What Is MCM?

A Design Style, Not Just a Time Period

“Mid century modern” (MCM) refers to a design style more so than just the time period of the mid century (1950s to 1970s). Vintage shops exclusively sell vintage, (for alittlemorelikehome usually over 50 years old) mid century modern furniture and décor.

What is the Design Style, Mid Century Modern?

We have a simple illustrated guide of some of the hallmarks of the style, below.

Use of Primary Colors.

Mid century modern furniture, artwork and décor makes use of bold, strong primary colors, much like the branding used by popular companies at the time.

1950s kitsch made use of a pastel color palette, but also had atomic shapes like the later mid century modern design style - so there is some overlap there.

In the 1980s and 90s light colors returned and today there is so much gray… So the bold pops of color in mid century modern design definitely stand out!

Clean Lines.

MCM designs are recognizable for their sleek angular and geometric designs.  Unlike traditional, antique furniture mid century modern designs do not have a lot of frilly details like scallops, claw foot legs and other extra ornamentation.  MCM designs are much more minimal - focused on the form and function of the item.

Tapered Legs.

When it comes to MCM dressers, one of the most common features are their tapered legs (although they sometimes have plinth bases).  Traditional dressers are more likely to have carved, ornate legs.

There are different styles of MCM dresser legs/bases.  You will start to notice that the designers’ common goal was to make the piece look lighter in the space (tapered legs make the pieces take up less room visually).

Was This Explanation Helpful?

We will have more to this series on our website and Instagram!


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