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What is Mid-Century Modern Furniture?

“Mid-Century Modern” is a big category, and refers to a sweeping design movement from the 1930s to the 1960s. This movement and the aesthetic it created can refer to architecture, product design, industrial design and furniture design. The term itself was used during the 1950s, but was brought back to the forefront by Cara Greenberg, who used the term in her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. The movement is often overshadowed by the giants of the time, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Oscar Niemeyer, but many of the lasting objects and ideas from the Mid-Century modern movement are found right in the homes and offices around us, and were created by less well known designers.

The look of the furniture being created during the Mid-Century movement was more simple and sleek than previous designs. Designers also branched out into a variety of materials. Plastic was the new medium of the day, but many furniture designers were created beautiful, clean designs from wood, metal and fabric. Popular designs which originated in Scandinavia, Europe, South America and North America used minimal decoration and smooth curves to create new furniture sets and standalone pieces.

modern hairpin legs with feet vintage door coffee table with tapered angle iron legsSo what is a Mid-Century modern table leg and how does it tie into the theme of Mid-Century modern furniture? There are many styles of modern table legs, and there are a few big groups when it comes to the Mid-Century modern category. Many of the furniture from the Mid-Century period was set on tapered wood or metal legs, sometimes featuring feet on the bottom of the leg. Hairpin legs were also created during this period and have been an enduring symbol of Mid-Century modern design. All of these modern furniture leg designs have been used for tables, chairs and furniture. The defining feature of these modern leg styles was the consistent simplicity and clean design of the finished pieces, and the legs were an integral part of the modern furniture movement.

Needless to say, our product lines are all based on this Mid-Century Modern aesthetic, and are born from the modern furniture designs of last century. We’re proud to keep the tradition of Mid-Century modern furniture and hardware alive in the 21st century. If you have a furniture style you’d like to see made by the craftsmen at Modern Legs, let us know!