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Garrett Swivel Chair

Interior Design Style #4: Mid-Century Modern

The popularity of Mid-Century Modern architecture and interior design is still going strong more than 50 years after its heyday. The phrase Mid-Century Modern first showed up on the design scene as the title of a book written by Cara Greenberg entitled Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. The book was a hit and while today it’s a popular “retro” style, some element of the Mid Mod style is found in many of today’s contemporary homes and offices.

Garrett Swivel Chair

With a nod to the mid-century modern design classic, the Garrett Swivel Chair, designed by Carolyn Kinder International, combines comfort and style.

What is Mid-Mod?

Author Laura Fenton sums it up nicely here:

“It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, though some would argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957). The timeframe is a modifier for the larger modernist movement, which has roots in the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century and also in the post-World War I period,”

Read the entire article for a deeper dive at Why the World is Obsessed with MidCentury Modern Design.

Meet George Jetson?

While some Mid Century Modern interior design pieces look like they were beamed over from the set of the popular 60’s cartoon series The Jetsons, the philosophy behind the Mid-Century Modern movement is based on simplicity and connection with nature.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Mid-Century Modern architecture features clean lines, natural materials, open concept designs with large windows connecting the homeowner to nature. Palm Springs, California is described as “a living museum of mid-twentieth century architecture.” Since a picture is worth a thousand words, go to TripSavvy.com and take a Mid-Mod virtual tour to check out the popular architectural style yourself.

Mid-Century Modern furniture design

From the Hungarian Marcel Breuer’s Wassily armchair in 1925, to the functional chairs of Ray and Charles Eammes to the famous Danish designer Arne Jacobsen’s  Egg chair, Midcentury Modern designers are fascinating. Check out this great Mid-Mod infographic to learn more.

Let’s break it down to key words to help you understand the Mid-Mod vibe:

  • Straight lines
  • Minimalistic
  • Functional
  • Natural materials (wood, leather, steel, linen, wood)
  • Abstract
  • Asymmetrical
  • Primarily neutral colors with pops of bright color
  • Splayed legs
  • Tufted backs

Mid Mod inspired designs

The good news is you don’t have to travel to Palm Springs or be able to afford an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair to incorporate a bit of the Mid Mod into your contemporary home. Visit our website to see all of our Mid-Century Modern inspired designs.

Carolyn Kinder designing

Carolyn Kinder mid-mod egg chair featured on China tv

Carolyn Kinder designing Carolyn Kinder’s Garrett Swivel Chair and the factory that produces it will be featured in a popular television program on China’s CCTV.

Carolyn Kinder, Carol Tu and I were honored to participate in the video production. Carolyn’s egg chair design, available to the trade through Uttermost, has been wildly successful since it’s introduction in 2013. This nod to mid-mod stands out as a new classic. With a channel tufted back rest, it fits like a glove and feels as good as it looks.

Behind the design of mid-mod egg chair

For the sake of video production and historical integrity we did a faux flash back to 2012 and reenacted several phases of development. This is a great way to show you some of the behind-the-scenes process that goes into the creating one of the hundreds of design samples we produce each season. The process in it’s simplest form goes something like this:

  1. Simple Concept Sketch
  2. CAD development and review
  3. Raw body review and adjustment
  4. Material and detail assignment
  5. Finished sample review


Bringing the design concept to life

There are several additional critical steps that we won’t discuss today (including our secret sauce recipe), but the most important step is choosing the best vendor to bring your concept to life. This factory is one of our favorites, not only for their consistent quality and attention to detail, but also for their environmentally conscious production methods. The fact that a large percentage of the production, marketing and administrative staff have been with them for more than 15 years should tell you all you need to know this company.

You might have noticed by now that I haven’t shared the name of the fabulous resource.  I will give you one name… Monica.  You might notice it on the original concept sketch where Carolyn signed her name with the caveat “but do what Monica says”.  The rest is classified. Let’s just call it part of our secret sauce recipe.

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