of cringe to see what some of my choices where. Like anyone or anything, I realize those where my stepping stones, and they have led me to a more refined view on the Mid-Century, and Mid-Century Modern worlds.

At first, I didn't really realize that these worlds where different. Terms like Mid-CenturyModern and Mid-Century are thrown around for everything from mod to good ole fashioned hippie flower power styling. Unfortunately, that can, and has, created some major confusion for many. All you have to do is just look on Flickr and you'll see what I mean.  In fact, I was confused for a while and with time and study, I started to clear and categorize the genres and where they belonged.

Another frustrating aspect of the mid-century modern world, is the time in which it covers. In my years of study and work, I've seen MCM applied to everything from Art Deco, up until some buildings and interiors of the late 70's early 80's. Clearly, it's impossible for a term like "Mid-Century", which is so specific, to apply to such a range of time. So, one needs to be discerning as to what is clearly outside the appropriate time frame. Of course there are always the delicately duplicated designs of a mid-century interior that can be considered mid-century, even though, it's outside of the physical mid-century time frame. Even still, I tend to find that most of the time there is some sort of incoherency, or lack of absolute truth to the true mid-century and mid-century modern design that has been recreated.

 By this point, I know you are asking, what does any of this have to do with my art choices for my MCM home.? Never fear, the aforementioned, has everything to do with this important choice we are to discuss. Lets talk about why.

Step 1: Decide on a specific look and follow it.

 Furniture is not the whole defining factor 

You may say, but I have some mcm furniture, that means that the inside of my house is, or is going to be MCM.  Does it really though? Why the question?

To put simply, Mid-century modern furniture in it's origin, was just the contemporary modern furniture of its time. Don't get upset, I not putting these great designers down.  However, modern furniture of the late 40's -mid 60's could be purchased by anyone and placed an any kind of home or interior setting.
       To illustrate: Jon Doe and Jane Doe live in a single story ranch, non modern, (believe it or not, not all ranches from the 40-60's are modern in design).  Jon got a raise, Jane wants some new furniture. After a few bats of her eyes, Jon on his way to the local furniture store and Jane is dreamy eyed imagining how her house will look like one of the new case study houses she just read about.  Once at the local furniture store, and they decide to get a "modern" danish sofa.(possibly such as the turquoise one shown)
However, the rest of their decor is of western design. By buying the sofa, do they now have a mid-century modern living room? In short. No... What they now have is a mid-century western living room with a mid-century modern sofa sitting out of place in it. Do you see the point?

Point being, that just because you own some mid-century modern furniture, that doesn't mean you instantly have a full mid-century modern theme going on.

Really what you want to determine is, with all you have at the moment, or plan to buy, what the theme will be. Just remember, you can't always have what you want, but more often than not, your stuck with what you have.This is very important if you are on a very tight budget and know that buying completely theme appropriate items are out of the question.

So you'll want to be realistic or, very patient. Either way, pick a style and stick to it, or you'll never get anywhere.

Choosing your Modern

Within the Mid-Century Modern genre, there are number of sub genre's. Some of the more common ones would be Googie, Minimalist, Japanese modern, Futuristic modern, and Tiki Modern (There is a fine but important overall difference to typical retro tiki.).

Step 2: Realistically seeing your housing floor plan

See it for what it is, but also for what it can be.

This means keeping a balanced view of what your floor plan can handle with the theme you have in mind.  Remember, we're talking about selecting artwork. Keeping in line with step 1, it's a good idea to investigate the typical sizing of artwork that fit your theme, and the typical size of the art work you prefer.

This is very important, for instance, if you have a 900 sqft home that you intend to decorate with the California modern style. Why? Well, typically the California modern styling of the mid-century era uses large and bold paintings. If
each painting is close to 3ft in size, how many can you really fit in the space? Another factor is, will such a style truly add, or take away from the ambiance of the room? It may be that a simple minimalist mcm style would make the area more appealing.

Each person must decide what will fit their own space best based on personal taste and judgement. Please note that in most cases, almost any style can be modified to the space at hand. Many times though, in the case of small or closed in spaces, being extremely judicial with the art chosen is crucial.

Next article: Step 3: Seeing art for what it truly is.

These links are affiliate links that provide amidst mod with a small, but necessary income when you buy these products or products from these vendors.


These links are affiliate links that provide amidst mod with a small, but necessary income when you buy these products or products from these vendors.

24 April 2013

Ranchara Square Medical Center, 1966-2008

Via Flickr:
Las Vegas, Nevada

The owner of this time capsule decided it would be best to demolish the building and replace it with a ugly stucco shoebox. My picture of this building was on the cover of the Mondo Vegas Tour Book...

Where I wish I could go to get well...
600904_Top Quality Furniture Reproductions_300x250

Pacific Palisades: Modernism.

Via Flickr:
This is one of those smart, stylish, modern, angled medical offices from the middle of the 20th Century. I see echoes of Frank Lloyd Wright in the overhang, and horizontal strips along the balcony.

In my imagination, I see the white gloved, high heeled women of 1958 coming here for their dental or medical appointments, someone like Kim Novak, Joan Collins or Nancy Reagan. Dr. Kildare would be waiting in his brightly lit office with a view of the mountains. Patient and doctor could step outside for a cigarette after discussing an unpleasant diagnosis. The Eldorado Convertible would be parked in the lot behind.

Not feeling so good today, there is a bug/virus running around here getting everybody unpleasantly sick. So I thought a mcm doctors office would be in tune with today. 600904_Florence Knoll Style Sofa_300x250

23 April 2013

Mid century office

Mid century office by Rinehart Retro
Mid century office, a photo by Rinehart Retro on Flickr.
While I like me a good sharp and sleek MCM interior, I also dig rooms that make you want to hunker down for the winter. That's why l really like this office. Get $75 Off All Egg Chairs for Easter Please note that some of the links and adds in this blog are affiliate oriented. These links and ads allow Amidst Mod to make a go of it. By buying thru this links, you will being getting a product that you want and help Amidst Mod stay alive. Thanks!